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

CONCERT REVIEW: Who knew a ukulele orchestra even existed?
The MIT Tech, January 26th

Performing everything from classical, disco, and contemporary to bluegrass and country, the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain had its audience on Friday laughing, swaying, and applauding in sync to the unlikely, diverse sounds it produced. With...Read more

Butch Ross presents Chattanooga Ukulele Weekend
Nooga.com, January 26th

If you've ever wanted to learn the tiny nylon-stringed, Hawaiian-style guitar, now is your chance. Multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Butch Ross will present a two-day clinic for ukulele enthusiasts Feb. 27–28. Chattanooga Ukulele Weekend will take...Read more

The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of the Ukulele
The Atlantic, January 25th

With its chunk-a-chunk sound, whispery nylon strings, and diminutive body, the ukulele is having a moment. Or maybe even a decade. Zooey Deschanel strums one while crooning sweetly with Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Tony Blair disrupts Labour Party ...Read more

Sunday music picks: Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra
austin360 (blog), January 24th

Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra at the Belmont. Never mind that Bret McKenzie from Flight of the Conchords was one of this New Zealand ensemble's founding members. The magic is simply in their wall-of-ukuleles (plus one standup bass) ...Read more

Gretna Public Library patrons can now check out a ukulele
Omaha World-Herald, January 23rd

Those faraway island shores may seem a bit closer to home with the debut of the Gretna Public Library's ukulele collection. The collection features three brightly colored instruments that can be checked out, as well as songbooks, instructional books...Read more

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain Delights Campbell Hall
Daily Nexus, January 23rd

Back for a second performance, The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain dazzled the Campbell Hall stage on Jan. 20 as part of the UCSB Arts & Lectures winter season. The origins of this orchestra are interesting. Tired of the conventions of the music...Read more

Interview & video: Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra making Oklahoma ...
NewsOK.com, January 23rd

After touring its native New Zealand six times, the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra is playing its first United States trek, which includes a show Friday night at Oklahoma City Community College's Visual and Performing Arts Center. Photo...Read more

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain: A delight
The Desert Sun, January 22nd

“The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, it's just a delightful thing,” Gershenfeld said when he announced his five picks. “There's a lot of humor in what they do but, what's interesting is it was kind of the first one of these groups. So I guess this...Read more