Cecilio Rodriguez©2005JCMarion


Despite the common misconception that Cecilio Rodriguez is a native Hawaiian, he was actually born in Santa Barbara, California. As a young teenager he decided to follow music as his dream vocation. In Santa Barbara during his high school years, he formed his first band and continued in this direction during college. Moving to Los Angeles, Rodriguez hoped to find a way to advance his career in music. While in L.A. he met with Anthony Gourdine, known professionally as "Little Anthony" and was lead singer of the vocal group The Imperials. This group was a big hit making unit during the golden years of "doo wop" music in the later fifties and continued on in the mid sixties helped by some great songs and direction by Teddy Randazzo another hit maker from the fifties (The Three Chuckles). Gourdine was impressed by what he heard and soon hired Rodriguez as both guitarist and musical director of the group on its national tours. Rodriguez stayed with Little Anthony & The Imperials on the oldies circuit for a number of years soon having his own segment of the show as a solo performer and an opening act for the group.

 

Cecilio then joined a musical group called Poverty Train which featured a Latino style of contemporary music. They got to play Hawaii where they impressed none other than Don Ho. Cecilio was also impressed - with the island state of Hawaii and thought he would like to become a permanent resident. It was then that Rodriguez met up with Hawaiian musician Henry Kapono in early 1973 after a number of people told him that he was a natural to team up with the Hawaiian. Soon both musicians agreed to team up and so the musical duo Cecilio & Kapono was born. The duo sometimes known as "C and K" remained together into the early eighties. By 1981 the duo had broken up and Cecilio Rodriguez went back to being a solo performer. He recorded a solo CD in 1983 called "Maybe Tonight" and then waited twelve years before recording another CD called "Storybook : Then And Now". After a lapse of nearly twenty years Cecilio & Kapono joined musical forces again and provided fans and new listeners alike with a modern take on their combined talents. In 2003 Cecilio recorded a solo CD collection of songs called "Sweet Surprise" which was released in 2004.

 

The legacy of the C & K years is a great part of the history of Hawaiian music. Their early recordings were very well received. The albums "Cecilio & Kapono" and "Elua" made them household names in Hawaiian music and then the 1977 album "Night Music" was a multi winner at the first presentation of the Na Hoku Hanohano awards ("Hawaiian Grammy") in 1978. The album won for Best Contemporary Album, Best Composer, and Best Engineering. One year later the C & K album "Life's Different Now" repeated the award for the Best Contemporary Album. In 1989 the retrospective album called "Good Times Together" was a huge winner with five top awards - Album Of The Year, Contemporary Album, Song Of The Year, Group Of The Year, and Best Engineering. In 2004, the duo got together again and their CD called "Lifetime Party" won for Best Contemporary Album. Other albums by the pair include "Live At The Shell" from 1982, "The First Noel" from the mid eighties, "Summerlust" in 1992, the retrospective albums "Journey Through The Years" and "The Journey Continues" from the late nineteen nineties, and the thirty year anniversary CDs "Lifetime Party" volumes 1 and 2 in 2004.

 

Cecilio Rodriguez continues to excel as a source of musical excellence both as a solo performer and a member of the reunited duo with Henry Kapono. He remains a vital part of the music of Hawaii and the world.

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