"Kindy" Sproat - Songs & Stories of Hawai'i
Pololu Productions, 1996
He sings at Carnegie Hall in New York. He began singing deep in the Hamakua Coast valleys where his childhood home was nestled in remote Honokane, two hours by mule from the end of the government road on the north end of the Big Island. He shares his music on his first CD, Songs and Stories of Hawai'i.
Clyde Halema'uma'u "Kindy" Sproat learned the four-string banjo from his mother, who entertained her children by singing Hawaiian and American folk songs in the evenings as the last sunlight faded from the steep valley walls. Kindy's father worked on the irrigation systems for sugar companies, maintaining ditches and tunnels, traveling by mule.
When the children were old enough for school, the family moved to the small community of Niuli'i where music was an important part of life and a way for people to socialize.
Kindy credits his "Uncle" Edwin Lindsey, the principal of his grade school, as a major influence on his love of Hawaiian music. Each school day began with an assembly led by Uncle Edwin where teachers and students sang songs by the Hawaiian Queens, Emma and Lili'uokalani, as well as Leleiohoku and other Hawaiian composers.
Much like John Jacob Niles, who collected the Child's Ballads of Appalachia, made famous by Joan Baez, Woody Guthrie and other folk singers on the mainland, Kindy is a collector of Hawaiian and hapa-haole folk songs. He is famous for his extraordinary vocal range and extensive repertoire. He is well known for the storytelling that accompanies his musical presentations.
In 1988, Kindy received the National Heritage Fellowship Award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
He and his wife live on the crest of Pololu Valley in North Kohala, still miles from electricity and phones. His CD is distributed by Olinda Road and is available at music stores.