Island Address Book 8-17-2007

Danny Couch, Island Crooner, on West Oahu Wonders

By: Dawna L. Robertson

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Entertainer Danny Couch loves
West Oahu’s white-sand beaches.
Long heralded as “The Voice of These Islands,” Danny Couch is back in the spotlight crooning melodic stories of Hawaii in his new show at Waikiki’s Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel. The golden-voiced artist has come a long way since singing in the choir at Leeward Oahu’s Nanakuli High School. Whether performing today in the Ainahau Showroom or talking story with those he meets, Couch is always quick to share his West Side tales.

Born and raised on the Leeward Coast, Couch is an ambassador of this part of Oahu most visitors never discover.

“The West Side isn’t so known by tourists,” said Couch. “Not to offend other places, but I think it’s the most beautiful area on the island. It has these beautiful white sandy beaches and deep blue ocean since the water dips off faster there.”

Describing his roots as deeply planted in “God’s Country,” Couch recalls waking up at 4 a.m. to fish with bait he’d caught the night before.

“I still do that today,” he said. “I bought a house half way between where I work in Waikiki and where I grew up in Nanakuli. So I still get up before sunrise and fish for ulua at Pokai Bay or the Power Plant.”

Aside from catching fish, Couch recommends catching a Leeward sunset at Makua Beach.

“Anywhere on the West Side is great for a sunset especially the beaches at Yokohama and Makaha,” he said.

While choices are somewhat limited for a great West Side plate lunch, the effort offers a delicious pay-off.

“I head to L&L drive in and Makaha Drive In. These are my favorites and they’re very local,” Couch said. “I suggest buying a plate lunch ‘to go’ and taking it to the beach.”

For a more upscale dining experience, he heads to the Hawaiian fusion restaurant Roy’s at Ko Olina Resort.

“There’s nowhere else like Roy’s,” said Couch.

For a different kind of local flavor, Couch advises visitors to stop at the Makaha Marketplace.

“Coronets was an old store that they’ve closed,” said Couch. “And now they’ve put in Makaha Marketplace with little Hawaiian shops where local people sell their crafts. It’s a great way to find authentic Hawaiian products.”

He also praises the Paradise Cove Luau at Ko Olina Resort.

“It’s a great show with very friendly people. I always take my friends there when they come to town,” he said.

When he’s on the road, Couch misses Hawaii’s aloha spirit. He also misses the late Don Ho.

“When I was a drummer with a band called the Aliis, Don encouraged me to get up front and sing,” Couch remembered. “If he hadn’t pushed me, I wouldn’t be where I am today. He was the most unbiased, influential person I’ve every worked for.”

Couch’s simple advice for Oahu visitors wanting to witness the West Side’s beauty is to head straight to Yokohama and work their way back.

“Start with the beautiful white beaches out there,” he said. “Let your eyes catch the mountains, valleys and deep blue ocean. If someone feels they need a local escort, they can come to my show and let me know. I’ll take them! It’s my country!”


Danny Couch, “The Voice Of These Islands”
Sheraton Princess
Kaiulani Hotel

L&L Hawaiian Barbecue
85-080 Waianae Valley Rd.

Makaha Beach Park, Pokai Bay Beach Park,
Makua Beach and Yokohama Bay

Farrington Hwy.

Makaha Drive In
84-1150 Farrington Hwy.

Makaha Marketplace
84-1170 Farrington Hwy.

Paradise Cove Luau
Ko Olina Resort

Roy’s Ko Olina
Ko Olina Resort

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