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 Genius Jake Shimabukuro Returns
Santa Barbara Independent, October 20th

An aura of inherent boyishness infuses ukulele star Jake Shimabukuro. He has the gee-whiz adventurousness of an extreme skateboarder, game to go for the impossible, coupled with a disarming humility and genuineness that wonders at his skyrocketed ...Read more

Play that funky ukulele, white boy
CapitalGazette.com, October 18th

To enhance my innate musical talents, I found a book online called "Ukulele for Dummies." I noticed the book is 360 pages. Seems to me a book for dummies about playing the so-called easiest instrument should be about 6 pages. Anyway, I found a cheat ...Read more

Cat to Musician: No One Cares About Your Stupid Ukulele Solo
Jezebel, October 16th

If there's one thing that ruins a beautiful YouTube performance of a ukulele song about being frightened of "dentists and the dark." It's a music-hating cat who's not at all interested in your soulful crooning and enthusiastic strumming. Fuck you...Read more

Hero Cat Saves World From Another Goddamn Fucking Ukulele Cover
Gawker, October 15th

This video has become popular today as a short vignette about how cats are selfish and malicious and constantly interrupting your Important Human Business. Slice of life, right? We can all relate to those wacky cats! They're annoying as hell, but we...Read more

Duelling ukulele orchestras may take turf war to high court
The Guardian, October 14th

To the anger of the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, a group established in 1985 which moved from strumming in folk clubs to packing out the Royal Albert Hall with unlikely cover versions of songs such as Wuthering Heights and Smells Like Teen...Read more

Ukulele Days
The New Yorker, October 5th

William H. Macy's stock-in-trade, discontent, had made him dangerously content. Long the go-to guy for intense anxiety in such films as “Fargo” and “Magnolia,” Macy has more recently been playing a drunk on Showtime's “Shameless,” which shoots not far ...Read more

Ukulele slam punches up Kansas City folk scene
Kansas City Star, October 4th

A couple of years ago, Pam Waters got a call from a friend. “You know that ukulele you have?” The friend had heard about a group, the Ukulele Fight Club of Kansas City, and suggested Waters check it out. “So I took my ukulele, and it was like I was...Read more

Judge refuses injunction in battle of ukulele orchestras
The Guardian, September 23rd

Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain bosses claimed that their German rival was infringing trademark rights. They took action weeks before the United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra was due to start its first British tour, and asked for an injunction...Read more