Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Somewhere over the rainbow

I was listening to the radio this morning. Not any of our local radio stations here in Malaysia, mind you, but through the Internet. Radio stations worldwide are starting to stream their broadcasts live through the Internet and entertainment has never been easier!

A few days ago, I had written about the fabulous TuneIn application. It enabled me to receive radio stations while on the move with the ipad2. Today, I visited their website to have a look around. I truly say that everyone must bookmark this site for the links they provide to the radio channels from the far corners of the world.

Anyway as i was saying, I was listening to this radio station, The Coast FM, through the Internet and suddenly, this wonderful piece of music came on the air. A mesmerising rendition of that old Judy Garland song, Over The Rainbow, played by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole (Kah-MAH-kah-VEE-voh-OH-lay) and accompanied only by a ukulele. It was the first time that I had ever heard this song played this way and intrigued, I searched the Internet for more information about this singer.

What I discovered was that Israel Kamakawiwoʻole was one of Hawaii's most famous singers. A huge man who was terribly obese throughout his life. But what a wonderful voice. When he died in 1997, the Hawaii flag flew at half mast and he was accorded a rare state funeral. The funeral and the scattering of his ashes were featured in this music video by Mountain Apple Company for his cover of "Over the Rainbow". Do give it a listen. And after you do, you can read an excellent piece about him here.

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