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Biography

  • Born

    8 August 1933

  • Died

    5 October 2018 (aged 85)

Edward Kamanaloha Kenney, Jr. (Honolulu, Hawai'i, August 8, 1933 - October 5, 2018) was an American singer and actor best known for the role of "Wang Ta" in the original Broadway production of Flower Drum Song.

Ed Kenney was born in Honolulu, Oahu to a Hawaiian-Chinese mother and a Swedish-Irish father. He was married to Judy Bailey. He lived on the island of Kaua‘i.

Kenney was formerly married to hula dancer Beverly Noa and is the father of Honolulu restaurateur, Edward Kenney, III.

Kenney and Noa headlined shows at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel and the Halekulani Hotel for years. They reunited for a Honolulu television show on KGMB-TV in the 1980s.

Discography

Albums
Solo
Exotic Sounds of the Spice Island (Columbia, 1960)
My Hawai‘i (Columbia, 1962) (later reissued with a different cover on a Columbia budget label, Harmony)
Ed Kenney's Hawaii (ABC/Paramount, 1962) (later reissued with a different cover by Decca, 196?)
Somewhere in Hawai‘i (Waikiki, 1964)
Waikiki (Decca, 1966)
Royal Hawaiian Luau (Decca, 1967)
An Island (Lehua, 1977)

Included
Hawaii's Favorite Christmas Songs - Vol 2 (1999)
Hawaii's Sunset Melodies (1996)
Hawaii's Golden Treasures (1996)
Hawaii's Favorite Christmas Songs (1993)
Flower Drum Song: 1958 Original Broadway Cast (1958)
Singles
"Numbah One Day of Christmas" the Hawaiian Pidgin version of The Twelve Days of Christmas
Co-wrote this with Eaton "Bob" Magoon, Jr. (13 Daughters composer) and Gordon Phelps.

Stage credits

Broadway
13 Daughters as Mana, Prince of Hawai‘i (1961)
Flower Drum Song as Wan Ta (1958–1960)
Shangri-La as Rimshi (1956)
Honolulu Community Theater
Various productions (1950s)
University of Oregon
Brigadoon
President William McKinley High School Theater
13 Daughters as Chun (late-1980s)
Hawaii Theatre
13 Daughters as Kahuna (early-1990s)

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