Eddie Alkier

Elbern H. "Eddie" Alkire (December 6, 1907 – January 25, 1981) was America's most recognized performer, teacher, and innovator of the twentieth-century Hawaiian guitar. Born and raised in rural West Virginia Alkire utilized his skills as a guitarist and musician to become a teacher and composer for Oahu Music Company in October 1929 after having traveled to Pittsburgh to study electrical machines as an employee for a West Virginia coal company. He became music director for the Oahu Serenaders which performed on over 1000 coast-to-coast broadcasts for NBC and CBS that aired from Cleveland, Ohio during the first years of network radio. In 1934 Alkire started his own company in Easton, Pennsylvania to publish music and teach the guitar. He utilized his knowledge of electricity to create the first 10-string electric Hawaiian guitar and his music background to create new tunings that enabled him to play four-part harmonies and rapid melodic passages that became the hallmark of his new style of performance.

A collection of Alkire's original and published music, correspondence, and musical instruments, including four prototype Hawaiian guitars is housed at the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Birth and Death Data: Born December 6th, 1907, Died January 25th, 1981

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1935

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer


Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Victor BVE-89089 10-in. 4/1/1935 Sweet lei Ilima The String Ensemble of the Royal Hawaiian Band ; Frank J. Vierra String ensemble, with female vocal solo (Hawaiian) composer  


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Alkire, Eddie," accessed September 18, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/101135.

Alkire, Eddie. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved September 18, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/101135.

"Alkire, Eddie." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 18 September 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/101135


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