“You are an entertainer” commented a new participant who accompanied his mother from Hale Makua.
Twenty-nine people signed up for my monthly Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – American Classics on Thursday, November 21, 2019 at Kaunoa Senior Center for adults 55 and better on Maui. We sang 10 songs from the late 19th century and early 20th century referred to as Tin Pan Alley songs – the place in New York city where music publishers and songwriters thrived.
During the “Hawaiian History Moment of the Month” we talked about 2 events that happened on November 11. In Hawaiian history, the date of November 11, 1917 is remembered as the day when Hawaii’s last monarch, Queen Lili’uokalani died at the age of 79 at Washington Place. In American history, the date of November 11, 1918 is remembered to honor the end of World War I and was known as Armistice Day. In 1938, federal legislation passed setting Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, as a legal holiday.
We continued the “Sing-Along with Mitch Miller” format of projecting the song lyrics and ‘ukulele chords on a screen at the front of the room for singers and ‘ukulele players to see. We also continued the routine of telling the story behind each song and playing each song twice to reinforce what we learned.
We sang 10 songs during the 1-hour and 10-minute program. Here is the song list with the names of my unique ‘ukulele strums to song arrangements taught by no one else:
History: Veterans Day & Queen Liliuokalani died same day different year
- Medley: Beer Barrel Polka/There is a Tavern in the Town – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
- Medley: Happy Days/Ain’t She Sweet – Tom Tom/I Wanna Rest Strums.
- Sloop John B – Latin Strum.
- Medley: Daisy Bell/Sidewalks of New York/In My Merry Oldsmobile – 2 Waltz Strums.
- Medley: Yes Sir That’s My Baby/Five Foot Two/Baby Face – Hum Ding-Ah Strums.
- Medley: Shine On Harvest Moon/Moonlight Bay – I Wanna Rest Strum.
- Jamaica Farewell – Latin Strum.
- Medley: Let Me Call You Sweetheart/In The Good Old Summertime/Take Me Out to the Ballgame – 2 Waltz Strums.
- When You’re Smiling – Hum Ding-Ah Strum.
- Hawaii Aloha – Morse Code Strum.
The next Sing-Along with Mele Fong Series – Christmas Songs will be part of my 7th Annual Christmas Party at Kaunoa Senior Center on Wednesday, December 18. There is a waiting list to get in as the demand is more than what the classroom can accommodate comfortably.
Aloha, Mele Fong aka Ukulele Mele