The Ukulele Friends Ohana at Area 51 41511
The UFOs meet every Friday at a secret location usually referred to as Area 51. It is, of course, a private party and privacy must be respected. However, Night Beat has obtained permission to tell about the kanikapila, which is a music party involving ukulele playing and singing with emphasis on Hawaiian music. It’s also a pot luck dinner which is taken after about a dozen songs have been played.
There’s usually about 20 singer players participating and it makes a wondrous sound with all the voices. There are also several skilled hula dancers who jump right in whenever the right songs are played.
Squadron Leader (SQL) Del Medina refers to each player as a pilot and the group frequently undertakes away missions for various other parties and club appearances.
Tonight the first set features many of the traditional Hawaiian songs plus a few of what is called hapa haole songs. These are songs which may be of or about Hawaii, but don’t spring directly from Hawaiian tradition.
Anyway, SQL Medina calls out the songs which the pilots find in their flight manuals which have the chords and words for about 200 songs.
First off is Amelia Earhart’s Last Flight which recounts the last hours the fearless lady on her tragic flight. Then some Elvis tunes like Blue Hawaii and Can’t Help Falling In Love. Just to make sure, Blue Hawaiian Moonlight finishes the King’s set.
Several hulas are then played including Hanalei Moon and Koke’e written by Bob Nelson and Dennis Kamakahi respectively. There are also a bunch of Hawaiian songs with moving rhythms. In A Canoe and Manuela Boy come to mind. Theres also My Little Grass Shack, which never fails to generate excietment.
After dinner volunteer pilots take the stage in groups of one to four and give their renditions of special songs they have prepared for the night. These usually follow a theme.
The theme tonight was songs about mothers and this created some humorous offerings as well as poignant ballads and even a couple hymns. For instance Little Egypt was humorous and Farther Along was poignant.
There were many more songs culminating in Ahi Wela/Lover Of Mine/Aloha ‘Oe, a beautiful mashup of Hawaiian treasures. Alohas were exchanged and everyone left. They would all meet again the next day at the Sleeping Lady Cafe where they play every Saturday at 2PM.
to learn more about the UFOs, go to
or to see them on You Tube
the Ukulele Baby Songbook is at
For booking contact Del Medina at