The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #2739   Message #2712566
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
30-Aug-09 - 09:19 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua, HI
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua, HI
"My Little Grass Shack....." was based on the popular melody, "Back in Hackensack, New Jersey," composed by Art Beiner and Dan Russo in 1924.

The two malihini, Harrison and Cogswell, sang it at the Kona Canoe Races, July 4, 1933 and later in Honolulu.
The story is that they they took the song to Johnny Noble. Noble, afraid of everybody having used it, "revised the music sufficiently to give it almost a new melody line." Noble did not change Cogswell's words, which had a 'nostalgic' appeal.
Noble published the song, giving credit to Harrison and Cogswell. In his "Notes on Hawaiian Music," Noble states: "The first two thousand copies sold locally went like hot cakes- the demand for the song was too great. I ordered another two thousand and they too were sold out within a few weeks."
Noble sent a copy to Ted Fio Rito, whose orchestra was playing at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Played on his radio program, it became a smash hit.
Publishers scrambled for the rights, and the song was turned over to the Sherman Clay Co. in San Francisco for an advance royalty of $500.

George S. Kanahele, 1979, "Hawaiian Music and Musicians," pp. 261-262, Univ. Hawai'i Press, Honolulu.

Lyrics posted by Shula in 1997 are correct.