To many collectors, the Hawaii Record Fair is a gold rush.
Organized by Dennie Chong and Ward Yamashita, owners of Hungry Ear Records, the three-year-old fair has brought out hundreds of thousands of vinyl to Oahu’s collectors and appreciators. Roger Bong, founder and DJ behind Aloha Got Soul (a sonic love letter—and soon, a record label—to Hawaiian soul, funk, rare groove, jazz, disco), says the fair is “the best place to buy records in Hawaii, period.”
But with rows and rows of tables stacked with boxes full of records, it can be overwhelming. So we asked Bong to help us narrow it down with five picks he considers must-buy-on-sight albums. Here they are, followed by explanations from Bong:
1. Paradise - “Don’t Touch The Merchandise”, from the LP: Paradise
Ho wow, lau lau! Contagious, catchy jam sung by 10- to 12-year-olds. Don’t be discouraged by the cover.
2. Mel Cabang - “Skinny Wahine”, from the LP: CABANG!
So funny, so ridiculous.
3. Cecilio - “Old Enough”, from the LP: Maybe Tonight
Oh, the irony. (We should’ve seen it coming…)
4. Loyal Garner - “Shave Ice”, from the LP: Island Feelings
An anthem for all locals.
5. Kalapana - “The Hurt” - from the LP: Kalapana
Show this one to your parents; they’re probably gonna bust out their old record collection for you because of the wave of nostalgia you just created…
The Hawaii Record Fair opens on Sunday, July 27, in the McKinley High School Cafeteria, 1039 S. King St., at 10am (early admission, 9am).