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Thread: Uncle Willie K (1960-2020)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Default Uncle Willie K (1960-2020)

    Very sad news that Uncle Willie K, born William Awihilima Kahaiali‘i has passed away after his two-year battle with cancer. I had the pleasure of seeing him perform at an Aloha Friday event in Eugene, Oregon a few years back. Picked up his "Twisted Ukulele" CD that evening and had a chance to share a few words with him. He was very kind and seemed genuinely humbled by the praise from the crowd. Amazing singer and musician.

    Bill

  2. #2

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    During the Christmas season I made a post her about Uncle Willie K. I'd heard his rendition of 'O Holy Night' for the first time, and it absolutely sent chills down my spine. It's simply magical. His voice and musical talent were inspirational, but from what I've seen and read, he was a genuinely kind-hearted man, as well. He'll be greatly missed.

  3. #3
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    Very sad news! Just loved his voice and playing:

    Talk less, play more . . . .

  4. #4
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    Godspeed Willie K. We'll miss that golden voice.
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

    Music washes from the soul, the dust of everyday living.

  5. #5
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    Aug 2014
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    I've long been a fan. Mahalo, Willie K. Rest in peace.

  6. #6

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    What an odd and sad coincidence. Yesterday I watched his YouTube performance of Hallelujah at the Ukulele Festival Hawaii 2017. I've watched it multiple times over the years and happened across it again yesterday. He was a wonderful performer. I only wish I could have seen him in a live performance.'
    Mike

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerome collector View Post
    What an odd and sad coincidence. Yesterday I watched his YouTube performance of Hallelujah at the Ukulele Festival Hawaii 2017. I've watched it multiple times over the years and happened across it again yesterday. He was a wonderful performer. I only wish I could have seen him in a live performance.'
    Mike
    I was at this performance. Most years a large group of ukulele players would get to accompany Willie on a few numbers. I did it in 2016&17. There's footage of that on Roy Sakuma's youtube page.
    Willie was so insanely talented that it was almost scary. I've seen a lot of different performers in my life from Tony Bennet to Sting. Willie is in my top 3. Harry Chapin and Martin Sexton are the other 2.
    Check out the video of Nessun Dorma with the Hawaii Youth Symphony.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Oh man, what a loss and to soon. He inspired many of us guitar players to play the uke. I never got to see him in person and wish I had been able to. Thanks to YouTube I have watched him play many many times over the years. It has been a pleasure and a joy for me. His music will continue to be enjoyed for years to come.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Portland, Oregon
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    Here's a YouTube video of Willie singing "Hawaiian Cowboy" from his Twisted Ukulele CD. Well, it's him lip syncing to the CD track, but you get the idea as he strums his Kanile'a. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNJRd55UYPk

    Bill
    Last edited by BillM; 05-22-2020 at 06:22 PM.

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