Just about every major guitar maker has produced a ukulele (often misspelled ukelele) at one time or another. Martin offered three ukulele models to its customers in 1918. The diminutive 12- and 17-fret instruments were followed in the 1920s by concert and tenor models, while the Martin 5-K from 1922, with its koa wood body and abalone inlay, is much in demand among collectors.

Gibson introduced its first ukulele in 1926. The highly collectible Uke-2 and Uke-3 styles from that year had mahogany bodies and rosewood fingerboards. Gibson also made tenor ukuleles (1927) and a baritone model (1961).

Today, ukuleles are experiencing a revival, thanks in no small part to the sustained popularity of the late Israel Kamakawiwo'ole’s ukulele medley of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “What a Wonderful World,” which has provided the soundtrack for everything from films to TV commercials. Aspiring musicians, with perhaps more good intentions than natural talent, also love them, probably because they are just so darned easy to play.

Not surprisingly, a host of guitar makers have jumped on the uke bandwagon. National makes an entire line of resonator ukuleles, from steel-body models to maple and mahogany ones. Martin and Gibson continue to make ukuleles, as does a well-regarded boutique ukulele maker named Barking Dog.


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Recent News: Ukuleles

Source: Google News

Strumming along: Ukulele club forms; local interest grows
Southeast Missourian, September 1st

The small four-stringed guitar of Hawaiian origin has interested so many local residents, the Last Tuesday Ukulele Club was created in Sikeston. The club, which meets monthly, makes time for attendees to listen, play -- and learn how to play. "It's a...Read more

From fruits and vegetables to ukulele lessons
Napa Valley Register, September 1st

You won't want to miss the fun at the St. Helena Farmers Market on Friday, Sept. 5. Musicians from the 2014 Wine Country Ukulele Festival will playing throughout the morning, and you can play, too. Musician Heidi Swedberg will offer a free ukulele...Read more

Another Visit With Ukulele Sensation Jake Shimabukuro
WBUR, September 1st

Jake Shimabukuro became a YouTube sensation in 2006 when his ukulele version of George Harrison's “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” went viral — it's received over 13 million hits. He's since made several albums, been the focus of the PBS documentary ...Read more

LiveWire: New England Ukulele Ensemble coming to Bing Arts Center in ...
The Republican - masslive.com, September 1st

That is how Jim Lenn of the New England Ukulele Ensemble describes the band's performances. “All they think of for the most part is Tiny Tim or just strumming some songs and singing,” he says. “We've taken this quite a bit further than that.” The New ...Read more

Unique Ukulele Building Workshop on Offer in Auckland
Scoop.co.nz (press release), August 31st

Local guitar and ukulele making business GOLDBEARD GUITARS has teamed up with Rutherford College's CEC (Community Education Centre) to offer a unique one week workshop in ukulele making next month (6th – 12th Oct). A rare opportunity to learn ...Read more

Palos Verdes High grad with ADHD strums lessons of hope on ukulele
Long Beach Press-Telegram, August 23rd

Palos Verdes High grad with ADHD strums lessons of hope on ukulele. Danielle Pellizzeri, a recent graduate of Palos Verdes High School who has struggled with depression and a learning disability has started a nonprofit organization in which she teaches ...Read more

A ukulele lady finds her niche in Woolly Mammoth's 'Stupid F...ing Bird'
Washington Post, August 12th

Shakespeare had his lute players, August Wilson had his jazz musicians, and Aaron Posner has his ukulele girls. Or as he calls them, his “ubiquitous ukulele girls.” And to be fair, he also occasionally has a ukulele guy. Posner is a Montgomery County...Read more

Sandra Beasley Reads Her Summer Poem 'Ukulele'
NPR, August 7th

GREENE: What resonates in the poem we're about to hear is the ukulele. It's not a dramatic instrument, Beasley says, but just like in love, maybe dramatic isn't always best. Here's Beasley reading her poem called, "Ukulele." BEASLEY: (Reading) The...Read more