A Tale Of The Ukulele
An Audio-Visual History Presentation
In 1995 when The Beatles Anthology documentary was first screened, the ukulele received an unusual amount of visibility. Paul McCartney referred to John Lennon’s mom, who played the uke, and offered, “to this day, if I ever meet grownups who play ukuleles, I love ‘em.” Later on, George Harrison is shown playing “I Will” on a uke as well as a never-recorded tune. All this attention coming from a musical group who made every kid in the world want to play guitar. Could it be possible that, somehow, the ukulele was “cool” again?
For many of its fans, the ukulele has never been out of style. For players and collectors it is the subject of great passion. This audio-visual history brings together the remarkable and colourful story of the humble “jumping flea” that started in the isolated Hawaiian Islands and since then has spread to every corner of the globe.
“A marvellous and informative presentation that gives the listener a whole new appreciation of the unassuming yet highly infectious ukulele. A very worthy and timely tale” Kim Lofts Co-ordinator Ukulele Retreat Australia
“I found myself captivated by this ripping yarn of fact and fantasy punctuated by moments of beauty and humour” Steve Barnes Artistic Director Folkworld Fairbridge Festival
Hawai’i in the popular mind, a siren to the world weary, a pleasure spot where anything goes amid swaying palms and sun drenched beaches facing a coral sea scented by the fragrance of strange flowers and decorated by the sensuous swaying of grass skirted, well rounded brown maids with hula hands and hula hips and everything in the line of temptations. And look! One of these maids is leaning against an engorged and weird tree and she’s strumming a ukulele!
With any great story there is always some myth making to be had. The tale of the ukulele is a great story and it also comes with liberal doses of fantasy but at the same time is full of fascinating facts and anecdotes. This presentation covers the major phases of the ukulele accompanied by many marvellous songs and images. From the islands of Hawaii to California, to Tin Pan Alley in New York, to the battlefront of World War 1, to the everyday world of 1950’s America and finally to the internet laden world of today.
There is not a dull moment in this delightful yarn and it is sure to convert the most unenlightened once they have witnessed the “Gospel According To Uke”.