And Justus for all

  • Photo courtesy Ed Justus

    Ed Justus IV, left, and his dad, Edgar Justus III, and Celeste the Cat Boss, at Talk Story Bookstore in Hanapepe. Edgar Justus III will be performing tonight and next Friday in front of the store.

Edgar Sevier Justus III will be playing the acoustic guitar and singing tonight in front of Talk Story Bookstore in Hanapepe.

Wait. You didn’t know the man who runs the bookstore is also a musician?

Well, he’s not.

Before this gets confusing, know that Edgar Sevier Justus IV operates the popular bookstore, where “Celeste the Cat Boss” is trending on the social meda site, Reddit.

His father, Edgar Sevier Justus III, has been playing music more than 50 years, and is the leader and manager of the popular group, “The Rhondels.” He’s the one who will be outside between 5 and 9 p.m. wowing the crowd.

Once on stage, even at 69 years old, Justus III is ready to rock and roll and wants to be sure the crowd has a blast.

“You don’t think about anything but entertaining and making people happy,” he said, smiling.

It’s the first time in a decade for Justus III and wife Angie to visit the island. They came to check out their son’s bookstore and meet their new daughter-in-law, Yuriko.

“I’m so impressed, I am blown away,” Justus III said of the bookstore.

“She’s as sweet as pie,” Angela said of Yuriko.

The easy-going guy known locally as Ed Justus smiles. He’s pleased his parents are here, that he and Yuriko can hang out with them, and his dad will be playing in front of the bookstore.

It’s all good.

“I am absolutely honored. I never imagined this moment could happen,” he said. “I’m so grateful.”

Edgar IV won’t, however, be joining dad in song.

“I didn’t inherit the musical gene,” he said, laughing.

“And I’m glad,” his dad added. “He’s got something a lot better going right now, which is awesome. We’re proud of him. We really are.”

Justus III grew up in Virginia Beach and was influenced by the music of The Beatles and James Brown. He started playing guitar, practiced daily, learned more instruments (he also plays bass, drums, trumpet and ukulele, as well as showcasing strong vocals)and has enjoyed a long musical career, opening for the likes of Jimmy Buffett.

The Rhondels were originally formed in the late 1950s and Justus joined the group in the 70s.

Bill Deal &the Rhondels’ hits included, “I’ve been Hurt,” “May I,” and “What Kind of Fool Do you Think I am.”

“Great songs,” Justus III said.

Today, he owns the name, “The Rhondels” and has had the trademark on it since 1983.

The Rhondels and Justus perform at hotels, wedding, parties and other affairs where music is wanted.

“The Rhondels are a dance band, they get people moving,” Angela said.

Her husband concedes little to age.

“I can’t lift the gear like I used to. I’ve got good roadies now,” he added with a smile.

His passion for performing remains.

“If you love what you’re doing in music, to me everything is just awesome,” he said.

Tonight, and again next Friday, Justus III will play original songs and hits from the past. A gregarious man, he likes to engage the crowd.

Asked if he had any gigs lined up on Kauai, Justus III shook his head. But there’s always a chance.

“If you book us, we will come,” Angela said, laughing.

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