One of the “treasures” that my mother saved through her long life was this box of vintage 78 RPM records, mostly recordings of Hawaiian entertainers. I haven’t counted them, but I think there are probably around 40 records. These are old, thick 78s. I don’t know how to assess their condition.
With the renewed interest in records, does anyone collect such things? Can I connect them to a good home?
There are several record labels, including 49th State, Bell Records, Decca, and a few that have a label with a flower lei that simply credit “Advertiser Publishing Co. Ltd.”
One record, with a somewhat worn record jacket, features the Kauai Canoe and Racing Association Choir, and was privately produced for the group. It is pitched as “Musical Memories of your Stay on Kauai.” Date unknown.
And there are at least ten records featuring Augie Goupil and his Royal Tahitians, a group which became popular in the U.S. in the 1930s.
Decca Records put out several sets of Goupil’s music in 1939, one of which included this small booklet about the music and the artist.
My mother met Goupil in 1938, before she was married, and since she saved these records until her death, I have to assume that they had some kind of relationship, although I don’t recall her ever elaborating.
As an aside…She did describe a family connection to Goupil in an essay about her grandfather, Robert William Cathcart. It’s interesting to see threads of history coming together in this story.
There were quite a few British subjects living in Honolulu when Robert W. Cathcart arrived in 1881, so it didn’t take him long to meet others from the British Isles. One with whom he became friendly was Major Hills, a former British army officer who had lived in Tahiti where he married a Tahitian woman. The Hills lived in the Waikiki area where they operated a soft-drink bottling company on Kalakaua Avenue mauka of what is now Kapiolani Boulevard. They called their premises “Sunny South” where every Sunday a group of their associates gathered for a day of pleasant relaxation. There were friends and relatives, many formerly of Tahiti, and visiting seamen from ships out of the South Seas, so conversation often centered on Tahiti. Cathcart because one of the Sunday regulars and it was there amidst reminiscences of that south sea island that he became obsessed with a desire to visit that fabulous land. The obsession held him in its grip until he finally realized the dream 20 years later.
At “Sunny South” Cathcart formed a close friendship with Captain Chapman, a sea captain who operated sailing vessels between Tahiti and Hawaii. The captain’s home was in Tahiti where his wife and children lived. My family tale relates that the captain was influenced by Cathcart to bring his two daughters to Honolulu to be educated at St. Andrews Priory. I have a lingering memory of having heard that after the two daughters returned to Tahiti, one married a Mr. Hall and was the mother of John Hall, who enjoyed a somewhat short career as a handsome movie star in Hollywood. The other married a French-Tahitian and was the mother of Augie Goupil, a popular Hollywood musician and Polynesian dancer in the 1930’s and 1940’s. I met Augie in California in 1938 a few years before he died.”