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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The Billionaire and the Ukulele: Warren Buffett's Lifetime Investment ...Hear Nebraska (registration) (blog), November 27th
Yet Warren stuck with the ukulele, frequently playing in the JC Penney's basement before his shift while other employees sang along. His ukulele chops came in handy the following year when he fell for a young Omahan named Susan Thompson, though he ...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
Ruby & Smith's A Ukulele Album a jazz-dusted affairStraight.com, November 25th
Coming exactly as advertised, A Ukulele Album is indeed centred around the instrument favoured by four out of five descendants of Hawaii's King Kal?kaua. But don't expect the duo of Daphne Roubini and Andrew Smith to sound like the house band at the ...Read more
Onewhero pupil set to play New Zealand Ukulele FestivalStuff.co.nz, November 24th
Anouk placed second with her version of Jason Mraz' I'm Yours - and will also perform that song at the festival. Anouk's mother, Anke van Dijk, said her daughter got given her first ukulele last Christmas. "She got introduced to the ukulele at Pukekawa...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
Music Center Magic: Ukulele ChristmasNBC Southern California, November 17th
As is the ukulele. It's a strum-sweet staple of island ballads, and it has shown up in ragtime and Tin Pan Alley works, too. And Americana treats, such as bluegrassy jams and folksy ditties? The ukulele has a way of being both the cream and sugar in...Read more
Jake Shimabukuro Will Make You Respect the Ukulele, DammitMiami New Times, November 12th
Though he had made several albums, become a regular on the coffeehouse circuit in his native Hawaii, and attained the status of a popular concert draw in Japan, ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro was virtually unknown as far as the rest of the world was ...Read more