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

Wine Country 'Ukulele Festival: Put It On Your Calendar!
Patch.com, July 28th

“There's loads of 'ukulele merriment coming your way at this year's festival, starting with a camp-fire jam at Bothe State Park, Thursday evening, September 10, and ending with Heidi Swedberg and the Smoking Jackets at Velo Vino on Sunday afternoon, ...Read more

Enjoy Ukulele Mix Plate at The Shops at Wailea
Maui Now, July 27th

Mele Ukulele and The Shops at Wailea will host Ukulele Mix Plate on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 12 and 26 from 6 to 8 p.m. at The Shops at Wailea fountain courtyard, where guests can take part in an entertaining learning experience about Hawai'i's official ...Read more

The funny little ukulele finds a following in Clermont
Daily Commercial, July 25th

Most of the players at Ukulele Revolution use the standard concert ukulele. The library-owned instruments are soprano ukuleles, smaller than the concert size, but pitched exactly the same. Bruce plays a slightly larger tenor ukulele and reports that...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

Man with a ukulele breaks out Somewhere Over the Rainbow in Perth train
Daily Mail, July 22nd

The uplifting video shows people singing along in unison, filming with their phones and laughing. The 5 minute long video was posted on the The Liberators Facebook page on Tuesday and has warmed hearts across the world going viral since. 'We turned ...Read more

Ukulele players near and far unite at annual festival
KHON2, July 19th

Ukulele players from Hawaii and all over the world gathered at Kapiolani Park to show off their skills at the 45th annual Ukulele Festival Sunday. The event featured the Roy Sakuma 700-piece ukulele band of mostly children, and of course Jake Shimabukuro...Read more

Hawaii's Ukulele Festival still going strong after 45 years
Hawaii News Now, July 17th

The ukulele – considered a symbol of aloha – will show its power to bring people together when performers from Hawaii and around the world gather at the 45th Annual Ukulele Festival Sunday, July 19, 2015 at Kapiolani Park in Waikiki. Presented by Tony ...Read more

Feuding ukulele bands battle it out in court
BBC News, July 2nd

The Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain (UOGB) has won a High Court ruling against a rival group which it accused of trading off its reputation. The group challenged the German-based United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra (UKUO) over the similarity in name...Read more