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

CANNIBAL CORPSE's 'Frantic Disembowelment' Gets Ukulele Treatment

Chicago-based guitarist Rob Scallon, who became an Internet sensation in May when he released a video for his ukulele cover version of SLAYER's "War Ensemble", has returned with yet another unconventional rendition of an extreme-metal song, this time ...Read more

Pete Waters: Joe Arnold, civics teacher with a ukulele
Herald-Mail Media, July 26th

I'd like to take you back to a time when going to Boonsboro High School was something pretty special. What made this time so unique for my generation, you might ask. That's a fairly easy question to answer...Read more

Quad-City Ukulele Club entertains the crowd
Quad City Times, July 26th

Phil Vernon of Davenport said members of the Quad-City Ukulele Club, of which he reluctantly said he is one of the leaders, graduated to the big race this year. "This is our first year on the main course," he said. "But for a couple, or maybe three...Read more

Ukulele Festival of Northern California
USA TODAY, July 25th

This shindig, held on the campus of Chabot College in Hayward, is the largest of its kind on the mainland U.S. Festivities include performances by some of the world's most renowned ukulele players, lessons, hula-dancing, and more. There also are ...Read more

Ukulele strings tuneful salute at Charm City Ukulele Festival
Baltimore Post-Examiner, July 24th

Welcome to the Third Coming of the Ukulele. The smallest member of the guitar family is currently enjoying a renaissance in coffee houses and concert halls around the world. One was even employed for a worship service here in Baltimore by a Christian ...Read more

Man, 97, was 'thrown out of his retirement home for playing the ukulele too ...
Daily Mail, July 21st

A 97-year-old man was evicted from his retirement center in Napa, California and he claims it's because he played the ukulele too much. An anonymous donor helped Jim Farrell, 97, find a new home after being thrown out by Redwood Retirement Center with ...Read more

97-year-old ukulele player evicted from retirement home
KTVU San Francisco, July 18th

Ninety-seven-year-old Jim Farrell likes to sing and play his ukulele. He says he's a veteran of three wars. But most recently he's found himself homeless. He had been living independently at the Redwood Retirement Residence in Napa, until eleven days...Read more

44th Annual Ukulele Festival continues despite rainy weather
Hawaii News Now, July 16th

An effort to the name the ukulele as Hawaii's official instrument was unsuccessful during the 2014 legislative session. Bills that would've declared the ukulele Hawaii's official instrument died amid debate that other instruments such as the steel...Read more