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

Little Strummers to learn how to play ukulele in Bridport
Dorset Echo, August 2nd

CHILDREN can learn how to plat the ukulele this summer at a series of music workshops in Bridport. Little Strummers is a music group for youngsters aged between three and seven years old and will hold three sessions this month at the Electric Palace, ...Read more

Ukulele boom in our community
Evening Observer, August 1st

The summer after completing my undergraduate degree in music education (more than 15 years ago), I was excited to begin setting up the classroom for my first teaching job. Exploring a new classroom for the first time is almost like going on a treasure...Read more

Utah Ukulele Festival
Cache Valley Daily, July 30th

The sound of the instrument conjures up images of Hawaii or perhaps even Tiny Tims' “Tiptoe thru the Tulips”. But you can escape to the islands by just heading over to Willow Park on Saturday (Aug 1st) for the 2015 Utah Ukulele Festival. Founders and ...Read more

Vintage Gibson ukulele, stolen from former Gibson exec's widow, returned
MLive.com, July 30th

John Thomas, a Connecticut lawyer who writes freelance articles for the magazine, said he composed the notice of the ukulele's theft as soon as he was informed by Kalamazoo Township police that it had been taken from the home of 103-year-old Margie ...Read more

Updated: One-of-a-kind Gibson ukulele returned following Newschannel 3 story
WWMT-TV, July 29th

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A piece of Gibson Guitar history that was stolen from a Kalamazoo-area home has been returned. On Wednesday night, Kalamazoo Township Police told Newschannel 3 that the ukulele was anonymously dropped ...Read more

Q&A with ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro
Hawaiimagazine.com, July 29th

Ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro has seemingly done it all. He's toured the world, been the subject of an award-winning documentary, performed on national television and shared stage and studio time with the likes of Yo-Yo Ma, Bette Midler and Jack ...Read more

Historic Gibson ukulele stolen from 103-year-old Kalamazoo woman found and ...
Fox17, July 29th

KALAMAZOO TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A piece of Kalamazoo's music history has been returned to its rightful owner. Kalamazoo Township Police were looking for the beloved heirloom, a 1930's Soprano Gibson Ukulele 3, everywhere, from eBay to pawn shops ...Read more

Armie Hammer Plays the Ukulele – and He's Pretty Amazing at It
Entertainment Tonight, July 22nd

“A little birdie tells me that you, sir, are quite the Renaissance man [and] can play any string instrument, so we brought … a ukulele,” Steel offered, before presenting Hammer with the instrument. Though Hammer was admittedly nervous – he even...Read more