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

Victoria Vox will teach local children to play ukulele while in town for ...
The Daily Progress, February 27th

Victoria Vox will present a concert at 6 p.m. Sunday at C'ville Coffee to benefit the Uke Strum Project at Community Public Charter School and Boys & Girls Club. Vox, an award-winning songwriter, will perform ukulele music ranging from pop to folk to jazz...Read more

Waikoloa Beach Resort tunes up for ukulele festival
West Hawaii Today, February 27th

Strumming and humming, hundreds of ukulele players and fans, keiki to kupuna, find their way to Waikoloa Beach Resort each year for the Great Waikoloa Ukulele Festival. This year's 15th annual event on March 7 brings legendary entertainers together...Read more

Ukulele in Sonoma
Sonoma Index-Tribune, February 26th

Jim "Cowboy" Kamahele has been playing the ukulele since he was a boy in Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii. At the Plaza Bistro on Saturday, 28 Feb, from 2 to 4pm, there will be a Kanikapia, an afternoon of playing ukulele, storytelling and friendship...Read more

91-year-old Ottawa woman takes up the ukulele (with video)
Ottawa Citizen, February 23rd

Levine took up the instrument a year ago at the urging of her daughter, Tamara, who'd fallen in love with the ukulele herself after hearing players from the Bytown Ukulele Group (BUG) play at the annual spring Grassroots Festival. With lessons from...Read more

Made In Chicago: Ukulele Instructor Lanialoha
CBS Local, February 23rd

CHICAGO (CBS) — In the depth of the winter cold, think of Hawaii, and warmth and the spirit of aloha. A woman named Lanialoha teaches at the Old Town School of Folk Music. “If you want to learn how to play that ukulele and the technique that goes with...Read more

Ukulele club includes strummers of all ages
Green Bay Press Gazette, February 22nd

In the back of his mind, he recalled a documentary that showed his musical idols, the Beatles, had dabbled in playing the ukulele. "It was not a conscious thought," he said about the inspiration to build a uke five years ago. Borrowing a friend's...Read more

When the Ukulele Came to San Francisco
KQED, February 19th

“On the Beach” is just one of the songs ukulele master and teacher Hiram Kaailau Bell will play on Saturday, at a “Uke-a-Thon” under the rotunda at the last surviving remnant of the fair, the Palace of Fine Arts. The Uke-a-Thon is expected to draw...Read more

The two chords you need to join the ukulele boom
The Guardian, February 2nd

Someone inform Zooey Deschanel on an olde tyme phone: the ukulele has gone mainstream. Yes, the instrument that was once a hipster essential alongside thick-rimmed glasses and craft beer is currently enjoying a massive sales boost. Amazon reports ...Read more