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 Luis Oasis Senior Center Ukulele Band meets weekly for strummin' funSanta Maria Sun, May 27th
The general din of chatting friends and fingered ukuleles in the Luis Oasis Senior Center's main room died down as the Luis Oasis Ukulele Band leader Ray Reynante approached a microphone placed in front of the several dozen seated seniors...Read more
Ukulele jam session Friday in FredoniaEvening Observer, May 26th
Ukulele jam session Friday in Fredonia. May 27, 2015. Observer Today. Save |. A Fredonia ukulele jam session will be held Friday at Kasia Coffee Shop, 183 E. Main St, Suite 6, Fredonia. New this month, a beginners and "brush-up" session will be offered ...Read more
Lesbian comedians, ukulele player & preacher to 'Loosen Bible Belt' in AlabamaAL.com, May 26th
What happens when a couple lesbians, a preacher and a ukulele player bring 'Loosen the Bible Belt' tour to the South? Unforgettable evenings Jun 4, 5 & 6, 2015, in Montgomery, Huntsville and Pensacola with Kristen Becker, right, Jay Bakker, left, and ...Read more
Kids strum tunes, ukulele-styleBlue Mountain Eagle, May 26th
Third-grade students sing as they strum ukuleles in Mary Ann Vidourek's music class at Humbolt Elementary. Vidourek, at right, teaches how to play the chords and handle the instruments properly. She said she learned to play ukulele while on a 2011 trip...Read more
Rye holds first ukulele festivalBBC News, May 25th
A dozen ukulele bands from across Kent and East Sussex gathered in Rye for the town's first ukulele festival this weekend. Organiser Lorna Hall said the ukulele was the "instrument of the moment" and the playlist included ranged from blues and jazz to...Read more
Ukulele fans unite for bluegrass/old-time music festSt. Cloud Times, May 24th
RICHMOND – The signature on Tony Anthonisen's emails sums up his feelings: "You just never see someone playing a ukulele without a smile on their face!" If that's true, there will be many happy people next weekend at El Rancho Manana campgrounds...Read more
Grand Ukulele Festival proves a massive hit in town with performances at ...Huddersfield Examiner, May 24th
It was the second time the town had hosted such an event. Among those taking part were US jazz ukulele player, Sarah Maisel, originally from Birmingham, Alabama, the world's number one ukulele blues player and her Hawaiian husband-to-be Craig Chee...Read more
Warren Buffett and his ukulele: The greatest hitsMarketWatch, April 30th
True, Buffett, who apparently learned to play the instrument in college, wasn't in tune. Nor was this his first time at the ukulele rodeo. Just a few weeks ago, he was belting it out at the new Nebraska Furniture Mart, a Berkshire-owned company. And...Read more