NATIVE HAWAIIAN MUSICIAN RAY KINNEY BORN—HAWAIIAN MUSIC HALL OF FAME
Born in Hilo, Hawaii, Ray & his brothers were sent to school in Salt Lake City, Utah, where they formed a band and toured the western US. In 1925, Ray played the lead in the opera Prince of Hawaii by Hawaiian composer Charles E. King. In 1928, he joined bandleader Johnny Noble. Together, they popularized Hawaiian music in the US and headlined at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. In 1934, Kinney joined bandleader Harry Owens and, in 1935, was on the 1st broadcast of the Hawaii Calls radio show. He then was in the Broadway revue Hellzapoppin, from 1938 until late 1941. In 1938, Kinney led his own orchestra and, in 1940, hired Alfred Apaka as his vocalist. During the war, Kinney toured military bases and clubs and was a favorite of Hawaii’s 442nd Regiment. Afterward, Ray joined Don McDiarmid’s Orchestra as vocalist & bass fiddle player. Kinney died on February 1, 1972 in Honolulu, Hawaii. In 2002, he was inducted into the Hawaiian Music Hall of Fame.
Sources: “Ray Kinney (1900-1972), 2002 Honoree. "Hawaiian Music and Musicians", the Kinney family, and Harry B. Soria, Jr., Hall of Fame Advisory Board archivist. Retrieved 1/8/2021, http://www.digitaldna.co.jp/hawaiianmusichalloffame/hmhof/honorees/2002/ray_kinney.html Wikipedia Billboard advertisement: Colonial Theare, 4/29/1943. Colonial Theater advertisement for the Ray Kinney show "A Salute from Hawaii" - 29 Apr. 1943 Morning Call, Allentown PA. Public Domain.