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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Strum in to learn ukuleleIpswich Advertiser, June 29th
IT MIGHT be winter but the Royal Mail Hotel is heating up by spreading the summer vibes with some new ukulele workshops. Vic Kena, from the Australian Ukulele Show, will host the workshops at the hotel and says the ukulele is a perfect instrument for ...Read more
Omaha Ukulele Club welcomes all who want to plink alongOmaha World-Herald, June 29th
“The ukulele is a very social instrument and lends itself to meeting new people and flexing those play-as-a-group muscles,” Schimpf said. “Our goal is to give anybody who ever was interested in learning ukulele a chance to learn and play.” Each club...Read more
Cerys Matthews: tunes to play on the ukuleleThe Guardian, June 26th
Ah, the ubiquitous ukulele. Just like today's coffee shops, or video shops in the 1980s: first there were none, then the odd one appeared, and suddenly they're everywhere. Ukulele orchestras and ukulele flash mobs are mushrooming, but growing in...Read more
Longmont police notes: Woman hit husband with ukulele during fight over ...Longmont Times-Call, June 25th
His wife hit him with a ukulele during the fight but was not charged. Longmont police on Wednesday took a report of a vehicle stolen from the area of the train tracks and 21st Avenue. The case remains open and under investigation. On Wednesday...Read more
Senior Center strummers take ukuleles on the townSan Jose Mercury News, June 23rd
There are a wide range of classes, games and activities held daily in the multi-purpose senior center of the Pacifica Community Center, including: basic hula, big bucks bingo, family tree research and ukulele. That latter class gave birth to The...Read more
Irish bestman's ukulele tribute has the crowd in stitches (VIDEO)IrishCentral, June 16th
Matt O'Boyle took to the microphone with his ukulele to sing his way through the wedding tradition. The happy couple, Sean and Caroline, certainly seem impressed, as do the crowd who roar with laughter at Matt's unique speech. We'd say this certainly ...Read more
This guy made a flame-throwing ukulele based on 'Mad Max' because WHY NOTUSA TODAY, June 10th
Who doesn't want to be strapped to a giant moving amp while playing the song of car-chasing glory and shooting KILLER FLAMES FROM YOUR GUITAR. Well, thanks to this fantastic DIY video by Make Magazine, you can partly achieve that goal — by ...Read more
Make your own Mad Max flamethrower ukuleleCNET, June 9th
C'mon baby, light my ukulele! Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET. There are so many memorable moments from the action-packed "Mad Max: Fury Road," it's hard to decide which one stands out the most as the fan favorite. When we were treated to ...Read more