Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Born Today September 2: Queen Lilioukalani

Queen Lilioukalani 1838-1917

Born Lydia Lili'u Walania Wewehi Kamaka'eha on September 2 1838, she was also known as Lydia Kamaka'eha Paki, her married name was Lydia K. Dominis, with Lilioukalani being her chosen royal name (that;s a lot of names!!).  She was the last sovereign monarch of the united Hawaiian islands.  So you might ask what she is doing on a silent film blog--probably assuming that there is documented archival film footage of her, and there well may be--but none that I have discovered so far.  Interestingly she is here for credit writing one of the most famous songs from the islands Aloha 'Oe.  It has been used, according to IMDb dozens upon dozens of times in movies since 1927.  Okay, so if this is a soundtrack entry, why is it on a blog about silent film?  Well, because in the silent era, there were a number of sound film experiments and the first credit for this song being used in a movie was just that sort of film.  It's what I like to call "Not So Silent Wierdness" That film was Modern Song And Syncopation.  The sound was by Vitaphone, who had a history of experimental sound films prior to 1927.  I have not found any evidence that the film has survived unfortunately--I love this sort of stuff.  You can listen to the song below.  Interestingly she shares as birthday with actor Keanu Reeves who is also of Hawaiian Native ancestry. She is interred in Hawai'i's Royal Mausoleum in Honolulu, along with other members of the royal house of the United Islands.

Experimental Sound Films & Earliest Talkies

Modern Song And Syncopation 1927

Alibi 1929 (early talkie MovieTone sound)

Jungle Rhythm 1929 (Mickey Mouse animation, Powers Cinephone Sound System)

The Bishop Murder Case 1930 (talkie, Western Electric System sound)

The Unholy Three 1930 (talkie, Western Electric Sound System) [this was a talkie that featured silent acting god Lon Chaney Sr.]

Feet First 1930 (a Harold Lloyd talkie, Western Electric]


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