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Hawaiian Luau

Hawaiian Luau Musical Additions For Your Playlist

Music is a key factor in setting the mood at your party and should be planned with care. We have provided:
  • Guidelines for selecting songs for your playlist
  • Suggestions for a Hawaiian Luau party
Guidelines for Building Your Playlist

For any type of cocktail party it is strongly recommended that you prearrange a list of songs. Choose a mix of popular songs, recognizable standards, and your personal favorites. Here are our guidelines for selecting your playlist songs:
  • Choose upbeat tempos for a light and happy mood
  • Mix genres to appeal to all tastes
  • Vary styles to add interest
  • Contrast artists for diversity and to avoid sameness
and for a Hawaiian Luau party:
  • Interject tunes in the spirit of your theme about 1 every 20 minutes or every 5-6 songs. Do not play your theme music continuously, it gets old very quick.
  • Add humor and nostalgia for surprises & smiles
Edit your song list by:
  • Eliminating songs 4 minutes or longer
  • Include only one song per group or artist
For a dinner party, you may select a list of songs and play your list on shuffle.  You may consider a list for the pre-dinner cocktail hour and a separate list during dinner. 

For more about making a general playlist refer to Cocktail Party Planning: Making Music and Dinner Party Planning: Selecting the Music.

Musical Suggestions For A Hawaiian Luau

Apply the same rules above for selecting theme-related songs as for building your playlist.  Choose upbeat, fast tempos to maintain the party spirit. Do not include songs over 4 minutes long and incorporate only one song per any single artist into your playlist.

Generally look for a variety including:
  • Hit theme-related songs like Elvis Presley's Blue Hawaii
  • Hawaiian songs recorded by a popular artist, like Johnny Cash's Aloha Oe
  • Humorous songs, like The Gilligan's Island Theme
  • Hit songs by authentic Hawaiian artists, like Don Ho's Tiny Bubbles
  • Nostalgic/retro recordings, like Ray Conniff's Hukilau Song
  • Popular songs rerecorded with a Hawaiian feel, like Ukulele Picnic's New York, New York
  • Content related songs, like The Surfaris' Wipeout
Here are the songs we would include in our playlist:
  • Blue Hawaii: Elvis Presley
  • Aloha Oe: Johnny Cash
  • Ukulele Lady: Bette Midler
  • Pearly Shells: Burl Ives
  • Gilliganís Island Theme
  • Hawaii Five-O Theme
  • Hukilau Song: Ray Conniff
  • Bali Hai: Rosemary Clooney
  • Tiny Bubbles: Don Ho
  • New York, New York: Ukulele Picnic
  • Wipeout: The Surfaris
  • Kokomo: The Beach Boys
Some additional Hawaiian Luau theme-related songs:
  • Rock-a-Hula, Elvis Presley
  • Ray Conniff's Hawaiian Album
    • Blue Hawaii
    • Pearly Shells
    • My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua, Hawaii
  • Don Ho
    • Pearly Shells
    • Hukilau Song
    • E Le Ka Lei Lei (Beach Party Song)
    • Lovely Hula Hands
    • Shock the Monkey
  • Fly Me To The Moon, Ukulele Picnic
  • Island Girl, Elton John
  • Misirlou, Dick Dale
  • Surfin USA, Beach Boys
  • Surfin Safari, Beach Boys
  • Hawaii, Beach Boys
  • Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
    • Note:  Use a version less than 4 minutes, and make sure this song is not too slow for your party mix.