Clyde Halemaumau "Kindy" Sproat
November 21, 1930 ~ December 15, 2008

Clyde Halemaumau It is with regret that we post this Empty Saddles to announce the passing of our friend "Kindy" Sproat, a featured performer of the 1988 Cowboy Poetry Gathering. Following is an excerpt from the obituary in

Clyde Halemaumau "Kindy" Sproat, one of Hawaii's most renowned falsetto singers and musicians, died Monday, December 15, 2008 at his home. He was 78. One of his last public appearances was in September at the 17th annual Clyde "Kindy" Sproat Falsetto and Storytelling Contest.

In 1988, Sproat received the National Endowment of the Arts National Heritage Award, which honors American folk artists for their contributions to the national cultural mosaic. "He was a treasure chest of music...a real national treasure," said John Keawe, fellow musician and long-time Sproat fan, "He knew so many songs that were passed on from his father and his father's father."

Sproat's influence will live on through generations of younger musicians, Keawe said. "We can keep that legacy going, but we won't be able to replace him," he said. "He was the voice of North Kohala. He didn't even need a microphone." Keawe said Sproat was kind and generous to his fellow musicians. "For me, he always made me feel good when he saw me," Keawe said, "I'd see him at concerts and he's always tell me 'Good boy, keep it up.'"

Teresa Jordan and Hal Cannon interviewed Kindy (and others) for the Savvy Traveler radio show on Public Radio International in 1999: Listen to Kindy in this clip that gets to the heart of tradition, and Listen to the Real Hawaii episode from The Open Road with more from Kindy Sproat and others.