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Celebrating classic and modern Polynesian Pop

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We bought an Al Harrington record at a thrift store a while back and I was just wondering who is was. The record is pretty great...kinda cheesy but I like it. It is signed and everything! Just wondered if he was very popular. Any info?

T

Ah, yes. Al Harrington - The South Pacific Man. He was a Don Ho knock-off if I'm not mistaken. I have a couple of buckets with his mug (ha ha) on 'em.

B

I actually went to his show around '74. I was 11. I don't remember the hotel. It was on Waikiki Beack. I think he even appeared on Hawaii Five O.

B
B
DZ

Ah, yes... my man AL! Indeed AL is a lot like a "Don Ho, Jr.": He had long-running revues at both the Sheraton Polynesian Palace and the Hilton Hawaiian Village that were full of croonin' and dancin' and his own style of comedy and audience interaction. He was also a frequent guest star on many television shows (including a stint as 'Ben Kokua' on Hawaii Five-0). Before becoming "The South Pacific Man" (real name: Tauasu Ta'a, born in W. Samoa, hence 'South Pacific Man', not 'Hawaiian Man', I'd surmise), AL was an All-American high school football player, and later, a teacher of history at Punahou School (where he had been a scholar/athlete). I have a whole collection of AL stuff: from mugs, short glasses and tall glasses to autographed programs and albums, even a "Live On Stage" video of his show from 1984 (which has to be seen to be believed - it's a classic!), but I'm afraid I know nothing of his whereabouts today. I thought I read something about doing Shakespeare at some point, but I'm not sure...

BTW - this is obviously NOT the same Al Harrington that plays b-ball for the Pacers...

T

On 2003-02-07 19:22, Doctor Z wrote:

BTW - this is obviously NOT the same Al Harrington that plays b-ball for the Pacers...

Oh, great.

Another sporto with a Tiki name.

You know, whenever I have done web searched for 'Tiki Bar' I always get tons of links to Tiki Barber that I have to filter out.

Now you're telling m that I will also have to do the same if I want to research Al Harrington at any time in the future.

Man, what is it with these jocko homos putting a monkey wrench in our on-line Tiki research?

Wakiki- Hey, I've got an autographed "I Love This Land" LP by Harrington.
Not bad.

BonBon & Doc - Thanks for the info!

:sheckymug:

That's the same one that I was talking about Stingray! Thanks for all the info everyone. I had just never heard a lot about him before.

R

I am Al Harrington's daughter. No lie! I am the third child of four. I have two older brothers and a little sister. If you want to truely know who Al is you can email me at [email protected]. I agree the LP is cheesey. But defiantely they are fun memories for my family. I honestly can not believe that there are still LP's still in circulation. It blows me away. Just so you know my dad wrote the song I Love This Land about our home and my brothers. Thanks for giving me some laughs. I had to chuckle when I found my dad's name on a message board. Mahalo, Cass

my father-in-law gave me an al harrington mug for christmas. thanks for the history lesson!

Rawsco15,
Too cool you are the South Pacific daughter...
Please post your perspectives on your Pop for us here... I'm sure you must have a few stories we would all enjoy. How did you find this site?
Mahalo,
KG

Welcome, rawsco15, to Tiki Central! We hope to hear more from you about your dad & yourself.

rawsco15 wrote:
I am Al Harrington's daughter. No lie! I am the third child of four. I have two older brothers and a little sister. If you want to truely know who Al is you can email me at [email protected], Cass

Aloha Cass!
Well, instead of a bunch of emails, and since this thread was started in order to get some info on your dad, why don't you give us some info right here?! You can be as detailed or as vague as you like (but we're nosey, so details are better!) I'm sure questions will begin to be submitted as details are revealed.

Ok, I'll start with a question: BONBONVIC's link (above) is an article from 1996. What has Al been doing since 1996?

When I was a boy, my family went on vacation to Hawaii. It was 1982/83, I was to celebrate my 11th birthday there. One of the highlights (for me) was the Al Harrington show.

Though it's hard for me to remember much, I do remember a few of his jokes:

(Upon finding out that some of the audience members were from Canada):
"Oh yes! Canada...lovely place. I remember travelling through Canada and seeing signs that said "Clean Washrooms" at all the gas stations. I ended up cleaning 234 of 'em" (rimshot)

-Slacks

K
Kono posted on Mon, Oct 20, 2003 6:29 PM

When I first saw this thread I read it through because I have a couple of the South Pacific Man mugs and I didn't know anything about Al. I saw Doctor Z mention that he had a stint on Hawaii Five-O but I didn't think that much of it. Thought maybe he played the mayor or something.

