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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Shallow Hal Ukulele Player Joshua Shintani Has Died at 32: ReportPeople Magazine, November 30th
Joshua Shintani, a ukulele player best known for appearing with Jack Black and Gwyneth Paltrow in the 2001 romantic comedy Shallow Hal, has reportedly died of pneumonia at age 32. Shintani's mother took him to an emergency room on Kauai in Hawaii ...Read more
Mandaue cooperative eyes fiberglass ukulele for exportInquirer.net, November 30th
Heidi Fuentes, representative of Mandaue Subcon, said they have applied for a license to export and are waiting for its approval. Mandaue Subcon, one of the nine cooperatives under the Mandaue City Cooperative Development Office (MCCDO), began ...Read more
Keiki Ukulele Contest winners announcedMaui News, November 29th
Unlimited access to all stories from The Maui News on your computer, tablet or smart phone. Access MauiNews.com, view our digital edition or use or All Access apps. One payment of $180.00 for 1 Year Subscription, $20.00 for 1 Month Subscription, $10.00 ...Read more
Wolfelele do it yourself ukulele building kit reviewThe Gadgeteer, November 29th
Have you ever wanted to build a guitar or a ukulele but felt it was completely beyond your capabilities, time and budget? Me too. That's why I was very curious to try the Wolfelele kit when I saw it because it didn't require tools I didn't own, a huge...Read more
Ukulele group mixes smiles, songsThe Register-Guard, November 26th
SALEM — The sounds of an upbeat version of “Walk the Line” floated through the air at Candalaria Terrace as 24 ukulele players strummed in unison. How many places can you go where people are this welcoming, whether you know anyone or can even do ...Read more
Scarborough music enthusiast introducing Wentworth students to the ukuleleKeepMEcurrent.com, November 24th
Fourth-graders at Wentworth School in Scarborough will be introduced to the four-string instrument when the new Ukulele Club gets under way in early December. Principal Kelli Crosby said the school is bringing in local resident Duncan Perry to teach...Read more
Ukulele group mixes smiles with their songsDaily Astorian, November 22nd
In this Nov. 15, 2015, Char Norby, left, and Janet Russell play during a Ukulele Fans of Oregon gathering at LifeSource in Salem, Ore. The group meets on the third Sunday of each month at the LifeSource Community Room. (Brent Drinkut/Statesman-Journal ...Read more
Ukulele sensation combines Hendrix, Vivaldi and Hawaiian rootsMiami Herald, November 11th
With his ukulele, Shimabukuro explores just about all the musical genres he can get his hands on, from Schubert to Hendrix, flamenco to fado, Chinese folk-music to pop classics. The sound is varied, of course, but it's infused with the rhythms and...Read more