R. ALEX ANDERSON
Born in Hawaii and influenced by her haunting melodies from early childhood, R. Alex Anderson
was educated at Punahou School in Honolulu and Cornell University. He wrote his first song for his graduating
class and has been writing ever since. 'Alohaland' was written when he was home sick
His war service was as a fighter pilot. Being shot down, wounded in enemy territory, he and his two companions
made good an escape. His wartime experiences were made into a film, The Dawn Patrol.
Returning to Hawaii he married Peggy Center, protege of the late Nellie Melba. He began writing songs of Hawaii
which Peggy sang and made popular. His is the fortunate development of an avocation to the point of
overshadowing a vocation, successful though the latter has been. One suspects that he derives more satisfaction
from the writing of an island song than from any of the many other activities of a busy career in the business
world and that he is happiest when writing of his beloved islands.
'In every note I'll tell of the spell of my islands, for then I know that you'll be in love with them too.' These
are the last two lines of the well known 'Haole Hula' which R. Alex Anderson names his
favorite of the more
than a hundred songs this Island composer has written. In spite of the worldwide popularity of
Hands,' he feels that 'Haole Hula' best expresses his love for his native Hawaii.
Biographical information taken from R. Alex Anderson's Famous Songs of Hawaii, which contains 83 of his songs,
including those written for Punahou School, Cornell University and the armed services.
BIOGRAPHY: Scott Stone, From a Loving Heart: The Life and Music of R. Alex Anderson (Island Heritage 2001).