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Kui Lee Cancer Fund | Elvis Presley Aloha From Hawaii 1973


By: Elvis Australia
Source: www.elvis.com.au
January 10, 2019
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Kui Lee Cancer Fund

Eddie Sherman, was a journalist who wrote about celebrities for the Honolulu Advertiser, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and MidWeek in Hawaii. Sherman wrote that one of his biggest achievements was his involvement in the Elvis Presley concert broadcast worldwide from the Neal Blaisdell Center in 1973.

'I had started the Kui Lee Cancer Fund (thru my column) for a doctor at the UH doing cancer research. Lee was the legendary songwriter who died of cancer at 34. In the TV concert, Elvis sang Kui's most famous tune - 'I'll Remember You', to millions of global viewers. Thanks to Elvis and Col. Tom Parker, his manager, I received (for the fund) a check for $75,000 from the live concert gate. Because it was a television broadcast, there was no charge. The audience was allowed in via their own contributions. Some kids saw the show for only 10 cents. Next day, Elvis and the Colonel took out full-page newspaper ads thanking Hawaii'.

Kuiokalani 'Kui' Lee

Kuiokalani 'Kui' Lee (July 31, 1932 - December 3, 1966) was a singer-songwriter and the 1960s golden boy artist of Hawaii. Lee achieved international fame when Don Ho began performing and recording his compositions, with Ho promoting Lee as the songwriter for a new generation of Hawaiian music.

Lee was born in Shanghai, China. His entertainer parents Billy and Ethel Lee were of Scottish, Hawaiian and Chinese ancestry. Ethel died in 1936. Kui's widowed father took him back to Hawaii when he was five years old and enrolled him in the Kamehameha Schools. He later graduated from Roosevelt High School.

Lee worked as a knife dancer and choreographer in the Hawaiian Room of New York's Lexington Hotel.

There he met and married singer-hula dancer Rose Frances Naone Leinani, known to everyone as Nani. Nani returned to Hawaii with Kui and performed with him, as well as with Don Ho at Honeys. She also performed with Sterling Mossman, Tommy Sands, Sons of Hawaii and Zulu. Kui and Nani would have four children together - Wailana, Mahealani, Maile and Kimo

By 1961, he was working at Club Jetty in Nawiliwili, Kauai. He later went to work at Honeys in Kaneohe, owned by Emily 'Honey' Ho, mother of Don. The connection would launch a symbiotic relationship between Don and Kui that transcended Kui's early death. Recording Kui's songs made Don a star, and it was from Don's on-stage patter that most people learned of Kui Lee. Onstage, Don gave Kui full credit for creating island music for a new generation.

Kui Lee only achieved fame for his musical compositions toward the very end of his life. The Extraordinary Kui Lee was the only album released during his lifetime. Famous songs on that album included 'I'll Remember You' (brought into even greater fame by Don Ho, Elvis Presley and Makaha Sons of Ni'ihau), 'Days of my Youth' and 'Ain't No Big Thing'. All three became standards in Hawai'i.

Two other Hawaii entertainers, Lani Kai and Alex Kaeck, wrote and recorded a song in his honor, 'A Man Called Hawaii (The Legend Of Kui Lee)', that was released as a 45-rpm single by Palm Records (Palm P-1030). A 30-second clip may be heard from the Hawaiian Music Collection, held by the University of Hawaii's Hawaiian Music Collection.

Kui Lee had been battling lymph gland cancer when he died at the Guadalajara Hospital in Tijuana on December 3, 1966, at the age of 34. His ashes were scattered off Waikiki. In 1973, Elvis Presley gave the Aloha From Hawaii concert which raised $75,000 for the Kui Lee Cancer Fund, which had been created shortly before the concert by Hawaii veteran newspaper columnist Eddie Sherman, to fund the cancer research going on at the University of Hawaii. Kui's widow Nani Lee Meadows also died of cancer, on April 12, 2008.

Quick Links

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Articles about Elvis Presley Beyond The Reef | The Elvis Presley Hawaii Connection
Elvis Presley Video Elvis Presley in concert, Hawaii November 10, 1957
Interviews with or about Elvis Presley Elvis Presley Honolulu Stadium, Hawaii November, 10 1957
Articles about Elvis Presley Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite | Fact & Fancy

Aloha From Hawaii Press Conferences | 1972

Elvis Presley Video Elvis Presley | Aloha From Hawaii Press Conference: September 4, 1972
Elvis Presley Photos Aloha Press Conference: September 4, 1972
Elvis Presley Video Elvis Presley | Aloha From Hawaii Press Conference: November 20, 1972

Aloha From Hawaii | The Concerts

Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley | Arriving In Hawaii: January 9, 1973
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley | Aloha From Hawaii Rehearsal Concert: January 12, 1973
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley | Receiving an award, backstage: January 13, 1973, before his Aloha Concert
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley | Aloha From Hawaii January 14, 1973

Aloha From Hawaii | The Reviews

Articles about Elvis Presley Gold Crown awarded to 'King' Elvis | Review Aloha From Hawaii

Elvis Presley | 1973

January

Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley Hawaii | January 9, 1973
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley Aloha From Hawaii Rehearsal Concert | January 12, 1973
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley Hawaii | January 13, 1973
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley Aloha From Hawaii | January 14, 1973
Notes Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite | Fact & Fancy
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley Las Vegas | January 22, 1973
Articles about Elvis Presley The Elvis Presley Hawaii Connection

February

Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley and Jack Lord | Las Vegas | February 10, 1973
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley and Muhammad Ali | February 14, 1973
Notes Elvis Presley Las Vegas | February 18, 1973
Elvis Presley Photos Amazing Grace | Elvis Presley's Hilton suite, Las Vegas, NV | Friday, February 23, 1973

April

Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley Phone Bill | April 2, 1973
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley April 22, 1973 (3:00 pm). Phoenix, AZ.
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley April 24, 1973 | Anaheim, CA
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley April 26, 1973 | San Diego, CA.
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley April 28, 1973 | (3.00 pm) | Spokane, WA.
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley Center Arena, Seattle, Washington | April 29, 1973
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley with fans after arriving at the Seattle airport | April 29, 1973

June

Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley Municipal Auditorium | Mobile AL | June 20, 1973
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley 3pm Long Island Ny | June 23, 1973
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale | June 24, 1973
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley Cinncinnati, OH. | June 27, 1973

Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley Atlanta | Omni Coliseum | June 29, 1973
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley Atlanta | Omni Coliseum | June 30, 1973

July

Elvis Presley Photos Elvis and Lisa Marie Presley | Atlanta | July 1, 1973
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley Municipal Auditorium, Nashville, Tennessee | In Concert | July 1, 1973
Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley Atlanta | July 3, 1973

August

Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley The King's Court fan club | August 31, 1973

September

Elvis Presley Photos Elvis Presley September 3, 1973 | Caught In A Trap
Elvis Presley Photos Tom Jones and Elvis Presley shake hands | On stage, September 4, 1973

October

Elvis Presley Photos Elvis and Priscilla Divorce Court Appearance | October 9, 1973

CD Releases

CD. Elvis (Fool) FTD Special Edition 2 CD
CD. Raised On Rock - FTD Special Edition 2 CD

CDs | In Concert

CD. FTD Soundboard Recorded Concerts
CD. FTD Stereo Recorded Concerts

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