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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Ukulele orchestra frets over rivalBelfast Telegraph, September 23rd
The Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain today failed to persuade a judge that its reputation could be unfairly tarnished by the appearance of the United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra - which is based in Germany but made up of British musicians. Ukulele ...Read more
Seniors get in the groove with ukulelesMail Tribune, September 23rd
“They're all becoming experts on the ukulele. We started off by renting the instruments to find out if it was something they could do, since a lot of seniors will have issues with their hands. So far everyone has come back in and bought one. They're...Read more
Almost 80 ukulele players now strumming alongFraser Coast Chronicle, September 22nd
WHAT started one year ago as a group of fun-loving musicians bonding over a shared passion for the ukulele is still a group of fun-loving musicians bonding over a shared passion for the ukulele - they've just got more members. "We formed 12 months ago ...Read more
Smile, you're in ukulele countryStuff.co.nz, September 22nd
So we drive across the island to Kamaka Ukulele, one of Hawaii's oldest and most respected ukulele factories, where we quickly realise our first mistake. "If you can't pronounce it, you shouldn't be playing it," jokes Fred Kamaka, the 90-year-old son...Read more
Ukulele champions dubbed peacemakersHonolulu Star-Advertiser, September 22nd
Dozens listened to children sing and play ukulele to celebrate Peace Day on Sunday at the University of Hawaii's Oahu Urban Garden Center in Pearl City. Haaheo Guanson, head of the Pacific Justice and Reconciliation Center, told the crowd that Peace ...Read more
18th Annual Maui Youth Ukulele Contest, Sept. 27Maui Now, September 22nd
The 18th Annual Maui Youth ?Ukulele Contest will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 27, at Whaler's Village in K??anapali. This year's event is hosted by the Hula Grill K??anapali, and is sponsored by the Okami ?ohana and artisans from ...Read more
Ukulele festival 'Ukekopelli' in ABQAlbuquerque Journal, September 20th
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Once relegated to tourist souvenir or childhood remnant status, the lowly ukulele is plucking its way into a four-string Renaissance. During the 1990s, this underdog of instruments began appearing in the arms of rock stars from the ...Read more
Meghan Trainor Covers Taylor Swift's 'Shake It Off' On A UkuleleHuffington Post, September 18th
Meghan Trainor isn't just about that bass. During a visit to 2DayFM's "The Dan & Maz Show," the singer covered Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" on a ukulele, and it's pretty damn awesome. Trainor even put her own spin on some of the lyrics: "So Taylor...Read more