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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, May 9, 2010

Add high school graduate to Kamae's stellar resume


By Wayne Harada

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser
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Eddie Kamae, accomplished award-winning musician, composer, singer and documentary film-maker, will earn perhaps his most cherished laurel when he joins the 2010 graduating class of Farrington High School to pick up his diploma on May 22.

Kamae, 82, best known as the founder of the Sons of Hawai'i, has waited more than six decades to finally make the grade, so to speak, so he'll march with his fellow Governors wearing his trademark palaka shirt, but in his alma mater's maroon-and-white colors to acknowledge his feat. Very belatedly, since he was supposed to be a 1944 grad.

"When I was at Farrington, I was really kolohe," Kamae said. "I was kicked out at one point; I kept going back (but) I fell one credit short. It seems like it was just yesterday that I was sitting in the principal's office getting a scolding."

Without his diploma, he felt hollow. "Followed me through life, to this very day," he said. "It only took me 65 years but I wanted to finish what I started. When I put on my maroon and white, it will take me back to those innocent days and remind me that if you really want something bad enough, you can make it happen and dreams really come true." ...

NAMES 'N' FACES: No idle time for "American Idol" finalist Jordan Segundo, who will guest-perform at an Arnel Pineda concert Aug. 1 at the Blaisdell Arena. Pineda is the Filipino native who now is lead singer of Journey. Segundo can be seen on Hawaiian Telcom's new TV spot, is on a statewide Adult Friends for Youth and D.A.R.E. tour this month, and is just back from Las Vegas where he performed at a Lei Day Festival in Las Vegas and did an impromptu guest spot with Filipino songbird Lani Misalucha (doing "Unchained Melody" following a couple's marriage proposal) at the "Voices" show at the Las Vegas Hilton. ...

Singer Afatia Thompson, touted by Atlanta-based Royal Records honcho Herman Little III as a future mainstream star at a recent showcase at Twist at Hanohano, atop the Sheraton Waikiki hotel, previewed his sultry, smooth R&B sounds. Turned on Polynesian power, too, with a Sāmoan number, attracting Tihati Production bros who jumped in dancing. Afatia sang "Ho'onanea," too, with wife Nicole four months' pregnant with their fourth child joining in on hula. ...

ITEMIZATIONS: Once a teacher, always a teacher. When Keith Haugen emceed the Hawaiian Music Karaoke Contest at the Manoa Ballroom, he taught fans how to pronounce "karaoke." "It is not 'carry okie,' like you hear on the Mainland," he said. He thinks contest organizer Walter Omori should rename the competition "Hawaiian Idol." ...

At Mānoa DNA's Loco Moco Sunset concert in Japan, three or four women of a Japan hula hālau dashed on stage to stuff yen bills down the shirts of Lloyd Kawakami and sons Alex and Nick. "Everyone was so shocked, that Nick even forgot lyrics to his song," dad said. ...

And that's Show Biz. ...