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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Drury ukulele players take tiny instruments on big trip to JapanSpringfield News-Leader, August 29th
Anyone who's been to Big Momma's Coffee & Espresso Bar on Tuesdays between 4:30 and 6 p.m. has heard the cheerful sounds of Drury students strumming their ukuleles and singing. They're part of a club called DUkes, and this summer they took a break ...Read more
Pleasanton Ukulele Band performing tomorrow at the FirehousePleasanton Weekly, August 28th
The lively little ukulele -- evocative of the Hawaiian islands and college kids in the 1920s -- will reach new heights locally when the Pleasanton Ukulele Band appears at the Firehouse Arts Center Sunday. "In this area I have never seen an amateur...Read more
Uke New Jersey festival celebrates the ukuleleDaily Record, August 27th
For many years, the ukulele was the Rodney Dangerfield of musical instruments. It got no respect. The little instrument with the short fretboard and only four strings was typically associated with either Hawaiian musicians or with novelty acts like the...Read more
Taco Joint's Ukulele Policy Trades Tacos For SongsKEYE TV, August 27th
When a Thrillist survey named Tyson's Tacos on Airport Boulevard the #1 taco place for musicians, the restaurant wanted to see how many musicians they were serving. Thus, owner Tyson Blankemeyer's ukulele policy was born. "I was trying to learn how to ...Read more
A ukulele that rocks? Jake Shimabukuro can show you howTribune-Review, August 26th
The ukulele is booming. Stores are selling ever more of the four-stringed, guitar-like Hawaiian instruments. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett has taken up the uke. So have musicians like Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, giving it even more visibility. But...Read more
Uke66 Ukulele Camp417mag, August 26th
Join the Queen City Ukulele Club the first and third Tuesday of each month from 6 to 8 p.m. at Springfield Music, 3100 S. Fremont Ave., Springfield. Or come listen to the DUkes play at Big MaMa's Coffee each Tuesday during the school year from 5 to 6 p.m...Read more
Warning: Ukulele Festival in Morris Township could change your life, Aug. 28-30Morristown Green, August 25th
“Our festival, you can literally come in the morning, and buy, borrow or steal a ukulele, with absolutely no experience whatsoever, and you will be able to play it by the end of the day. I promise you that,” said the Folk Project's Scooter Ferguson...Read more
Ukulele fans, unite!Washington Post, August 14th
Year of the free outdoor event, held at Strathmore's Gudelsky Gazebo. 4. Number of strings most commonly used on a ukulele. 21. Length, in inches, of the standard soprano ukulele. 1879. Year that the ukulele is thought to have been brought to Hawaii. 4...Read more