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

Headcorn Ukulele Group perform at the Headcorn Christmas lights ceremony
Kent Online, November 24th

The Headcorn Ukulele Group (HUG) is so popular it has had to move to a bigger venue to cope with the numbers of people wanting to come along and simply can't take any more. It's easy to see why so many people want to join the fun group, which was ...Read more

Onewhero pupil set to play New Zealand Ukulele Festival
Stuff.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 ukulele
KeepMEcurrent.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, songs
The Columbian, November 23rd

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 what they ...Read more

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain members in tune with one another
Stuff.co.nz, November 22nd

When The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain first started playing in the 1980s, their instrument of choice was hard to come by. Music shops only had toy ukuleles made for kids and these can't really be tuned. So to get a good one, explains orchestra...Read more

Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain impresses in Auckland
Stuff.co.nz, November 21st

From the moment seven ukulele masters start strumming onstage at Auckland's Aotea Centre, the crowd is hooked. Before seeing the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, a 30-year-old company credited with making the mini instrument cool again, it might be ...Read more

Music Center Magic: Ukulele Christmas
NBC 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, Dammit
Miami 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