UH-West Oahu to house complete Don Ho collection

Video still of Don Ho on "The Joey Bishop Show" in 1968 courtesy UH-West Oahu

The University of Hawaii-West Oahu announced Monday that it has recently acquired the complete collection of the late entertainer Don Ho’s films, videos and personal memorabilia from the Donald Tai Loy Ho Trust.

The extensive collection includes archival film and video footage and related personal memorabilia from the early 1960s through 2007, and will be housed in the Uluulu Archive’s permanent collection.

“Cataloging and digitizing the collection broadens the opportunity to showcase the significant relevance of Don Ho’s legendary 50-year career for posterity,” said a trustee.

Archive staff received more than 150 boxes of mixed-media material and are currently admitting and documenting intake of the extensive collection. The archivists will catalogue and digitize the media and make the files available for streaming online.

The physical materials of the collection will be stored in Uluulu’s unique temperature and humidity-controlled electronic vault at UH-West Oahu.

“So far, we have come across thousands of reels spanning decades of Don Ho’s career, including videotape recordings of the ‘Don Ho Show’ that aired daily from 1976-1977,” head archivist Janel Quirante said.

One highlight of the Don Ho collection is “Singer presents Hawaii-Ho!” starring Don Ho, the first-ever color television special to be produced entirely on location in Hawaii.

The collection will take more than one year to process and digitize, after which it will be made available for viewing and research by the public through the University of Hawaii library system.

Born in Kakaako, raised in Kaneohe, and a graduate of Kamehameha Schools and the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Don Ho became an international Hawaiian singing sensation in the 1960s and 1970s and remained a Waikiki showroom fixture until he passed away in 2007. He released his most famous hit song “Tiny Bubbles” in 1966.

To watch a segment of the “Singer presents Hawaii-Ho!” TV special from 1968 courtesy of the archive, click here.

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