In the wee hours of 1988, a remarkable moment unfolded in a recording studio when Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, compelled by an urgent desire, made an unexpected 3 am call. Bursting with creativity and determination, he arrived within 15 minutes, astonishing studio owner Milan Bertosa with his imposing presence. Milan recalled, “And in walked the largest human being I had ever seen.”


A security guard promptly provided a sturdy steel chair to accommodate Israel’s 500-pound frame. With efficiency and professionalism, Milan swiftly set up microphones, ensuring everything was in place for the recording. After a brief sound check, the recording commenced, and Israel, without hesitation, delivered a flawless rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” in a single, mesmerizing take, captivating all present.

This extraordinary moment showcased Israel’s unparalleled talent and highlighted his remarkable dedication to his craft. Despite his size’s late hour and logistical challenges, Israel’s passion and commitment shone through, leaving an indelible mark on all who witnessed his performance.

Join us in celebrating the enduring legacy of Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, whose timeless music inspires and uplifts hearts worldwide. Experience the magic of his music and discover the beauty of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” like never before.


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