Frank Luna, of Luna Recorded Archives, is now the owner of Ernie Menehune's master recordings.
Menehune, a Tucson Music Hall of Fame member, is best known for performing Polynesian music. (See "Polynesian Legend" here.)
Luna says he was 8 years old when he first heard Menehune's music. After Menehune moved to Tucson in 1974, Luna went to performances with his parents at Spanish Trail (off Interstate 10). Luna himself became involved in music and says he's a broadcast veteran and a former DJ.
Now, with the ownership of Menehune's recordings, he says it makes him a record producer. He also owns masters of local bands, including Southern Wind.
Luna says he's working with recording engineer Lee Furr to put Menehune's music in digital format. "I want it to sound identical to how it sounded (on the record) in 1964. It's important to produce the warm sound."
The first record to be released on CD will be Back to Aloha Land. Luna anticipates a late-February to early-March release.
"This is something I feel is long overdue," says Luna. "The tapes from the mid-'60s have not seen the light of digital." He hopes to bring Menehune's music to a whole new generation of listeners. "You can't help but to get happy and be happy listening to his music," says Luna. "It's the next best thing to going to Hawaii."
Luna is taking advance orders. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.