Hawaii Five-O's on every afternoon and I tape it to watch after work. I'm watching one of the tapes this evening and I'm thinking "Where's Kono? Haven't seen him the last couple episodes."

I rewind to the opening credits and there he is! "Al Harrington as Ben." Apparently, Al replaced Kono. Where Kono's kind of the funny cop, Al...err...Ben's very serious. Very serious. Makes McGarrett look like Jerry Lewis. But he does a great job with the role. I'd seen him on a few episodes and 1) didn't realize he was Al Harrington, the South Pacific Man and 2) didn't realize that Kono had gone missing and Al was his replacement. I've gotta get hold of one of his albums now.

[ Edited by: Kono on 2003-10-20 18:30 ]

I know I'll probably come off as repeating everyone else, But Al Harrington was on Hawaii 5-0. I picked up the handless mug at a local junk shop for 50 cents about a year ago. Most of all that I felt was so cool, is my last name is Harrington. So imagine my excitement of seeing a tiki mug with my last name on it. (I've been collecting for about 3 years now.) Now if it hasn't been addressed, Harrington is an Irish name. And if Al Harrington's daughter is reading, I'd greatly appreciate an email from her. I'd like to hear of her Harrington branch of the family.

FYI-

Al Harrington will be in concert with Justin Young & K-2 on February 28, 2004 at The Taste of Hawaii in Norwalk. Arts & crafts booths will be there too (ok local carvers, are you going to reserve a space?).

Anyone going?

I emailed Al Harrington's daughter to see if she will come back here to TC to give us an update on her father too.

Details and concert info on the Hoity Toity button below.

T

I recently picked up two Al Harrington items in Bullhead City, AZ (though, curiously, one week apart and in separate thrift stores): the album, AL HARRINGTON: THE SOUTH PACIFIC MAN, signed, and a tan mug with bamboo-looking handle and dark-stained tiki figure on front, and "Al Harrington: The South Pacific Man -- Waikiki, Hawaii" on the back. I'm no tiki mug authority by a long shot but I have to say this is a pretty low-quality product. Still, thrilled to have it.

I've been fond of Al Harrington for a while, mostly as a Hawaii Five-O fan for starters. I think he did an excellent job in his role and it was good to have a Pacific Islander play a very straight, sharp character. ("Kono" was great, but there was something about the character, an overweight and sometimes less serious, joker-type, that was a bit stereotypical at times.)

As of this writing, http://www.imdb.com shows that Al H. is still very active and involved in current projects. By the way, I happen to have (most of) THE JEFFERSONS "go to Hawaii" episodes on video, and Al has a significant role in them. Very typical late '70s -- early '80s goofiness.

This is from a page of the most authoritative Hawaii Five-O fan site
( http://www.mjq.net/fiveo/fiveofaq.htm ):
**
Why did Al Harrington leave the series?
No reason was ever given for Ben's departure (or his arrival, for that matter!). However, during a 1996 Honolulu TV show about Five-O, Harrington said that he was chosen by Leonard Freeman to replace Zulu starting in the fifth season, despite the fact that Jack Lord "didn't approve" because Harrington was "too tall" or "too something." After Freeman died in early 1974, Harrington said "the writing was on the wall that I wasn't going to be there very much longer." He survived until the end of the seventh season, during which he appeared to be absent much of the time.
**
This "1996 Honolulu TV show" is included in the Hawaii Five-O season 1 box set, which has been discussed on tikicentral here:
http://www.tikicentral.com/viewtopic.php?topic=22002&forum=6&30

S

I just scored the Al Harrington album THE SOUTH PACIFIC MAN signed , along with Denny's EXOTICA and Jackie Gleason's MUSIC FOR LOVERS ONLY - a package deal for $ 8 ! All LPs EXC or better . Anybody heard / have the Harrington LP ?

My wife was the one to first post this topic. Over the years, I have listened to Al Harrington on tape, record, VHS, and on the backside, CD. I still collect Al Harrington stuff and I'm always looking for new stuff. One of these days I really need to get around to posting our collection of Al Harrington stuff...lots more then just the normal mugs. Funny, when we were down in Hawaii a few months ago, we were at a "Luau" with a band taking requests. So, being the person that I am, requested some Al Harrington. While really knowing that they probably did not know who he is, my expectations were met. They had no idea and went into some sort of "America the Beautiful" moment instead of "I love the land". Anyway, keep Al around, I wish his daughter still posted here, never heard back from her after a few PM's.

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