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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Uke can do it – Worcester man to run London Marathon carrying ukuleleEvesham Journal, November 28th
AN amateur musician has plucked up the courage to take on the London Marathon – and will be carrying his trusted ukulele around the famous course. Kevin Kilmartin, of Worcester, will be running on ukelear power when he faces the fitness challenge in ...Read more
Live Review: The Ukulele Orchestra of Great BritainRedbrick, November 28th
The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain stepped away from their usual sound to play a memorial concert for the World Wars in honor of Remembrance Day at the Town Hall. Though we were looking forward to hearing their covers of songs like 'Teenage ...Read more
Rock Out to “Blank Space” With Doddleoddle's…Ukulele?NewMediaRockstars, November 26th
Dodie JAMS OUT to this song. Her expressions get almost as crazy as Tay's sometimes. But it's…a ukulele…cover… The light, fluffy sounds of the music and her unwavering hyperactive energy make an oddly amusing contrast that's difficult to look away from...Read more
Ukulele lessons strike a chord with Edmontonians in needCBC.ca, November 24th
Weeks after the video of a homeless man playing the piano in Edmonton went viral, a new free music program is putting instruments in the hands of vulnerable Edmontonians. Ukuleles, to be specific. As a teacher in the Uke-Can-Play program, musician Bob ...Read more
Ukulele enthusiasts strum some happy tunesStaunton News Leader, November 23rd
On a recent Monday evening, 14 people sat around a table at Opus Oaks, an Art Place on First Street, strumming or plucking the strings of that symbol of the Aloha State, the ukulele. “This instrument makes you happy,” said Janet Tolin, who invited...Read more
Jake Shimabukuro rocks the Music Box with the ukulele and talent (Concert ...cleveland.com, November 20th
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- It's pretty amazing how much music can be coaxed from one, tiny instrument like the ukulele, but understandable when it's being played by Jake Shimabukuro. Even though the weather outside was snowy and bitterly cold, Jake heated ...Read more
Highland Park library adds ukulelesChicago Tribune, November 16th
Passers-by may begin to hear the gentle plinking of ukulele strings from the Highland Park Public Library. Beginning this month, library cardholders can check out the petite string instruments that commonly evoke Hawaiian beach bonfires and crashing...Read more
Pensioner loses 4st by playing on her ukulele every time she's hungryDaily Mail, November 9th
A pensioner has been quite literally strumming the pounds away thanks to her unique method of dieting. Dorothy Rogan, from Darlington, has helped herself lose 4st by picking up her ukulele to stave off temptation by playing 'Oh My Darling Clementine'...Read more