Business Standard

Hawaiian music advocate, animation composer dead


IANS Honolulu
Jack de Mello, a giant in native Hawaiian music and composer for various Hanna-Barbera Productions animated series including "The Flintstones" and "The Jetsons", is dead. He was 102.
He died on April 27 in Las Vegas, reports
A composer, arranger, producer and recording artist, de Mello melded Hawaiian melodies with orchestral arrangements. He recorded close to 160 albums, including almost 500 Hawaiian songs.
"He was the dad of dads. He was always able to explain anything with wit and humour and was an encyclopaedia on any subject. When it came to music, I saw him compose music on the kitchen table with no piano during a conversation over dinner. His talent was limitless," son Jon de Mello said in a statement.
Born on November 15, 1916, in Oakland, California, de Mello joined the staff band at the CBS radio network and later served as a musical director at ABC and NBC. He then entered the Army as a bandmaster at Camp McQuaide in California.
As musical director of the top-rated radio show "Beat The Villian," de Mello hired the Society Band, led by Joe Reichman.
His biggest productions were commissioned projects, including "Songs of Hawaii's Golden People" and "The Wonderful World of Aloha". In 1966, he issued a multi-record project, "The Music of Hawaii: From the Missionaries through Statehood", that inspired sequels that continued the story.
He was given a Hoku Award in 2004 for his work as producer of an anthology of recordings by Keali'iwahamana.
He also received the Sidney Grayson Award, the predecessor of the Hawai'i Academy of Recording Arts Lifetime Achievement Award in 1982.
In addition to his son, de Mello is survived by his wife, Ilse, and granddaughter Kamokila de Mello.

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First Published: Apr 29 2019 | 1:52 PM IST

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