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

After a Tragic Loss, Corey Bergman Gives Sick Kids the Gift of Music
People Magazine, March 27th

Bergman gets in touch with hospitals' music therapists and sends them five ukuleles at a time. The therapists then select patients they think would enjoy the instrument and work with them to teach them how to play. The kids sometimes write songs of...Read more

Ukulele-Playing Retirees Fight Back After Honolulu Police Shut Them Down
Huffington Post, March 27th

Honolulu police officers have kicked a group of musical retirees off Waikiki Beach for making too much of a ruckus -- and the popular seniors are fighting back. The group -- which goes by the name "On The Beach" -- is comprised of retired "snowbirds...Read more

Ukulele star Daniel Ho to perform at National Folk Festival in Canberra
Sydney Morning Herald, March 27th

It's official. The ukulele is almost the coolest instrument of all time. It can't ever quite get to the very top of the cool instruments list because that will always be claimed by the guitar (bias alert!). That's why a concert by America's Daniel Ho...Read more

Ukulele player's political party name rejected for sounding too similar to Ukip
mirror.co.uk, March 26th

A musical politician has failed to find a new string to British politics after election chiefs rejected the proposed name of his party. Kevin Tyrrell wanted to stand in May's General election under the banner of the Ukulele Independence Party. The 51...Read more

Ukulele players barred from pavilion because of amplifier
KITV Honolulu, March 23rd

ukuleles at a Waikiki beach pavilion are still smarting after suddenly getting the boot. They've been doing the same thing without incident for 20 years! Tonight, they're finding out exactly WHY they're breaking the rules.. KITV4's Andrew Pereira got...Read more

A new instrument that is a twist on the ukulele
KHON2, March 20th

The concept was an ukulele with either a folding or detachable neck that would take up less space for people who are traveling. When I finally started development, I decided to add some challenges / requirements for this instrument,” he tells Wake Up 2day...Read more

Banjo-Kazooie Spiritual Successor Project Ukulele Announces Kickstarter ...
Paste Magazine, March 16th

Playtonic Games, a new studio formed through a group of Rare developers, have revealed information on Project Ukulele, a 3D platformer that will have the same '90s-style gameplay and signature humor associated with other Rare titles. New concept art...Read more

If you do one thing this month … learn to play the ukulele
The Guardian, March 14th

We're in the midst of a mini ukulele boom – sales are surging and children are more likely to pick up a ukulele at school than a recorder; perhaps because they sound better and they're even easier to learn. Taylor Swift plays, as does as does Meghan...Read more