Friday, October 29, 2021

Farewell Fred Fallin

We learned this week of the passing of Fred Fallin. If you've been around the uke world for a while, you no doubt bumped into Fred. A sweet man, lovely musician, and captivating chronicler of ukulele and Tin Pan Alley history. 

Here's a 1996 profile of Fred from the history page of his beloved Pullman neighborhood of Chicago. For readers who weren't playing back then, this was beginning of the (current) Third Wave of ukulele popularity, when a seeming handful of Mainland eccentrics played, and it was players like Fred who had lovingly kept the pilot light on for us.

Above is a photo from Catfish Carl's Closet (still extant!), a site hosting photos from the legendary Uke Fest West of 2004. We picked this photo for a couple of reasons. First, this image is from a workshop that Uncle Bill Tapia (then just a youthful 96) gave at the Fest. Fred was playing the role of interlocutor. We were fortunate to have been in the room for this, so this would have been the first time we met both Tappy and Fred. 

Mahalo, Fred. See you down the road. 

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Jake Needs No Introduction

We found it worth noting that in his article on the online education company MasterClass, The New Yorker author Tad Friend understood that Jake Shimabukuro needed no introduction:
"The site has recently begun to attract instructors, including Amy Tan, Elaine Welteroth, Jake Shimabukuro, and Malala Yousafzai, who were MasterClass subscribers before they taught their classes."
It's remarkable that Jake has reached the point of recognition at which no "ukulele player," or "ukulele superstar" appellation is needed. 

Top 50 Ukulele Sites