Just where did the Dashboard Hula Girl come from? When did it tip and become the retro icon that it is today? We have one ourselves – her name is Rita – and we’ve always wondered, and so we decided to do a little research…
We start to see the Hula Girl herself entering into American iconoclasm as early as the 1900’s as a symbol of tourism in Hawaii. Then in the 1920’s and 30s the earliest dolls begin to surface, usually made of bisque, or redware – a claylike material. In the 1950’s we start to see what is closest to the modern version – plastic – fauxgrass skirt, often holding a ukulele or doing the hulu hand thing. The large amount of American soldiers in and out of Hawaii during WWII helped spread her popularity stateside. Then surfer kids and beach bums in Cali brought her into national light, and thus the Dashboard Hulu Girl became the American pop star that she is today.
And there you have it folks. Show tonight in Frostburg, MD at Dante’s. Downbeat at 10pm. Don’t charge any porn to the room. Free tibet. Ad Astra per Apsera.
Thanks to Retroplanet and OnStar for the research information