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 Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain will perform at Eisenhower AuditoriumCentre Daily Times, October 8th
The ukulele is an inherently curious instrument. It's simultaneously capable of performing beautifully subdued music and being a punchline. It can elicit both groans and thunderous applause. When the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain performs at the ...Read more
Little ukulele gears up for a big weekend in the Twin CitiesTwinCities.com-Pioneer Press, October 8th
A native of Honolulu, Jake Shimabukuro picked up his state's instrument, the ukulele, at the age of 4. An accomplished ukulele player herself, his mother taught him lessons before Shimabukuro went on to train professionally. After high school...Read more
Bay City women give impromptu ukulele performance in Wenonah ParkMLive.com, October 7th
BAY CITY, MI — Two Bay City women gave an impromptu ukulele performance in downtown Bay City, in hopes of bolstering the area's music scene. "We're hoping to encourage the music scene in Bay City," said Klarissa Hartley, 19, seated beside her friend ...Read more
The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain strikes a chord with concept ensemblePenn State News, October 7th
Beginning in the late 1990s, celebrities such as Jake Shimabukuro, Zooey Deschanel and Eddie Vedder helped to reintroduce the ukulele to America. And then there's The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. The band's been strumming away since 1985, ...Read more
Plymouth's Ukulele Players aren't just your ordinary music groupPlymouth Herald, October 7th
Hawaiian shirts, ukuleles and dozens of people singing their hearts out - not something you would expect to see on a rainy October evening at Stonehouse Creek Social Club. But this happens every Tuesday evening. EMILY SMITH joins Plymouth's ukulele ...Read more
Mozart to Monty Python on ukuleles: The United Kingdom UkuleleDanbury News Times, October 7th
Hear for yourself when The United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra appears at the Danbury Palace on Sunday, Oct. 18. The orchestra, also known as TUKUO, is a group of eight high-spirited British musicians who play everything from Bach to the Beatles, and are ...Read more
ACL Fest artist Vance Joy played a ukulele for free tacosaustin360 (blog), October 6th
Vance Joy visited Tyson's Tacos on Monday with KSGR to take on their ukulele challenge. (He's scheduled to perform both weekends of Austin City Limits Music Festival so he has time to kill before Weekend 2 starts up.) The taco joint implemented a ...Read more
Strumming the Soundtrack of Life: Kamaka Family Rocks the UkuleleIndian Country Today Media Network, October 6th
The soundtrack to many a Hawaiian daydream includes the soothing tropical strum of a ukulele. This small, four-stringed instrument is as iconically Hawaiian as palm trees, pristine beaches and turquoise waves, but it is also inextricably tied to Native...Read more