Earlier this week on American Idol, contestant Jason Castro got rave reviews from the judges for his rendition of the "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World" medley, but I couldn’t help comparing Castro to the Hawaiian musician who made that song famous, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (1959-1997), who (imho) is the only one who could sing that song the way it was meant to be sung. Indeed, it is considered by many to be Iz's signature song. He released the song on his Facing the Future album in 1993, and it’s been used in multiple films and television shows. But for some reason, I don’t remember hearing the song until the 2002 “On the Beach” episode of NBC's ER in which Dr. Mark Green dies of a brain tumor. Shortly after that, I heard the song again as I was strolling through some shops on Kauai (my one and only trip to those islands), and I immediately sought out the artist (and the CD) at the first vendor stand I came across. It didn't take me long to discover I was late on the take when it came to the fan base this man had both in Hawaii (where he's still much beloved) and abroad. Anyway, seeing as Iz’s version is one of my all-time favorite songs (and it plays during the final scene of one of my all-time favorite films), I guess Castro was destined to pale in my estimation when it came to singing that song. But he did good.
So Paul took his stand in the open space at the Areopagus and laid it out for them: "I'm here to introduce you to this God.... He doesn't play hide-and-seek with us. He's not remote; he's near. We live and move in him, can't get away from him!" ~Acts 17