♫♪  Paul Page - “Au-We, Wahine”

There’s no better soundtrack to a unusually sweltering evening in L.A. than good ol’ exotica, am I right? Or maybe it’s just me: having moved here from Poland, I still exotify the place left and right. There’s no denying, however, that the tiki bar, the loudly-decorated Polynesianesque drinking hole concept, originated in the City of Angels. It was in L.A. tiki bars that Paul Page, legendary exotica musician, “poet, pagan, and playboy,” honed his craft from the late 1930s to the mid 1960s, before moving to the Kona Coast of Hawaii. And now we get to hear the results in one nice, tidy compilation. As we recently reported, on July 27, Subliminal Sounds will present a comprehensive retrospective of Page’s music, titled Pacific Paradise.

Performing as the singer, piano player, and bandleader of Paul Page and his Paradise Music, Page was also a TV and radio personality, and, unless the press release is basically trolling me, a professional basketball player. Despite his busy nightly schedule entertaining in restaurants, he somehow found the time to record several independently-released albums, now extremely hard to come by. He was also reportedly the only exotica musician “to mix actual, authentic Hawaiian music and other Polynesian and Pacific Ocean influences, with the nomadic feel of the seafaring Anglo working sailor man and a sense of American pop sophistication, based in the jazz-age.”

Pacific Paradise is out next Friday, July 27, on CD and 2xLP, and will include a 32-page booklet of liner notes by pop historian Domenic Priore. For a taste of what to expect, listen to “Au-We, Wahine”:

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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