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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Recent News: Ukuleles

Source: Google News

Weekend options: Ukulele Alley Cartoon Extravaganza
Minneapolis Star Tribune, April 17th

Join Luke the talking uke (and his human, Tom Lieberman) as he introduces classic cartoons and animated oddities. Families are treated to laughs and surprises from the little instrument with a lot of pluck. (Noon Sat. $5-$8. Bryant-Lake Bowl, 810 W...Read more

Guitars, ukuleles, and banjos – oh, my!
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, April 17th

First was the monthly Rochester Ukulele Support Group (first Thursday of every month), with around 25 ukulele players... Loading… Post to Facebook. Guitars, ukuleles, and banjos – oh, my! on DemocratandChronicle.com: http://on.rocne.ws/1j8woIk...Read more

Jake Shimabukuro and Friends Show How Uke'n Play Ukulele
WNPR News, April 17th

The ukulele was not always obscure. Two of the biggest stars of the 20th century used them as their principal instruments. One is a name you probably don't know, but George Formby was a enormous sensation in Great Britain on stage and in movies in the ...Read more

Snow Is A Four Letter Word
Ultimate-Guitar.Com, April 17th

Snow Is A Four Letter Word Ukulele Chords. by Bowser And Blue. 10 views 10 this week. no commentswrite comment. 1 2 3 4 5. please rate. add to favorites launch autoscroll. font size. 0. reset. transpose. 0. reset. highlight chords. display chords. view...Read more

Ukulele Picnic Releases Updated Musical Lineup for 2014
Urban Oahu, April 16th

As plans for this year's sixth annual Ukulele Picnic continue to strum along new performers and elements have been confirmed, promising that this year's event will top the charts. Scheduled to take place May 23 – 25, 2014, Ukulele Picnic in Hawaii will...Read more

Ukulele more than strum of its parts
The Canberra Times, April 16th

Through the magic of soul travel, Mozart never misses Canberra's National Folk Festival and was there in spirit at EPIC on Wednesday, listening to Jeff Peterson's ukulele workshop. He, Mozart, told me he was kicking himself that he never had the chance...Read more

Gatesville Elementary teacher offers ukulele club to third-graders
Killeen Daily Herald, April 13th

gathered at the entrance of Christeena Sweeney's classroom. One-by-one Sweeney, an art and music teacher at Gatesville Elementary School, tuned about 60 students' instruments before the school's ukulele club started its weekly Wednesday rehearsal...Read more

Ukulele Sensation Jake Shimabukuro
WBUR, April 9th

Jake Shimabukuro started playing ukulele at the age of 4 and soon fell in love with the instrument. As he tells Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson, ”My parents would have to take the ukulele away from me so that I would do things like my homework, eat dinner, ...Read more