yomyomf_weekbruddah iz

The late and great Israel Kamakawiwo’ole is one of Hawaii’s greatest ambassadors of Hawaiian music. He was a Giant of a man, truly gifted with one heck of a voice. “Bruddah Iz”, as he is lovingly called, died on June 27, 1997 from weight related respiratory illness. The funeral attracted over 10,000 people.

But his legacy lives on from one of the most omnipresent songs in pop culture today, his rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”, which can be heard in movies and TV shows such as Meet Joe Black, Fifty-First Dates, ER, and tons of commercials.This song never gets tiring to me. It’s ethereal, calming and full of hope, and a tint of sadness. Whenever when my life gets too crazy, I will always play this on my ipod.  Bruddah Iz’s music, in general, is uplifting, spiritual and many times, super homegrown fun, kanikapila style. I particularly like Hawaiian Superman, a great ditty about the god of Maui.

But I always come back to Somewhere Over the Rainbow:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ltAGuuru7Q

There’s a longer rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow mashed up with What a Wonderful World as well. Awesome. Hey, since this is the season of giving, gift it to your friends and ohana.


  1. never get tired of this song

  2. Love the RAINBOW song!

    man, when they played that tune on ER when Anthony Edwards is dying of cancer, i cried so hard.

    IZ Forever!

  3. Anthony Edwards died of cancer on ER???? wow, i didn’t know that. I only caught the first season or so.

    I just happened to hear his “Rainbow/Wonderful World” recording while driving into SF and switching stations yesterday, and it made that part of the drive fantastic. The rest of the drive was decent too, but listening to him made me realize that some music is just music, while other music is on a whole ‘nother level of something magical. Do you recommend some more songs or a certain album? I’ve been meaning to listen.

  4. Mainstream co-opting be damned: Bruddah Iz lives on! “Facing Future” has got to be one of the greatest album covers ever.

  5. Miss his live singing, especially when it’s from the heart!