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

After contest win, Lakeland students to play ukuleles
Scranton Times-Tribune, February 13th

The ukuleles — small, guitar-like instruments often associated with Hawaiian music — will join a wide range of instruments Lakeland elementary students already play, including bells, recorders and bongos. The Kala Makala Waterman ukuleles have a...Read more

Library adds ukulele classes at East Bend location
Bend Bulletin, February 13th

Local ukulele instructor Cinda Johnson teaches all three series. Johnson has taught ukulele for more than 10 years, and does ukulele therapy for seniors at assisted-living homes, retirement homes and hospice facilities, according to a news release...Read more

Mactan ukulele festival set
Inquirer.net, February 12th

THE fourth edition of the Mactan Ukulele Festival will be held on Feb. 27, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Lapu-Lapu City auditorium. The festival is organized by Frank Cane, a music teacher of Marigondon Elementary School and the school's music program ...Read more

FT Masterclass: Ukulele with Joe Brown
Financial Times, February 12th

Brown has mastered many instruments during his 54-year recording career but the ukulele remains his favourite. When Harrison passed away in 2001, Brown's uke-led rendition of the 1920s ballad “I'll See You in My Dreams” closed the memorial concert for ...Read more

Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra continues to spread Hawaii's little ...
Knoxville News Sentinel, February 12th

When the Portuguese introduced what became known as the ukulele to Hawaiians in the 1800s, the Hawaiians gave the little instrument the name "jumping flea." Since that time, the little flea has hopped from island to island and continent to continent, ...Read more

Annual Valentine ukulele open mic and play-along set for Friday
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle, February 12th

Open mic performers are guaranteed a warm reception in the all-ukulele open mic cabaret. Prizes for “Saddest Song,” “Sweetest Song” and “Valentine Attire” will be decided by audience ballot. Performers can sign up in advance online, or grab remaining ...Read more

Cupid's ukulele: Singing telegram's upgrade
Philly.com, February 12th

A MODERN-DAY Cupid is strumming love, maybe something less serious, on his ukulele, and the song is slipping out an open door in a Center City apartment to flirt with the snow flurries, just before Valentine's Day. Eric Jaffe's beard is painted as red...Read more

The DIY Musician: 1917 Film on 'The Making of a Ukulele,' Plus Free DIY Uke Plans
Guitar World Magazine, February 8th

Build Your own Homemade Hawaiian Cigar Box Ukulele (Published 1917): In it, S.H. Samuels walks the reader through the basics of constructing a uke, which in 1917 “was made at a cost of 30 cents, by careful selection of materials from the shop scrap stock...Read more