Henry Kailimai

Home » Profiles » Henry Kailimai
Henry Kailimai

Catherine is the great-granddaughter of Henry Kailimai, the composer of many popular hapa-haole (half English) songs. His most famous composition is On the Beach at Waīkikī. He was a member of the Royal Hawaiian Band, leading a small group of band members to entertain at the Hawaii Exhibit during the Panama Pacific International Exposition held in San Francisco 1915.  Henry Ford, the carmaker, was fond of Hawaiian music. He became a sponsor of the group and upon the completion of the exposition, moved the Kailimai family to Detroit, Michigan. Henry Kailimai also collaborated with Jerome Kern on a Broadway musical comedy, Very Good Eddy. While living in Detroit, Henry Kailimai and his associates played for many events under the name of Ford’s Hawaiians, including playing at the wedding of Thomas Edison’s daughter.