Twenty-seven years ago, on Easter
1978, record producer Bill Murata hosted a talent
search contest at the famous Kona Inn, and heard
the Lim Family for the first time.
Murata declined to take credit for 'discovering'
them, saying that had been done years earlier
by the people of Kohala. But he did produce an
album, Sounds from Kohala, released
in 1979 that introduced the Lim Family and their
music to a much wider audience. In five years,
the Lim Family had climbed from a popular Big
Island family act to become one of the most requested
recording groups in the entire State.
Sounds from Kohala followed in 1980 and
won the Na Hoku Hanohano award for Best Traditional
Hawaiian Album. The following year the Lim Family
released Pua Olena, The
Flower Song that was also named the Best
Traditional Hawaiian Album. Two years later Mana'o'i'o,
Mana'olana A Me Ke Aloha, their fourth
LP was released. Ku Kaulana was
their last Pumehana Records LP, it was released
Ann is the family matriarch, with a strong, very
Hawaiian voice that commands attention when she
sings. She plays 'ukulele. Elmer Sr.
played rhythm guitar. Three of the couple’s
children rounded out the group. Nani plays ‘ukulele
and tiple; Lorna plays electric and acoustic bass;
and Elmer Jr., known both as 'Sonny'; and 'Kohala,'
plays slack-key guitar, steel guitar, banjo '
taking all the instrumental solos in both live
and recorded sessions. Mom and the girls ' Nani
and Lorna ' did most of the singing, with Sonny
and Elmer Sr. occasionally adding their voices
to the mix.