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

Ukulele Group looks to expand members
Biggleswade Today, January 31st

“Playing the ukulele has become our passion and the group really is going from strength to strength. “We are looking for new members to join us although they must be over the age of 18 to take part.” The group also has a dress code which says that...Read more

Take part in this year's Big Island Ukulele Picnic
Hawaii News Now, January 30th

This year's Big Island Ukulele Picnic is being held at Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows on February 7 and 8, where admission is free and open to the public. The lineup includes some award winning musicians and performers. Oahu residents can also ...Read more

Ukulele-playing can serve as major stress reliever for college students
SRU The Online Rocket, January 29th

Life is constantly throwing stress in our lives, especially as college students. Between classes, relationships, money, family, work, etc., it really seems like we just cannot get ahead of anything. While there are many ways to deal with stress like...Read more

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

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

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

Scottish man beats masturbating rap with air ukulele defense
New York Daily News, January 13th

He was stroking an instrument, but it was only a ukulele. A ukulele player in Scotland was cleared Tuesday on charges of indecency after neighbors believed he was masturbating while naked in front of a window of his home that faced the street, reports...Read more