There are some songs that just seem to be played on a continuous basis and we may hear them every day. One of those songs is “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” and, although we may hear it often, we might not know who performed the most popular version that plays on the radio. It’s a story, however, that is quite interesting.
The song was sung by a Hawaiian artist, Israel Ka’ano’i Kamakawiwo’ole. Not only is he known as a singer with a beautiful voice (they called him the Gentle Giant), he played the ukulele as well. He also was a large man and many people were surprise that a man with such a large frame could have such a soft voice.
Unfortunately, the fact that he was a large man eventually was his downfall. Because he was obese, he had a number of respiratory and cardiac issues and eventually, he died at the age of 38. What he was able to contribute to the Hawaiian culture and to all of us who love his music will never be forgotten.