Israel Kamakawiwoʻole

Last night I went to a book release reading for Facing Future about the album & life of the extraordinary Israel “Iz” Kamakawiwoʻole. It was great to be surrounded by people who have been inspired by his music and life.

He is most well known for his rendition of somewhere over the rainbow where he essentially bests Judy Garland at her own game. I know, that is an incredible statement, but if you do not believe me listen below.


Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole incredible version of Somewhere over the Rainbow

Yep, he somehow makes the song better.
There is both a somberness and over riding hopefulness to his rendition that I feel echoes my situation perfectly. He recorded his album Facing Future while facing dire medical threats. He set out to make this album, to complete it before he died. I have to say, I get that urge very much right about now…

Hearing this song last night, performed by ukulele artists who basked in the glow of his legacy’s presence was incredible and inspiring. This is easily going in my world tour playlist.

About Randy

I'm just a guy trying to out run his dying kidneys and live life as vibrantly as possible. Until I can't. I grew up in Tejas. Went to school in Vermont. And currently live in Brooklyn. But not for long....
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3 Responses to Israel Kamakawiwoʻole

  1. Kara says:

    Hey Randy- Quite a few years ago when I was learning to play the uke, I stumbled upon Israel Kamakawiwoʻole. And I totally agree. He shines “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” into a new realm of perfection.

  2. Peggy says:

    i’ve loved this version…for i don’t know how long. never knew who sang it. thanks.

  3. Ben says:

    A bit late to comment on this, but I can barely listen to this song without tearing up. Ever.

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