The influential career of Hawaiian steel guitarist Tau Moe and his wife and vocalist, Rose spanned more than six decades. While their early recordings with Madame Riviere's Hawaiians represent some of the oldest examples of traditional Hawaiian music on disc, they were brought out of retirement in the 1980s to record two albums with stringed-instrument player and musicologist Bob Brozeman. Tau and Rose Moe were teenagers when they left Hawaii in 1928 to work for Madame Riviere, a woman who had been sent by the French government to study Tahiti, then a French colony. Leaving Riviere in the early '30s to pursue a career of their own, the Moes settled temporarily in Germany. With the beginning of World War Two in 1939, the couple was encouraged by the American embassy to leave Germany. Taking the warning seriously, the Moes embarked on the first of a series of war-induced moves. Shortly after relocating to Lebanon, they were forced to return to Hawaii after Italy declared war on the Middle Eastern country. Their stay was brief, however, as they continued on to India when war was declared in the Pacific. They remained in Bombay throughout the remainder of the war, performing with a jazz big band.
Forming a band with their children -- Lani on ukelele and vocals and Dorian on second guitar and vocals -- following the end of the war, the Moes increasingly shifted their focus from traditional Hawaiian music to more contemporary music. By the late '60s, the family group had become heavily rooted in rock & roll. Retired by the 1980s, Tau and Rose Moe gave little thought to returning to music. A telephone call from Brozeman, however, changed their plans. Brozeman, who had discovered one of their early records in a used record store, encouraged the Moes and their son and daughter, to record an album, Ho'omana'o I Na Mele O Ka Wa U'i (Remembering the Songs of Our Youth, in 1989. In addition to producing the album, Brozeman played Hawaiian guitar and harp guitar. ~ Craig Harris