Wednesday, January 3, 2001
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Posted on: Wednesday, January 3, 2001

Show Biz
On the upbeat with Island musicians

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Editor

HAPPY TALK: Hapai days are here again for Glenn and Tammy Medeiros. He’s the hit-maker of "Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love for You" and music coordinator for "Baywatch Hawaii," and she’s into nails (finger kind, not hammer kind). A sibling for son Chord is due mid-year . . .

And the hurrahs for Israel Kamakawiwoole continue. Entertainment Weekly pegged eToys’ TV commercial, featuring Bruddah Iz’s humming refrain from "Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World" as one of the past year’s Top 10 best. As the mag put it about the TV spot: "The clincher: that swoonily catchy hum of music." Iz is not ID’d, but we know better . . .

Author Dean Koontz ("From the Corner of His Eye") says that Iz’s music was singularly the most inspirational source for writing his latest tome. Koontz’s previous best-sellers include "False Memory," "Intensity," "Icebound," "Sole Survivor" and "Seize the Night," and he joins a growing list of international notables infatuated by Iz’s tunes, including Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Olivia d’Abo, Jon Favreau, Benny Agbayani, Konishiki, Akebono, Musashimaru, and Zalman King . . .

The Kealii Reichel ohana is plenty happy: His "Melalana" CD landed the No. 15 spot on Billboard’s year-end World Music charts, which put the Islander in the company of Andrea Bocelli, Baha Men, Cirque du Soleil and Loreena McKennit. "Santa was good to us," exclaimed producer Jim Linkner . . .

ALL ABOUT EVE: Carole Kai of the Local Divas called from Hong Kong the other day, saying she and her cohorts Loyal Garner, Melveen Leed and Nohelani Cypriano caused a sensation at the Peninsula Hotel.

"The Peninsula traditionally stages an open-air New Year’s Eve concert," said Kai. The Divas were two numbers into a half-hour show when local police halted the performance, fearing crowd problems. "The crowds had swelled to 40,000, and the police closed us down because they thought there might be injuries and other problems," said Kai. "This left the Peninsula and the sea of people very upset." The Divas also did a Christmas Eve concert . . .

In Honolulu, Jimmy Borges and the Betty Loo Taylor All-Star Band drew an overflow house at the Kahala Mandarin Oriental — and at $245 per head, it was the town’s priciest way to celebrate 2001. Among those attending: Lala Schifrin, the film and TV composer ("Mission Impossible" is his most famous), Melinda Caroll (who sang) with her husband, the Ken Mortimers, the Gulab Watumulls, Kane Fernandez (with a party of 32), and two Honolulu Symphony honchos, board chairwoman Carolyn Berry and new executive director Stephen Bloom . . .

SHORTS OF SORTS: Pierce Carson, Napa Valley Register food, entertainment and travel writer, in for his 27th annual Island visit. He’s been making the rounds of eateries, including old faves like Compadres Bar & Grill and Orchids at the Halekulani and newcomers such as Pueblo . . .

Ben Dowling, g.m. of Nick’s Fishmarket, is no stranger to welcoming celebs. The beauty the other night: Miss America Angela Perez Baraquio . . .

And that’s Show Biz . . .

Wayne Harada writes Show Biz every Wednesday and Friday.

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