Hawaiian Music Legend Palani Vaughan Died 12/8/16

Palani Vaughan

Palani Vaughan, testifying at the hearing for SR 124/SCR 163 commemorating and honoring the life of Robert William Kalanihiapo Wilcox, an enduring patriot and advocate for the rights of native Hawaiians, who served as Hawaii’s first elected representative to the United States Congress.

“Hawaiian music legend Palani Vaughan died Thursday at the age of 72. Vaughan, inducted into the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame in 2008, is best known for albums honoring King David Kalakaua. He formed the “King’s Own” and began to study, compose, publish, record, and perform tributes to Kalakaua and Hawaii’s monarchy, recording four albums in the 1970s and early 1980s in honor of Kalakaua…. Vaughan’s most important legacy as a songwriter and recording artist is his four-album series honoring Kalakua…. Vaughan’s albums corrected the politically driven misrepresentation of Kalakaua’s character and documented his commitment to preserving and perpetuating traditional Hawaiian culture, embracing modern technology, and defending the Hawaiian people…. While the third and fourth ‘Ia ‘Oe E Ka La’ albums received Hoku Awards, he received the Hawai‘i Academy of Recording Arts Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006” (Leila Fujimori, “Hawaiian Music Legend Palani Vaughan Dies,” Star-Advertiser, 12/8/16).

Palani Vaughan

Palani Vaughan and the Wilcox ‘Ohana at the hearing for SR 124/SCR 163.

Comment by Elizabeth Keka’aniauokalani Moreno (12/10/16): “Mr Vaughan’s passing has come as a shock to many. I’m sure he will be greatly missed by all who knew him. My deepest sympathy goes out to his family. He had a great spirit about him, and I, as a member of the Wilcox and La’anui family, will never forget his passion to learn, teach, and share. He still had so much more to do and was the reason SR 124/SCR 163 was proposed. My family hopes his efforts for this proposal will not be lost and will instead move forward in the near future as he thought deserving of my Great Great Grandfather, Robert Kalanihiapo Wilcox.”

Note from Senator Shimabukuro: “I am deeply saddened by the loss of our beloved Palani Vaughan. I have enjoyed working with him on various issues at the legislature.  I was always struck by how even in a simple email, his words read like the lyrics of a song. His son, Kilipaki, is my friend and classmate, and my heart and sympathy go out to the Vaughan ‘Ohana.”

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