Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Strange Sources of Music- Giant Ukulele 1926
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Miss Una Fleming from L.A. with her five-foot ukulele is featured on page 55 of the March 1926 issue of Popular Science Magazine. The photo is surreal - the giant ukulele dwarfs the player. Hawaiian coconut ukuleles are also featured (bottom right) as well as a jazzy clown one-man band (bottom left).
1926 was the peak year of the American ukulele boom. I wonder how many other magazines published articles on ukes that year? C.F. Martin produced 10,870 ukes in 1925 and a whopping 14,101 ukes in 1926. Production dropped off in 1927 to less than half of that. (1943,1949 and 1950 were also fairly large production years.) It's a trendy little instrument, falling in and out of favor.
The ukulele is back in favor again in 2010.
(Thanks, Ted Dawson for sending me the article.)