Herschel Laib Hohenstein, later known as Hal Lewis, transitioned from being an unemployed violinist in San Francisco to a radio personality in Hawaii in 1946. Despite facing initial challenges, including sleeping on Waikiki Beach, Lewis found success as a staff announcer at KGMB and later at KPOA. At KPOA, he developed a unique presentation style, earning him the nickname "aku-head" after a humorous incident involving incorrect time checks on the radio.
Lewis embraced the moniker J. Akuhead Pupule, dropping his original name. He established the short-lived recording label, Aku Records, known for its distinctive green label featuring a cartoon of Lewis with an exaggerated nose. Aku Records included recordings by Alfred Apaka, with Lewis himself backing Apaka on violin.
Aku died in 1983, but managed to get the last laugh on the airwaves when he unleashed his own recorded announcements to stimulate a public mourning for his passing.
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