Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Christmas Songs

Stay tuned, watch this space and all that as I'm compiling an updated list of places around the Web where you can score free lyrics and chords for all of your holiday favorites. In the meantime, check out Dominator's music page. And don't miss his swell version of "Christmas Island." Link (For last year's list of songs, check this page.)

The Ukulele Solo Recipe

Uke-Solid Citizen Rigk Sauer has released a book/CD combo perfect for the budding solo-ukulele player on your Xmas list. "The Ukulele Solo Recipe" lays out the fundamentals for arranging your own uke solos and features arrangements for 11 songs (impress your friends with "Peter Gunn!); the CD includes midi files to practice along with. Link

Monday, November 29, 2004

Can Uke Beat That?

Who knew that Johnny Ukulele's son has been Nevada's Poet Laureate since 1967? Sadly, his reign appears to be coming to an end. Link

Esera Tuaolo's "Silent Night"

NFL veteran and ukulele player Esera Tuaolo has released his first Christmas single, "First Christmas." The CD features a bonus track of Esera playing the uke and singing "Silent Night"--including a verse in Esera's native Samoan. It's currently streaming in the background of his site here. Partial proceeds go to charities!

Billy "Uke" Scott: R.I.P.

British performer Billy "Uke" Scott has died at 81. Link

Friday, November 19, 2004


The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain is featured as part of the Barbican International Theatre Events in London, November 18-27, 2004. Cheers! Link

New Eddie Kamae Biography

Award-winning author James D. Huston has just written a new biography of Hawaiian music legend and ukulele maestro Eddie Kamae: "Hawaiian Son: The Life and Music of Eddie Kamae".
"HAWAIIAN SON is the story of an extraordinary musician whose influential career has spanned over half a century. As a young man in the late l940s Eddie Kamae developed a jazz picking style that forever changed the status of the 'ukulele. He became its reigning virtuoso. For twenty years his legendary band, The Sons of Hawai'i, played a leading role in the Hawaiian Cultural Renaissance. By the mid-1970s Kamae himself had become a folk hero, known for his instrumental genius and for a vigorous singing style that carried the spirit of an ancient vocal tradition into the late 20th century. In l979 he was named 'A Living Treasure of Hawai'i."
And get this, Houston's book rates a pull quote from W. S. Merwin, no less:
"Eddie Kamae is a living treasure of Hawai'i, one of the rare links with the traditions of Hawaiian music that have come down to us through the generations . . . . To have an eloquent and meticulously presented account of his life and outlook, his views on music and the life of which it sings, is something to be grateful for."
Grateful, indeed. This will undoubtedly be the year's "must have" for any uke afficiondado. I know that since I'm taking the family to Disneyland for Xmas, Santa will surely leave a copy under the tree for me this year (hint, hint, family). Link to James D. Houston's site (be sure to check out his complete works). Another story in Waikiki News about the book's release.
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