Is it true that Bob Keane, who was Ritchie Valens’s producer, had something to do with shipping sand from Manhattan Beach to Waikiki?


Photograph courtesy

There’s a plaque in Manhattan Beach that says Kuhn Brothers Construction began sending sand to Waikiki in the 1920s. One of those brothers was Bob’s dad (the spelling of the last name was changed from Kuhn for showbiz purposes). And while the company did clear the area’s dunes for home builders, none of the many sources I spoke with found any record of the sand ending up on Oahu. “All of our white sand is carbonate,” says Sam Lemmo of the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources. “It’s crushed coral. The sand in California is silicate, from weathered rock.”