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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Ely man John Bassett to launch new ukulele clubEly News, October 30th
A ukulele player is launching a new club for fellow lovers of the instrument in the Ely area. Multi-instrumentalist John Bassett, 60, has been playing the ukulele for years and, when he lived in Bishop's Stortford, he formed a club to bring local...Read more
Curtain Call: Jake Shimabukuro, the Rock 'n' Roll Ukulele StarLA Magazine, October 29th
Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles, Queen, Bowie, Michael Jackson, and Adele made them famous but one man has covered all of them and more—on the ukulele. Hawaiian musician Jake Shimabukuro will work through his diverse repertoire of pop standards when ...Read more
United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra coming to Mount Baker TheatreBellingham Herald, October 29th
Whoever thinks a certain plucked string instrument from Hawaii is boring needs to think again. From the first glimpse of Hawaiian garlands, men in dark suits and bow ties, and women in black evening dress, it's clear the United Kingdom Ukulele...Read more
Ukulele Gathering Celebrates 3rd Year At Cotuit CenterCapeNews.net, October 29th
Cotuit Center for the Arts will hold its Third Annual Ukulele Celebration on Sunday, November 2, at 2 PM. The event features four accomplished ukulele ensembles and a rousing community “Uke-A-Long” to open the show. Anyone with a ukulele is invited to ...Read more
Ukulele Wiz Jake Shimabukuro Plays UCSB's Campbell HallDaily Nexus, October 27th
Jake Shimabukuro holds many accolades, the least of which is being one of the first videos to go viral on YouTube. His rendition of George Harrison's “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” entitled “Ukulele Weeps,” garnered millions of views after it was...Read more
A ukulele weekend is on the wayPittsburgh Post Gazette, October 25th
Ukulele enthusiasts will learn to play and sing “The Boodle Am Shake” when touring artist Mark “Lil Rev” Revenson returns to Pittsburgh Saturday. Steel City Ukuleles, a local community group dedicated to all things ukulele, is sponsoring Mr. Revenson's ...Read more
Hero Cat Saves World From Another Goddamn Fucking Ukulele CoverGawker, October 15th
This video has become popular today as a short vignette about how cats are selfish and malicious and constantly interrupting your Important Human Business. Slice of life, right? We can all relate to those wacky cats! They're annoying as hell, but we...Read more
Duelling ukulele orchestras may take turf war to high courtThe Guardian, October 14th
To the anger of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, a group established in 1985 which moved from strumming in folk clubs to packing out the Royal Albert Hall with unlikely cover versions of songs such as Wuthering Heights and Smells Like Teen...Read more