Pop culture paradise. After statehood, Hawaii’s presence continued to grow in the U.S. — on screen, in books and music

An interesting article on books, movies and Tv Shows filmed in Hawaii. Mention Of Dog The Bounty Hunter

from http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090816/STATEHOOD01/908160357&template=statehood/Pop+culture+paradise

Credit to : Michael Tsai

idget visited, of course, but so did Elvis Presley, Lawrence Welk, and even a little menace named Dennis.

It took Wilma and Betty winning a TV contest to bring the Flintstones over from Bedrock.

The Bradys coat-tailed their way on dad Mike’s business trip only to find themselves hexed by a malevolent tiki.

(Gomer Pyle won a trip to Hawai’i, but gave it to Sgt. Carter.)

One way or another, it seemed, anyone who was anyone — be they real-life celebrity or fictional character — made it a point to visit Hawai’i in the years immediately before and after statehood.

Hawai’i had already established a considerable presence in American popular culture through a variety of avenues — classic South Pacific cinema; the popular syndicated radio program “Hawai’i Calls”; its use as a backdrop for films such as “From Here to Eternity” and TV shows like “I Love Lucy”; the exotica genre of music popularized by Martin Denny. But it was the promise and eventual realization of statehood that truly brought Hawai’i to the forefront of national attention and further cemented, for better or worse, popular images and conceptions of the Islands as a laid-back paradise that persist today.

According to Bishop Museum collections manager DeSoto Brown, national awareness of Hawai’i’s bid for statehood, and the widely held assumption that statehood would eventually be granted, was reflected in popular and niche magazines of the mid-1950s.

“There was a lot of publicity in news, fashion and travel magazines,” he said. “There was even a farm magazine from 1954 that had a Hawai’i story in it. It was a subject of great discussion at the time.”

Brown said the gist of the articles was essentially the same: Hawai’i statehood was a significant topic of the time; the territory was highly Americanized and an attractive destination; congressional approval was simply a matter of time.

“It was inescapable as a subject,” Brown said.

But the images of Hawai’i proffered by the media prior to statehood weren’t always positive.

The original version of John Ford’s controversial propaganda film “December 7” depicted Japanese residents of Hawai’i as spies.

Edward Ludwig’s 1952 film “Big Jim McLain” featured John Wayne and James Arness as federal agents investigating communist infiltration of Hawai’i labor unions, a storyline that Brown said was directly related to the statehood debate.

Yet by 1959, the political implications of Hawai’i’s entry to the union in film and other popular media had been largely glossed over in favor of an older vision of the Islands as benign and welcoming, an image dating back to the ship tourism days of the 1920s and ’30s and resurrected in myriad forms by modern tourism efforts.

This image was easy to fold within the mass-market focus of the popular media, and the result was an explosion of Hawai’i-themed articles, specials, films, comics and other media.

Hawai’i statehood continued to be a popular entry point for magazine articles, if not the actual subject of the pieces, for years to come. For example, Brown said, a homemaking magazine might run stories on how to have your own lu’au or how to replicate a lanai.

The approach for such projects typically fell in line with the description music blogger Joe Sarno used to describe the concurrent “exotica” musical genre: “a middle-class American take-off on alien culture.”
romantic notions

Much of the same could be said of the Hawai’i depicted in TV sitcoms of the late ’50s through early ’70s.

For shows like “The Brady Bunch,” the requisite Hawai’i-vacation episode offered an innocuous break from the norm, with the added comedic benefit of transposing familiar characters into an island setting and culture perceived as safe (by virtue of its statehood status) yet still highly exotic, if only in caricature.

Read the rest including the mention of Dog at http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20090816/STATEHOOD01/908160357&template=statehood/Pop+culture+paradise

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