Jake Shimabukuro & Friends Show How Uke'n Play Ukulele

Pun INtended!

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Jake Shimabukuro.
Photo:Chion Wolf
Liz Beloff.
Photo:Chion Wolf
Liz Beloff.
Photo:Chion Wolf
Jim Beloff.
Photo:Chion Wolf
Jake Shimabukuro.
Photo:Chion Wolf
Jake Shimabukuro's ukulele case.
Photo:Chion Wolf
Chion Wolf
Chion Wolf
Jake Shimabukuro's ukulele.
Photo:Chion Wolf
Jim & Liz's ukulele.
Photo:Chion Wolf
Chion Wolf rocking out on the ukulele.
Photo:Jim Beloff, filtered through Instagram
Jake Shimabukuro & Friends Show How Uke'n Play Ukulele
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Jake Shimabukuro & Friends Show How Uke'n Play Ukulele

 

The ukulele was not always obscure. Two of the biggest stars of the 20th century used them as their principal instruments. One is a name you probably don't know, but George Formby was a enormous sensation in Great Britain on stage and in movies in the 1920s and 30s. He specialized in playing a banjo-shaped ukelele, and he trafficked in comical, mischievous songs full of double entendres. 
 
Better known to you, probably, is Arthur Godfrey. Godfrey played the ukulele and had some big hits with songs like "I'm Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover." He also did much more than that. You could argue that Godfrey almost invented the modern on-air radio persona. He was the first guy to relax, be a version of himself and even kid his sponsors as he ad libbed through their commercials. 
 
He was also a weird, unhappy dude, but that's another story. Today we're all about the uke renaissance. 
 
You can join the conversation. E-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.
 
***This show originally aired on November 29th, 2012***

  

Comments

EMAIL FROM PETE:

my name is unclezac ( pete zaccagnino ) and i have had the honor and privilege to know jim and liz for the past ten years
we first met in 2002 when the stamford museum & nature center held an exhibition entitled 100 yrs of ukulele and my family and i were the opening act
( 3 generations of ukulele players ) for jim and liz

i've been playing for almost 50 yrs but it took jim finding a martin tenor in the early 90's at a flea market to revitalize a much maligned instrument
he was able to give it a legitimacy that it had lost after the 40s & 50s
it's because of jim & liz that the uke is enjoying a "renaissance of epic proportion" and is now enjoying world wide popularity

so thank you and mahalo nui loa to jim and liz and as the santa cruz uke club has said about the uke:

"music self played is happiness self made"

aloha