8.27.2005

Giant of Hawaii



Dick Jensen Giant of Hawaii LP (Record Club of Honolulu, 196?)

It is strange this record thing. There are records that I spent years looking for, have finally found, begrudgingly paid $20 for, and they sit. And then there are records that I picked up for 50 cents on a whim that get spun over and over, if for only one song. This is one of those records. It lives on a shelf that is dedicated to records to play while people are over drinking, which doesn't happen too often nowadays but whatever.

I had never heard of Dick Jensen AKA The Giant. I picked up the record because the guy is wearing a tight, white jump suit that accentuates his not so giant member. Perhaps he is a grower. I mean, he's gotta be: He has three chicks hangin' on him. I put it on and the record is pure Tom Jones. Tonight I did a little reseach and I am not surprised.

Dick Jensen is a giant in Hawaii. For years he has entertained tourists, making a mark deep enough to earn him a lifetime achievement award in 2004 at the Hawaiian Music Awards. He also played Vegas quite a bit. Not a bad life: Living in Hawaii, singing to tourist babes, flying over to Vegas a few times a year...

The cut that gets repeated play is Love Shack. Everything about this song screams sex, especially the line "Starting out a curse/exploding universe/love is surely buried deep inside." Really, Dick? This song makes me laugh every time I hear it.

Comments:
Just listened to this album all the way through. I think I got my copy at some thrift store. I see your cover is signed too. He must of sold them at his show, and done a signing afterward. My Favorite song is "Paniola Country" it has some nice studio effects!
 
Yeah, this has every mark of what I call a "honeymoon album." I have a decent amount of them, not by design. It just got that way. Find one at a thrift store, find another at a yard sale...you know the story.
 
I remember Dick Jensen--from back in 1966, when he repeatedly starred at the Haunted House dance club in Hollywood with his tour band billed as "Dick Jensen and the Imports". My girl, Dottie, and I returned to see Dick Jensen and his band, the Imports, many time during the first half of 1966, before I went to Nam. Watching Dick perform in his inimetable style with all the cool moves and incredibly energetic dancing, coupled with his smooth singing voice that vibrated to the hot licks from his band, made me aware that once one watched and listened to Dick performing, one could never forget him. The drummer with the Imports (Ray?) was also a super talented, handsome, and magnetic guy--quieter than the effervescent Dick of course, but who wasn't? Some years later I caught Dick appearing on Johnnie Carson's Tonight Show, and he very definitely "still had it". The gals all loved him, and we guys liked him because he epitomized the essence of suavity, talent, and "cool". He was a truly nice guy, and that aspect of Dick was instantly evident. Dick had more charm than any intertainer I've ever known, and I've known a lot of them. Rest in peace, Dick. Many of us will never forget you. You were an incandescent original.
 
RIP Dick Jensen.

http://starbulletin.com/2006/06/22/news/story02.html
 
I gigged with Dick at "Da Swamp" in 1964 and 1965. What great memories -- Dick riding a motorcycle into the club setting up his skit as "Teen Idol," the slow-motion fight choreographed on the fly during the song Big Boy Pete. He was a smooth MC with cool bassman Ray Hosino feeding him straight lines. And Dick could sure take care of any hecklers! What fun sitting on the beach in the daytime with Dick and Don Ho trading gags! I miss them both. -Saxman- (Don Griese)
 
Dick Jensen cut an lp in 1969 for Abc Probe - " White Hot Soul " # CPLP-4512 - straight up rip off of Tom Jones live lps, your lp is 70's issue, jumpsuits were big then !
 
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