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

'Hundred Acre' chef demo and ukuleles on the horizon
Napa Valley Register, September 1st

This week I will lead a Kids' Story Time at 9:30 with the theme “Hawaiian Time and the Ukulele,” in preparation for next week's Ukulele Festival. Our live music next Friday, Sept. 11, will feature excellent musicians with their ukuleles throughout the...Read more

Drury ukulele players take tiny instruments on big trip to Japan
Springfield News-Leader, August 29th

Anyone who's been to Big Momma's Coffee & Espresso Bar on Tuesdays between 4:30 and 6 p.m. has heard the cheerful sounds of Drury students strumming their ukuleles and singing. They're part of a club called DUkes, and this summer they took a break ...Read more

Pleasanton Ukulele Band performing today at the Firehouse
Pleasanton Weekly, August 28th

The lively little ukulele -- evocative of the Hawaiian islands and college kids in the 1920s -- will reach new heights locally when the Pleasanton Ukulele Band appears at the Firehouse Arts Center Sunday. "In this area I have never seen an amateur...Read more

Uke New Jersey festival celebrates the ukulele
Daily Record, August 27th

For many years, the ukulele was the Rodney Dangerfield of musical instruments. It got no respect. The little instrument with the short fretboard and only four strings was typically associated with either Hawaiian musicians or with novelty acts like the...Read more

A ukulele that rocks? Jake Shimabukuro can show you how
Tribune-Review, August 26th

The ukulele is booming. Stores are selling ever more of the four-stringed, guitar-like Hawaiian instruments. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett has taken up the uke. So have musicians like Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, giving it even more visibility. But...Read more

Uke66 Ukulele Camp
417mag, August 26th

Join the Queen City Ukulele Club the first and third Tuesday of each month from 6 to 8 p.m. at Springfield Music, 3100 S. Fremont Ave., Springfield. Or come listen to the DUkes play at Big MaMa's Coffee each Tuesday during the school year from 5 to 6 p.m...Read more

Madeira Beach sunsets feature man's ukulele music
WTSP 10 News, August 17th

Morrall has been "strumming the sun down" with his ukulele for the last five years at Madeira Beach. Just before sunset during the week, the 77-year-old shows up in the sand with his ukulele in hand ready to strum a smile onto the faces of beachgoers...Read more

Ukulele fans, unite!
Washington Post, August 14th

Year of the free outdoor event, held at Strathmore's Gudelsky Gazebo. 4. Number of strings most commonly used on a ukulele. 21. Length, in inches, of the standard soprano ukulele. 1879. Year that the ukulele is thought to have been brought to Hawaii. 4...Read more