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Bill Tapia Bio

Facts about Bill Tapia and his life and times.

Basic Facts About Bill Tapia
  • Birth Date: January 1, 1908 (New Year's Day)
  • Birth Place: Liliha Neighborhood, Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Ethnic Heritage: Portuguese
    Nicknames: "Tappy" and "The Duke of Uke"

    More Interesting Facts About Bill Tapia
  • One of my favorite fun facts about Bill Tapia is that he taught Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer of the Our Gang comedy series to lay the ukulele. I love that!
  • Some of Bill's other famous ukulele students included Arthur Godfrey, Jimmy Durante, Clark Gable, Betty Grable, Buster Crabbe, John Gilbert, Janet Gaylor, and Shirley Temple.
  • Bill Tapia is most well known today for playing the ukulele, and he also plays the banjo, but for most of his career he was primarily a jazz guitarist.
  • He has performed ukulele, banjo, and jazz guitar with many famous artists including Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller, Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley, Alfred Apaka, Sol Hoopii, King Bennie Nawahi, Andy Iona, Charlie Barnett, and many others.
  • Bill played at the Hawaii Theatre when he was only 13 years old and he played to a packed house at the same theater in November of 2003 at age 95.
  • Other theaters he played at when he was young included the Princess Theater, the Kaimuki Theater, the Queen Theater, the Kahuku Theater and the Palama Theater. Those theaters are gone now but Bill Tapia is still going strong at age 101.

    See also:
  • More About Bill Tapia
  • Hawaiian Music Artists by Name

  • Related Links
    Hawaiian Music Artists - Main Menu
    Music of Hawaii
    Hawaii for Visitors
    Elsewhere on the WEb
    Wikipedia Bill Tapia Article
  • May 2008 Royal Hawaiian Videos
  • Ukulele Hall of Fame Induction Pictures

  • If you have corrections or updates to the any of the information on this page or if you have information or pictures to share about your favorite Hawaii singer or musician please send them to one of the addresses on our contacts page. Note that we can only publish official press photos or other photos for which we have received permission from the photographer. We respect the copyrights of photographers, performers, and writers.

  • | Aaron Mahi | Abrigo Ohana | Afatia Thompson | Alakai Paleka | Alan Akaka | Alika Boy Kalauli | Alvin Okami | Angela Morales | Amy Hanaialii | Aron Nelson | Audy Kimura | Ben Vegas | Bill Tapia | Bobby Ingano | Bobby Moderow, Jr | Brittni Paiva | Brothers Cazimero | Bruce Spencer | Bryan Kessler | Bryan Tolentino | Chrales Michael Brotman | Charles Recaido | Chino Montero | Chris Kamaka | Cyril Pahinui | Danny Kaleikini | Danny Kiaha | Darren Benitez | Del Beazley | Eddie Kamae | Ellsworth Simeona | Eric Keawe | Gary Aiko | Genoa Keawe | George Kuo | Hapa | Henry Kapono | Henry Makua | Herb Ohta, Jr. | Herb Ohta, Sr (Ohta-san) | Isaac Akuna | James Hill | James K. Scott | Jason Nobriga | Jeff Peterson | Jerry Santos | John Cruz | Kealii Reichel | Kealii Reichel | Kahauanu Lake | Kathy Sakuma | Keith Kalani Cockett | Kekoa Kaluhiwa | Kimo Stone | Kuuipo Kumukahi | Lehua Kalima Heine | Lopaka Colon | Mahe Beamer | Mailani Makainai | Marlene Sai | Martin Pahinui | Maunalua | Michael Nakasone | Mike Keale | Momi Kahawaiolaa | Mufi Hannemann | Nalani Choy | Nathan Aweau | Nick Acosta | Nina Keliiwahamana | Owana Salazar | Palani Vaughan | Paula Fuga | Peter Moon | Pomaikai Keawe Lyman | Raiatea Helm | Richard Gideon | Richard Hoopi | Robert Cazimero | Rod Esteban | Roland Cazimero | Ryan Tang | Steven Espaniola | Steven Young | Taimana Gardner | Weldon Kekauoha |
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