October 29, 2010

DEPENDS WHAT THE MEANING OF IZ IS:

Germans Are 'Over The Rainbow' for Iz : Thirteen years after Hawaiian star Israel "IZ" Kamakawiwo'ole, died at the age of 38, his recording of "Over the Rainbow" has gone platinum in Germany. His music is also inspiring a new love of the ukelele. (Mary Beth Warner, 10/29/10, Der Spiegel)

It's a song, and a story, both poignant and melancholy. Hawaiian singer Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, more affectionately known as "IZ," or the "gentle giant," recorded a cover of Judy Garland's "Over the Rainbow" in 1993. Four years later, he died at the age of 38 of weight-related illness. More than 10,000 came to his funeral, and his coffin lay in state in the Capitol building in Honolulu. It was the first time a non-politician in the aloha state had received the honor.

Softly strumming the ukulele, and with a voice both warm and inviting, IZ sang: "Somewhere over the rainbow, bluebirds fly. And, the dreams that you dreamed of, dreams really do come true."

Now, half way around the world from his island home, Germans find themselves singing along.

IZ's version of "Over the Rainbow" was released in Germany by Universal Music and B1 Recordings on Sept. 3. Since then, it has reached No. 1 on the charts and achieved platinum status, having sold more than 300,000 copies in the country, the fourth largest music market in the world.



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Posted by Orrin Judd at October 29, 2010 11:09 AM
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