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

The greatest instrument ever: Casper group gathers in celebration of the ukulele
Casper Star-Tribune Online, December 19th

Caleb Smith sings Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" with his ukulele on Friday, Dec. 12, 2014, during a Ukeaholics Anonymous meeting at Gig-Worx in Casper's Eastridge Mall. Smith began playing the ukulele when the group started meeting over the summer ...Read more

Ukulele strikes a chord for ex-engineer
Taipei Times, December 18th

Being a street musician might seem a strange choice of activities for a man who has a post-graduate degree in civil engineering and once had ambitions to be a doctor, but 38-year-old Andy Hou (???) is just that, securing licenses to play in several...Read more

Preston Ukulele Strummers Society
Lancashire Evening Post, December 18th

Preston Ukulele Strummers Society. The latest group to join our Sing a Song for Christmas advent countdown are the Preston Ukulele Strummers Society, with their festive rendition of the classic Twelve Days of Christmas. Published on 18th December 2014...Read more

Seasonal joy on the ukulele at Waterford Senior Services
theday.com, December 17th

Instructor Jesse Casimono, left, of New London works with Maddy Greif, center, on the fingering of a note while Alex Doucette, practices a tune during a ukulele class at Waterford Senior Services Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2014. Classes will resume in early ...Read more

All Saints students take a strum at learning ukulele
Tyler Morning Telegraph, December 15th

When he teaches beginning ukulele players, All Saints Episcopal School music teacher Johnny Ray starts with the C chord. That makes it possible for them to play and sing “row row row your boat gently down the stream.” It's one of the songs that can be ...Read more

Are ukuleles the must-have Christmas present this year?
Nottingham Post, December 12th

“Whenever you hear the word ukulele it brings a smile to your face,” said Rachael Mann, one of the Nottingham store's directors. “We've got a whole wall of them in all shapes and sizes. We are seeing people of all ages and levels of experience looking...Read more

Joe Root performs Arctic Monkeys hit Mardy Bum on the ukulele
Daily Mail, December 9th

And the skipper may just have found it, for Joe Root appears a dab hand at none other than the ukulele. In his hotel before England's fifth one-day international against Sri Lanka on Wednesday, the Yorkshireman showcased his concealed talent in front...Read more

Ukulele enthusiasts strum happy tunes
Daily Astorian, 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