Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - 95

raucous and improvisatory
styles of jazz."
In addition to being in
the vanguard by wielding
an electrified guitar, Hoopii
could boast other major career milestones. In 1922, he was
among a handful of pioneering
steelers to perform using the new
medium of commercial radio. In
'25, his first records were cut for
two of the earliest West Coast
record companies. He appeared
in several Hollywood film productions between '30 and '39,
and his countless recordings
(for Columbia, Brunswick and
Decca, among others) received
significant airplay on Hawaiianmusic radio shows across the
nation, and all around the world.
Thus, Hoopii became the major
popularizer of Hawaiian-guitar
sounds.
Hoopii had a profound influence on other musicians. One
of his greatest fans was the
noted guitar instructor, radio
performer, and music-shop
owner Paul H. Tutmarc
(1896-1972). Through
t he early years of
Hoopii's fame, Tutmarc purchased
the star's records,
and his son, Paul
"Bud " Tutmarc
(1924-'06), was
steeped in t his
music while growing up. In '42, Hoopii toured the Pacific
Northwest, and Paul,
Sr. attended a show,
introduced himself
af terward, and
invited Hoopii

Hoopii (with the B6) and Bud Tutmarc in a steel-guitar duet in 1952.

being stolen before he got a tip one day
that it was hanging above a cocktail bar
in Oakland. He and his wife, Anna, paid
a visit to the club, but even after explaining the situation to the manager/owner,
he refused to relinquish it... but that's a
whole 'nother story.
In 1931 - dawn of the age of the
"electrical guitar" - the Ro-Pat-In
company showed Hoopii a prototype
of their newfangled electrified "frying
pan" and asked him to demonstrate its
cutting-edge sounds at a lavish three-day
Hollywood party held to seduce investors. The ploy worked. The otherworldly
sounds emitted by the guitar caught
everyone's ears, and the party's ecstatic
host, Ted Kleinmeyer, ponied up a check
for $12,500, which allowed the firm to
gear up production and re-cast itself as
the Rickenbacher company. Circa 1935,
Hoopii acquired its latest - a Bakelite
plastic-bodied Electro String Model B.
Within a few years, however, he upgraded
to the '38 B-6.
Hoopii's career path was meteoric
and his unique skills brought great admiration and fame. As Hawaiian-music
historian T. Malcolm Rockwell once

noted, Hoopii "is acknowledged as being
the first Hawaiian to
combine the grace
and fluidity of the
Hawaiian style of
play ing w it h t he
Hoopii's '38
Rickenbacher B-6 bears
serial number C3667.
Note the strips of
white tape applied
to the fretboard.

September 2018

95

VINTAGE GUITAR


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open

Contents
Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - Cover
Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - IFC
Vintage Guitar - September 2018 - Open - 3
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