Show Me Your Uke

When I think about ukuleles — and trust me, it’s not something I do every day — a couple of different images form in my mind: Tiny Tim strumming his instrument on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show, and Elvis playing (?) a uke in one of his Hawaiian movies. But I’ve been reading recently that ukuleles are making a comeback, so maybe they deserve a closer look.

I’m sure it won’t surprise you to hear that I’m not the kind of guy who follows — or even knows about — the latest trends, but I do find it interesting that ukuleles are getting popular again. In fact, there are even clubs of uke aficionados in many cities, some with as many as 1000 members. There are lessons available, special websites, gatherings called ‘ukefests’, and — of course — ukes are all over Facebook, too.

Apparently ukes have a lot going for them. They’re easy to learn to play and they’re reasonably priced — a new one can be had for $40, although you can pay several hundred dollars for one if you’re so inclined. They come in a variety of styles and sizes, and there is also a whole subculture of antique uke collectors.

According to wikipedia, the ukulele (which means ‘jumping flea’) did not actually originate in Hawaii, although there’s little doubt that its history there goes back well over a century. It is instead thought to have evolved from a couple of similar instruments played by Portuguese immigrants. Whatever the case, it’s enjoying a rebirth.

(Note: track starts with surf sound, so be patient.)

Best Hit Uke – “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go”

 

 


6 thoughts on “Show Me Your Uke

  1. I can’t show you my ‘uke’ BG but I can reccommend an awesome video featuring The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain playing Ennio Morricone’s “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”. If you haven’t seen this I think you will really enjoy it.

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  2. Thanks, Alan! That’s a great video, and it also startled me a little to see it appear in the body of a comment. Didn’t even know you could do that!

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  3. LOL…. If you think it startled you, you should have seen my face! I just posted my comment with the typed URL and “POW” there it was. Like you, I had no idea! 🙂

    I haven’t decided if that is a good thing….or a bad thing yet. 😕

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  4. I wonder if it’s something new? I could have sworn that I’ve put a youtube url in a comment before, but maybe not. And yeah, I know what you mean about the mixed feelings. This one is great, but I’m not sure I like the idea of someone being able to stick any old video up on the website.

    (later) You know, I think I like it. It will also allow me to put a follow-up video into a comment, and any readers who want to share one are certainly welcome to do so. If it got to be a problem, I think I can configure my blogging platform to allow me to look at them before the comment is posted.

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  5. That approach would certainly seem to work.

    One of the things I especially like about WordPress is the ability to edit comments after they have been posted. Especially my own of course but I have also used it from time to time to correct typos for some of my commenters.

    I also was looking in the Admin Section and found under ‘Settings/Media’ an entry under “EMBEDS” that you can check to allow ‘auto embeds’ which may be the controls where you can allow or disallow direct embedding. If that only effects the comment section that might be the ticket. 😕

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