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Royal Hawaiian Serenaders - 1948

Royal Hawaiian Serenaders - 1948


Between 1948 and 1952, the Royal Hawaiian Serenaders were Waikiki's 'super group'. Featuring incredible four-part harmony with 2 falsetto parts, the Serenaders were consumate veteran professionals. The group members were, left to right, Tommy Castro (steel guitar and low-end vocals), George Ka'inapau (ukulele & falsetto vocals), Benny Kalama (standup bass & falsetto vocals), and Alvin Kaleolani Isaacs (guitar & mid-range vocals). For this photo shoot & gig, there is no power, so Tommy is playing a guitar. Before WWII, the older members had toured the mainland extensively: Tommy with Ray Kinney's Hawaiian Musical Ambassadors, George with both Ray Kinney and Lani McIntire, and Alvin with Harry Owens & his Royal Hawaiians. Benny was several years younger than the other 3 and had made a name for himself with Don McDiarmid's orchestra in Hawaii. Benny would go on to become the musical director of the Alfred Apaka show and later the "Hawaii Calls" radio show. This super group chose the name, "Royal Hawaiian Serenaders" because they formed to take a gig at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. From 1948-1952, they were indeed the toast of the town!

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