Although I’ve always had a soft spot for this song, I hadn’t shed a tear over it until recently. However, Big Iz helped me out. I’ve never heard a voice as beautiful as hers. You’ll understand what I mean after listening to the music. Israel Kaanoi Kamakawiwoole’s name was as intimidating as his size—and he lived accordingly.
‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World,’ a medley fashioned after the gentle, calm rhythms that celebrate island life, was written by Kamakawiwo’ole, a Hawaiian singer-songwriter.
There were various uses for the song, including in TV shows and advertisements, as well as on the soundtracks for the films «Meet Joe Black» and ‘Son of the Mask’. In 1993, the song was published as ‘Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World.’
The entrance was much more than a music bed to Kamakawiwo’ole, also known as Iz, Big Iz, or The Gentle Giant. Native Hawaiian culture was losing its clout in the hands of the tourist industry, and Iz’s exquisite falsetto designated his music as the representation of that tradition.
As early as the age of 11, Iz was able to tell that the present music of Hawaii wasn’t Hawaiian. ‘Facing Future,’ his most successful record, went double platinum, and was followed by four more studio albums and four more compilations.
There’s an island vibe to all of them because to the state motto’s inspiration, a bright, peaceful ukulele. ‘The vitality of the country,’ it adds, ‘is perpetuated in justice.’
Obesity would have a negative impact on Iz’s health; he died in 1997 at the age of 38 weighing almost 1,000 pounds. ‘I think this is going to sound kind of funny, but I’m not terrified for myself for dying, since I believe all these locations are transient,’ Iz once stated, according to WBUR News. Because we Hawaiians exist in two worlds, this is simply one shell. ‘It’s in our blood’
Thousands of mourners attended Iz’s funeral and cremation rites. As far as we know, he is the first non-government official from Hawaii whose corpse has been laid to rest in the nation’s capital. He is still remembered today, despite the fact that he was only here for a short time.
Iz is a favorite of mine. What is your favorite of his songs? Please let us know in the comments, and please forward this to your relatives and friends so that we may continue to honor his memory!