Monday, April 20, 2015

Telstar on Ukulele & Stylophone

How did we miss this one? The Tornados Telstar performed on ukulele and stylophone. Richard G's got the tab, too, here.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

James Thurber on The Ukulele

The Sun-Dial has been published on the campus of Ohio State since 1911. Around 1916 a young fellow joined the publication, eventually becoming editor-in-chief. His name was James Thurber.

Of the ukulele, Thurber once wrote:
“Let me be the first to admit that the naked truth about me is to the naked truth about Salvador Dali as an old ukulele in the attic is to a piano in a tree, and I mean a piano with breasts..." 
And, while we cannot be certain whether Thurber penned the lead editorial for the December, 1916 edition of The Sun-Dial (which was billed as the Hawaiian Number), it certainly reads like Thurber (read the entire editorial at the link).
"Some time ago somebody read “Madame Butterfly” and wondered why he couldn’t transplant her. So the nearest place to land from the land of Nippon was the isle called Honolulu. So then we had “The Bird of Paradise.” They brought those wierd (sic) little musical cigar boxes called ukuleles with them and the great American public found out that they are easy to play or display. 
"We haven’t a thing in the world against the ukulele, in fact, we like them. But we do hope and pray that the Hawaiian craze will not extend much further than “Yaka Hula” and “Oh How She Could,” etc. As long as they don’t import the cute little sausages which the brown dreamers of the Pacific wear or are imputed to wear, we won’t kick."
We guess those "cute little sausages" might be leis. Odd.

Note the references to Bird of Paradise, the theatrical production that helped ignite Hawaiian Fever across the continent, as well as Yaaka Hula Hickey Dula and Oh, How She Could Yacki Hacki Wicki Wacki Woo.

There are more ukulele "ditties" and cartoons in the magazine.

West Coast Premiere: Jim Beloff's Ukulele Concerto

Jim Beloff & Santa Monica High Orchestra - YouTube:

Backed by the Santa Monica High Orchestra, Jim Beloff performed the west coast premiere of his ukulele concerto Uke Can't be Serious yesterday. Nice, Jim!

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Ultra Wide Neck Ukulele Kickstarter -- Deadline Today

Aldrine and our good friends over at Ukulele Underground have designed this innovative solution for players suffering from Large Finger Syndrome, or LFS.

Watch their Kickstarter video today. Starts and ends today, so don't miss it.
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