Page 1 of 14 12311 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 131

Thread: The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of the Ukulele

  1. #1

    Default The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of the Ukulele

    http://www.theatlantic.com/entertain...kulele/384453/

    Check out this article in the Atlantic. Does the wider press recognizing the growth of the ukulele now mean the uke boom really is dead?

    I think interest in the uke is still alive and attracting new players. However, perhaps the frenzy has worn off on uke sales. But there are more festivals and gatherings and meet ups than ever.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    5,454

    Default

    My friend teaches beginning ukulele classes. For a while, at the beginning of the boom, interest was high, classes were full. This past year it dropped significantly and it seemed like the boom was over - but then a new beginning class just started up and it's full! Could be a fluke (bad pun intended); could be an indicator that the boom is still... booming. Hard to say.

    I was kind of surprised to see that article, seems the Atlantic is a bit late to the party

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Southwest Louisiana
    Posts
    181

    Default

    They try...they really do.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Virginia, USA
    Posts
    43

    Default

    Does every article about ukuleles mention Tiny Tim? Is it mandatory? I'm new to this...

    For me, the ukulele is simply a chance to play music in a group setting. I didn't buy one because of any boom; I didn't know there was a boom or a bust or anything else. I'd love to find four or five forty-something guys to play classic rock once a week, but that hasn't fallen in my lap. However, there is a weekly uke jam right down the road that is pretty fun. So one seizes the opportunities life presents instead of wishing for what may never be.
    Last edited by Diamond Dave; 01-31-2015 at 04:56 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    5,454

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamond Dave View Post
    Does every article about ukuleles mention Tiny Tim? Is it mandatory? I'm new to this...
    YES. I think there's a law or something. And Jake, usually. And Arthur Godfrey tends to often make an appearance.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Kerrville, TX - Heart of the Fabulous Texas Hill Country
    Posts
    929

    Default

    “If a kid has a uke in his hand, he’s not going to get in much trouble,” Arthur Godfrey had said, apparently unaware that he'd put his finger on the uke’s fatal weakness."

    An interesting insight. I don't know why this comment caused me to
    immediately think of the British Mods (riding motor scooters) versus Rockers (on motorcycles) tumult of the early 1960's. I guess I associate the sweet affability of the Ukulele with the pleasantly civilized and unthreatening character of the Italian motor scooter. But it also conjures up ridiculous visions of roaming gangs of young toughs wielding Ukuleles, and tattered, alcohol befuddled street buskers playing Uke in looser bars and homeless shelters. Isn't it interesting how certain musical instruments carry with them various social implications that have nothing to do with music itself?

    Of course, the writer was suggesting that the goody-goody image of the Ukulele was a turn off for the young crowd of the day, who were looking for a more exciting and dangerous instrument to play. If that's so, then what does that say about how society has changed to allow the recent resurgence of interest in the Ukulele among our youth? An interesting, and potentially disturbing question.
    "The sole cause of all human misery is the inability of people
    to sit quietly in their rooms." - Blaise Pascal, 1670

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    KCMO
    Posts
    374

    Default

    The best thing the Mods had going for them was Sting and the Who. Ukulele has The Rock and the Beatles. The Mods wish they were this cool!

    Seriously though...

    I've lived to see a lot of the things that made me an outsider when I was younger become popular. Fads come and go. I'm sure there have been thousands of people who decided to play the ukulele in the last few years because it was the "in" thing to be playing. Experience has taught me that those people will go away when the next "in" thing comes along. No one will miss them when they move on.

    The people who play ukulele simply because they love to play ukulele will still be around.

  8. #8

    Default

    Uh, Bill, the Tiny Tim character was established six years before he appeared on Laugh In, and was created by Khaury, not Rowan and Martin. What you saw what who he was, and by most accounts, no kind of put-on.

    Because he became about as uncool as it was possible to be once the joke wore thin, a lot of folks believe that Tim helped the Godfrey-generated Second Wave of uke popularity ebb a lot quicker that it might have otherwise.

    Ever hear the term "soap opera?" Came from radio. And most radio and television programs have always been written so as to sell products. Look at what Super Bowl ads run ...
    Last edited by Steveperrywriter; 01-31-2015 at 10:13 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Posts
    1,692

    Default

    However quirky he was at the time, Tiny Tim was an extremely talented musician.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    2,643

    Default

    Now ...after thought ,inserted pre ramble.. The following may perhaps only apply in the UK :

    The electric guitar had a heyday in the 70s with rock,n,roll,rock,prog rock,metal,heavy metal...it was surpassed and supplanted by the slightly more effete bands (my opinion only) of the 80's who made much more use of the keytar ,synthesisers,electronic keyboards ...( the geetar bands still existed ,they just could not as much play on air )

    I don't really know what happened in the 90's as I lost interest in listening to the pap pumped out by commercial record labels of any stripe and I am still waiting for a resurgence of young talent in the 2000s(However that may be down to a Crusty old Fartliness that I nurture with a passion)......you can only take so much androgony , waif like young ladies who sing in a lisping and slightly breathless manner (Melluah etc) and scruffy looking Scotsmen or 17 year old gingas with an "affected" beat up guitar and a retro sound......(Nutrino ...and Ed ...thing ..Shenanigan or similar)

    Throughout all these musical convolutions and twisty turny in and outs of instrumental popularity I kept my Ukulele (Banjo Uke ...1 only)in my hand ,yes sir ....I kept me ukulele in my hand.....not constantly ...in the late 80s to about 2010 I did not play it as faithfully nor as often as I should..but like a good old friend kept in touch whilst experimenting with it's bigger six stringed cousin...

    I never "got" Tiny Tim during his brief period of UK popularity, I was a kid and he made no sense to me .....George Formby was my influence...and to a lot of other ukers in soggyland in late the 60's...a Formby right hand technique was the goal of many a spotty yoof....because we had not realised the little tricks that he played with his left.....

    Anyhow ....what I think I am saying is that wave of popularity ....what wave of popularity ...?

    I think that term really only applies to those who treat the uke as a passing fad ,to try this "easy to play" instrument ,to realise that actually this really needs some time devoting to it, I can't be bothered ....move on........ and the corporates and individuals who can ride that crest of a wave.......my Old Pet Peeve..for example ....straps....mostly unheard of ...definitely unheard of by my crew as kids.......now they are all over , in discussions , in shops ,in your houses. I concede that they are fine for those that use and want them ....if I ever play anything bigger than a concert even I may possibly have to eat crow pie and get one....( I have many ,many guitar straps ) I think these "waves" may be artificial and driven by slick marketing and merchandising........I don't think Ukers come and go ,They See , They Uke , They Conquer , They Stay.........................


    Sorry ...it's longer than I meant it to be....ah well...
    Last edited by CeeJay; 02-01-2015 at 01:21 AM.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •