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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Bart Bascone, 55, Island songwriter

By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Writer


Bartolome "Bart" Bascone, a veteran Island musician, conductor, composer and arranger best known for his novelty song "Who Is the Lolo (Who Stole My Pakalolo)," which Don Ho recorded and made a radio hit, died July 22 in Kihei, Maui.

He was 55.

Bascone wrote and performed "Goin' to Molokini" on a "Home Grown" album in 1997. Other signature tunes included "Makapu'u" and "Lucky Livin' in Hawai'i," which shared his fondness for the Islands. He also created a number of commercial jingles for such clients as Caesars Cleaners in Honolulu and Marcos Restaurant on Maui.

"He had the biggest heart; he was always giving; a guy who never said no," said comedian Mel Cabang, who befriended Bascone years ago. "Whenever I went to Maui, he would sit in (and do music) with me."

Bascone had a long and varied career in the Islands and on the Mainland. By trade, he was a guitarist, but he favored arranging tunes for performers including Keali'i Reichel, the Makaha Sons, Teresa Bright, Uluwehi Guerrero, Yvonne Elliman and Cabang.

He was enlisted as musical conductor for nightclub and showroom performer Dick Jensen, and worked with Jensen in Hawai'i and Las Vegas. The pair also performed on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Bascone often credited his mentor, Don Costa, who arranged scores of songs and albums for Frank Sinatra, for much of his success.

Bascone is survived by his sister, Judy Hemingway, nieces and nephews, and his companion of 22 years, Lorna Silkwood.

Services are pending, but a "celebration of life" is planned for mid-August in Kihei, followed by scattering of ashes off Maui.