Veteran player Lloyd Green, one of the most recorded steel players in history, got his start when an Oahu salesman stopped at his home in Mobile, Alabama.

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Other Los Angeles tiki bars, like the Tonga Hut in North Hollywood or the 12-stool Tiki-Ti’s on Sunset, may offer a more unique experience, but Trader Vic’s has succeeded in establishing a Polynesian worldwide standard.

The interior, the cocktails, and, most of all, the music, have become synonymous with how we conceive of Hawaiian, or South Sea Island, culture.

A reported 17 million people visited the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exhibition in San Francisco, with the Hawaiian pavilion being one of the most popular attractions.

Though there had been Hawaiian musicians at expositions on the mainland from the late nineteenth century on, the PPIE is often cited as the event that started the Hawaiian craze.

Amid the efficient displays of black and silver-bodied cameras, the guitars were as prominent as hot rods in a limousine parking lot. With the bar in his left hand, he tuned, played a lick, tuned again, played another lick. Mitsuo Fujii—the Japanese cowboy.” He sat down at the guitar.

“Nice, but that’s too much guitar,” he said, switching to a cherry-red Sho-Bud. “This is it,” John said, playing a few country licks.The mania for the Hawaiian sound was arguably the first multimedia-driven music phenomenon, successfully disseminated by traveling performers, radio, recordings (some Edison cylinders are of Hawaiian groups), and mail-order catalogues that sold not only instruments but instruction manuals and gear.Interest was sustained by the efficient marketing of teaching studios like the Honolulu Conservatory of Music, run by the Oahu Publishing Company, which offered guitars and related products, multiple levels of instruction, and guitar clubs.The back of the building was windowless, like a fortress; the parking lot of buckled asphalt was deserted. ” He went into the back and came out with a mid-sized amp.I knocked three times on the back door, sending flakes of gray paint feathering away from the steel. I wanted to touch the guitars, but didn’t dare, contenting myself with meandering around the store and pretending to look at cameras. He arrived a few minutes later, nodded hello, and wasted no time in getting to the business at hand—testing out the instruments in the room.It’s light.” Silvio brought out the Excel’s velvet-lined flight case.