(Clarissa Haili Nelson)
Hilo Hattie - Clarissa Haili Nelson
Clara was a former school teacher in Waipahu Elementary School in Oahu who became a sensation as an entertainer. While teaching she would entertain her students with comedy hula routines. She joined the radio program, "Hawaii Calls," in 1940. She was a great singer , dancer and comedian who was often called the "Lucille Ball" of Hawaii. She performed in movies and television with a recurring role on Hawaii Five-O ( the original series). She toured the mainland and the world. She often responded to questions about retirement with the statement, "Live performing is too much fun". She was, without a doubt, a favorite of the military. Clara changed her name to Hilo Hattie after performing the song on a cruise ship in 1936. She always had her audiences laughing at her comic antics combined with her amazing talents as a singer and dancer. Her quick wit and warm personality came with lots of laughter. Hilo Hattie is the brand name of retail stores selling Hawaiian themed apparel, souvenirs and packaged foods. The name rights were obtained from Clara by the retail chain. She was happily married to Carlyle Nelson , a bandleader and violinist, from 1949 until her death in 1979.
Read about Hilo Hattie in Milly Singletary's book, Hilo Hattie: A Legend in our Time.
Visit the Hilo Hattie Retail Stores at:
• Ala Moana Shopping Center, Honolulu, Oahu
• 1520 Liona St., Honolulu (inside Maui Divers).
• The Outlets of Maui in Lahina, Maui
• 3-3252 Kuhio Highway, Lihue, Kauai
Visit their website: www.hilohattie.com