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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Enjoy Ukulele Mix Plate at The Shops at WaileaMaui Now, July 27th
Mele Ukulele and The Shops at Wailea will host Ukulele Mix Plate on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 12 and 26 from 6 to 8 p.m. at The Shops at Wailea fountain courtyard, where guests can take part in an entertaining learning experience about Hawai'i's official ...Read more
The funny little ukulele finds a following in ClermontDaily Commercial, July 25th
Most of the players at Ukulele Revolution use the standard concert ukulele. The library-owned instruments are soprano ukuleles, smaller than the concert size, but pitched exactly the same. Bruce plays a slightly larger tenor ukulele and reports that...Read more
Ukulele master to perform in PendletonWalla Walla Union-Bulletin, July 23rd
#PENDLETON — Brian Pi'ikea Vasquez, known in Kona, Hawaii, as the “Hawaiian Santana” ukulele master, will perform at 7 p.m. Aug. 4 at the Pendleton Arts Center, 214 N. Main St. #His playlist includes traditional Hawaiian music, contemporary island ...Read more
Armie Hammer Plays the Ukulele – and He's Pretty Amazing at ItEntertainment Tonight, July 22nd
“A little birdie tells me that you, sir, are quite the Renaissance man [and] can play any string instrument, so we brought … a ukulele,” Steel offered, before presenting Hammer with the instrument. Though Hammer was admittedly nervous – he even...Read more
Man with a ukulele breaks out Somewhere Over the Rainbow in Perth trainDaily Mail, July 22nd
The uplifting video shows people singing along in unison, filming with their phones and laughing. The 5 minute long video was posted on the The Liberators Facebook page on Tuesday and has warmed hearts across the world going viral since. 'We turned ...Read more
Ukulele players near and far unite at annual festivalKHON2, July 19th
Ukulele players from Hawaii and all over the world gathered at Kapiolani Park to show off their skills at the 45th annual Ukulele Festival Sunday. The event featured the Roy Sakuma 700-piece ukulele band of mostly children, and of course Jake Shimabukuro...Read more
Hawaii's Ukulele Festival still going strong after 45 yearsHawaii News Now, July 17th
The ukulele – considered a symbol of aloha – will show its power to bring people together when performers from Hawaii and around the world gather at the 45th Annual Ukulele Festival Sunday, July 19, 2015 at Kapiolani Park in Waikiki. Presented by Tony ...Read more
Feuding ukulele bands battle it out in courtBBC News, July 2nd
The Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain (UOGB) has won a High Court ruling against a rival group which it accused of trading off its reputation. The group challenged the German-based United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra (UKUO) over the similarity in name...Read more