Jack’s voice was rich and sonorous, yet it did not reflect the same qualities as his speaking voice. It possessed very definite Irish qualities that came through only rarely in his speaking voice. Too, there was a certain vibrato, or tremolo, present in his singing voice. We know of two instances in which Jack sang professionally. The first came following the cancellation of Stoney Burke. The second was during his appearance on The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour.
On the Rodeo Circuit
Jack wasn’t known for singing in public, which I think is a shame. When Stoney Burke was cancelled after only one season, its fans clamored for more of Stoney. Jack took voice lessons, put together a band called The Wanderers, and set out on the rodeo circuit. He said a few words, sang country and gospel songs, and signed autographs. Some of the songs they sang were Rodeo USA, which was heard on Stoney Burke; Old Time Religion; and The Reverend Mr. Black. Interestingly, "The Wanderer" was also the name of an episode of Stoney Burke. In it, the wanderer was a husband, who had gone off and left his pregnant wife behind.
Jack’s declaration that he earned in the neighborhood of $250,000 on the rodeo circuit may be true based on a telegram sent to him by a rodeo official stating he was the biggest grosser in rodeo history. And, so, Stoney “lived” for two more years as a rodeo singer.
On The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour
Most of us became familiar with Jack’s singing voice when he appeared on The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, which aired on October 19, 1971. He really belted out Strawberry Roan, which Marie is reputed to have said was not her favorite song after she listened to him rehearse it within the confines of their condominium. Jack put great emotion into his presentation of the sea chanty that he sang with Glen. It’s a haunting melody that bespeaks the homesickness the sailors must have been feeling:
My ship has sailed the world around.
Then, blow ye wind; high, holy wind
And thank the Lord we’re homeward bound.
Then, blow ye wind; high, holy wind.
O ah ho, o ah ho. O ah ho, o ah ho.
(Title / Lyricist Unknown)
And, then, they sang Blow the Man Down. With these melodies, is it any surprise that Jack’s voice has Irish qualities? I wish I knew whether he learned them from his father or even one of his Irish grandfathers.
Hear Jack sing sea chanties on The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour
It is interesting to note Jack's evident participation in the planning of the show: His sharing the history of Kamehameha the Great's unification of the Islands and his sharing the sea chanties that were a part of his culture. Jack also displayed a wonderful sense of humor. At one point, after Jack tells Glen that the Hawaiians ate Captain Cook, Glen says he hopes that doesn't happen, anymore, and Jack says, "We have a couple of good restaurants uptown."
Near the end of the show, when Jack joins Glen on stage at Fort Derussy, he explains that the servicemen in the audience are patients at Tripler Army Hospital (now, Medical Center), who are recovering from wounds received in Vietnam. Tears come to his eyes. The scene ends sooner than it seemed that it was intended to. Jack was a very tender-hearted person. We saw this several times on Hawaii Five-0.
How grand it would have been if, in one of the episodes that featured McGarrett’s guitar, the Five-0 Team had been heard singing in the top cop’s office as the closing credits ran. Maybe they could have sung Aloha Oe or Hawai‘i Aloha – or even Rodeo USA.