What's a Luau without Hawaiian music? Resist the urge to buy a cheap luau CD at the party store -- for about the same amount of money, you can download the songs on this playlist for you a nice mix of classics and modern gems from, or inspired by, Hawaii.
1. Somewhere Over the Rainbow/Wonderful World by Israel "IZ" Kamakswiwo'ole
The late Kamakswiwo'ole's island version of the "Wizard of Oz" starndard mixed with the Sam Cooke classic continues to capture the hearts of music fans and advertising executives everywhere. It's a natural choice for a backyard luau.
2. My Little Grass Shack by Don Ho
The 1966 Hawaiian Lounge classic that entertained tourists in Hawaii for decades still endures.
3. Pii Mai Ka Nalu by Robi Kahakalau
Hawaiian with a touch of country, this modern track is sunny and bright.
4. Rock-a-Hula by Elvis Presley
Elvis and Hawaii were a match made in heaven -- especially in the movie "Blue Hawaii," the film that featured this upbeat song.
5. Ka Uluwehi O Ke Kai by Hapa
This gem features stunning guitars and vocal harmonizing.
6. Dream a Little Dream by Teresa Bright
Bright's island version of the 1931 song made famous by Ozzie Nelson, Kate Smith and Cass Elliot (to name a few) has birds singing in the coconut trees, making it a lovely and familiar addition to your luau.
7. Hawaiian War Chant by Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys
The Ventures' version of this old standard is my favorite, but it's hard to find. This fun version -- your kids may recognize it from the movie "Surf's Up" -- is almost as good.
8. Volcano by The Hula Girls
The Hula Girls are actually four guys from California who play "hulabilly," a blend of rockabilly, surf and, of course Hawaiian. A super cool and fun luau tune!
9. Yellow Bird by Arthur Lyman
Atmospheric, instrumental 60s Hawaiian lounge music.
10. Keali'i Reichelby
Reichel's soothing voice will make you feel like your cares are floating away.