James Shaw: First Rewrite

…which I know won’t be the last!

Shortly after publishing my epic 3-part article “The James Shaw Family: A Hawaiian Musical Dynasty” barely two months ago, I finally received a high-resolution scan of a crucial piece. Yes, the rare, smoking gun trade card of the Volcano Singers – the first to perform in America at a World’s Fair (Chicago, 1893)!

volcano singers-horiz72-carr

With a huge thank you to its owner, Jeff Carr, we now have much clearer detail to study and identify these historic musicians. The first result was that I was quickly able to resolve a major mis-identification (that had come from an unsuspected 100-year-old publishing goof-up).

Meanwhile, Early Hawaiian Music expert Kilin Reece managed to dig out a couple new rare images of James Shaw and friends (below) that fleshed out a few more timeline details, while providing additional musician identifications. All “first time ever” stuff!  Wini Matteson also unearthed additional news clippings with additional missing timeline clues.


This only affected Part 1; for those who’ve gotten through it already, the updates include:

Rewriting of pp 8-9 (Volcano Singers identification), pp 26-27 (1899 Omaha Fair), pp 39-42 (new dates, info – I tweaked timeline, added details, names, postcards).

Tweaking of pp 14-15 (Wini Matteson’s find of a rare Report of the Hawaiian Historical Society).

I hope you can find the time to explore and support this additional invaluable history of early Hawaiian musicians.

  1. Sheri Mignano Crawford Says:

    I’m intrigued. Emilio Calamara was living in Chicago when they performed at the World’s Fair and went on to play in the Pompeo (another volcano) music group and learned to play Hawaiian guitar. This is great.

Leave a Comment


The Harp Guitar Foundation            The Harp Guitar Gathering®

History          Players         Music         Luthiers         Iconography         Articles 

 Forum                 About                Links                Site Map                Search               Contact

All Site Contents Copyright © Gregg Miner, 2004,2005,2006,2007,2008,2009,2010. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright and Fair Use of material and use of images: See Copyright and Fair Use policy.