Although Lee died of cancer at age 34 in 1966, many of his compositions achieved immortality in the repertoire of his childhood friend Don Ho. Lee, a Hawaiian fireknife dancer, was a talented song stylist and entertainer, but his legacy is his work as a composer, with more than 40 song credits to his name. Lee helped pioneer a new era in local music in the 1960s by infusing jazz, blues and rock into his tunes. The strength of “I’ll Remember You,” though, is its simplicity—a memorable melody with evocative lyrics. The song became a signature of Ho’s when he first recorded it in 1965; national artists, including Elvis Presley and Andy Williams, soon followed. The song always had special meaning for Ho, who in 2004, told HONOLULU about the first time Lee played “I’ll Remember You” for him. They were hanging out at a friend’s apartment one night when Lee revealed that he had cancer. “I sat there for four hours and made sure he sang it for me over and over again so I would get everything right, exactly what he was feeling,” Ho said. When he left the apartment, he drove straight to Duke’s, without any sleep, to arrange the song. He and his band, the Aliis, performed the song that night. “I said to the audience, ‘I’d like to sing a beautiful song written by a friend of mine, who has cancer.’” Ho said. “I had a hard time getting through that song. I got so choked up, people in the audience started to cry.” Ho called Lee to the stage to sing, which elicited even more tears from audience members. “He was a poet, and I was just the messenger boy,” Ho said.