King. The opera began touring in California in 1926. In 1928 bandleader Johnny Noble chose Kinney among others to appear on his radio show. The show originated from station KPO in San Francisco and was basically an hour long promotion for Hawai’ian tourism. Later that year Brunswick Records signed Noble, with Kinney as one of the singers, to a contract that resulted in 110 singles being issued.
Those 78s and the show helped introduce and popularize Hawaiian music in the US mainland and lead to a national tour and then an 11 month engagement at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco… While working in a Taro factory in 1934, Kinney was approached by bandleader Harry Owens to join his orchestra for their opening at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Ray appeared on the premiere broadcast of Webley Edwards’ “Hawaii Calls” radio show from the Moana Hotel in July 1935. He regularly appeared on the show for a number of years. Decca Records signed Johnny Noble and His Orchestra, with Kinney as vocalist, to a contract in 1936. The “phenomenal” sales results kept them under contract for four years. Kinney became the first Hawai’ian entertainer to be in a major Broadway production when he and the “Aloha Maids” were cast in the Olsen and Johnson Broadway revue “Hellzapoppin’” in September 1938. The show lasted 1,404 performances and ran until December 1941.
1938 also saw Kinney beat out the likes of Rudy Vallée and Guy Lombardo in a New York popularity poll of American singers as well as begin a four year stint in the “Hawaiian Room” of New York’s Hotel Lexington leading his own orchestra. Kinney also composed many songs during his career including “Across the Sea,” “Not Pau,” “Hawaiian Hospitality,” “Maile Lau Li`ili`i,” “Island Serenade”, “Kalapaki Bay”, “Ululani”, and “Leimana.” Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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