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

March 2, 2015 in News: Project Ukulele will be presented at EGX Rezzed 2015!
Gamespresso, March 2nd

The newly formed Playtonic Games announced recently that they will be presenting Project Ukulele at EGX Rezzed. The company has entitled the developer session as “A rare reunion: Rebirth of the 3D platformer.” No new information has been released with ...Read more

Just a picker: Midland's Johnny Hunt a champion for the ukulele
Midland Daily News, March 2nd

On March 13-14, Hunt will be part of WASSUP!, a free meeting of the folk minds and ukulele players at Midland Free Methodist, located at 5821 Eastman Road in Midland. People may play if so inclined during the many workshops, jams and open mic ...Read more

Ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro performs Oakville concert March 5
InsideHalton.com, March 2nd

Jake Shimabukuo, described as a ukulele virtuoso, is taking the Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts stage Thursday, March 5. The Hawaiian performer has collaborated with big-name artists, such as Yo-Yo Ma, Bette Midler, Jack Johnson and Cyndi ...Read more

Ukulele in Sonoma
Sonoma Index-Tribune, February 26th

Jim "Cowboy" Kamahele has been playing the ukulele since he was a boy in Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii. At the Plaza Bistro on Saturday, 28 Feb, from 2 to 4pm, there will be a Kanikapia, an afternoon of playing ukulele, storytelling and friendship...Read more

Never too old: Woman takes up ukulele in 90s
Regina Leader-Post, February 23rd

Levine took up the instrument a year ago at the urging of her daughter, Tamara, who'd fallen in love with the ukulele herself after hearing players from the Bytown Ukulele Group play at the annual spring Grassroots Festival. With lessons from another...Read more

Ukulele club includes strummers of all ages
Green Bay Press Gazette, February 22nd

In the back of his mind, he recalled a documentary that showed his musical idols, the Beatles, had dabbled in playing the ukulele. "It was not a conscious thought," he said about the inspiration to build a uke five years ago. Borrowing a friend's...Read more

When the Ukulele Came to San Francisco
KQED, February 19th

“On the Beach” is just one of the songs ukulele master and teacher Hiram Kaailau Bell will play on Saturday, at a “Uke-a-Thon” under the rotunda at the last surviving remnant of the fair, the Palace of Fine Arts. The Uke-a-Thon is expected to draw...Read more

The two chords you need to join the ukulele boom
The Guardian, February 2nd

Someone inform Zooey Deschanel on an olde tyme phone: the ukulele has gone mainstream. Yes, the instrument that was once a hipster essential alongside thick-rimmed glasses and craft beer is currently enjoying a massive sales boost. Amazon reports ...Read more