Tonight sees the Eurovision Song Contest. Be prepared for plenty of cheesy numbers; sarcastic commentary & the usual regional block voting! Here is Jeff Meechai’s cover of the UK’s 1967 winning entry from Sandie Shaw, Puppet On A String:
Category Archives: Uke History & Trivia
Today would have been the 74th birthday of Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien (better known as Dusty Springfield). So here is Richard G performing his arrangement of the Bacharach & David number The Look of Love on his 1920s Gibson:
As today would have been George Harrison’s seventieth birthday, here’s a video from his final album Brainwashed where he’s ukeing with a few pals on the Harold Arlen & Ted Koehle number Between The Devil & The Deep Blue Sea:
The 2010 film, Mighty Uke, which travels the world to discover why so many people of different nations, cultures, ages and musical tastes are turning to the ukulele, is being shown at 9pm Tues 29 Jan & 1.30am & 9am Wed 30 Jan on Sky Arts 1 (for those without satellite, the DVD is also available from Amazon & other on-line retailers).
Here’s the official trailer as a taster:
UK Number One on 13 Nov 1968 was Hugo Montenegro’s cover version of, arguably, Ennio Morricone’s best known composition - the theme tune to The Good, The Bad & The Ugly. It was the first instrumental to top the charts since Foot Tapper from The Shadows, five years previously.
Here’s a version of the Spaghetti Western’s theme by The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain:
After the visit from our Australian uking friends, here’s a podcast from the Blue Mountains Ukulele Group’s founder, Steve Roberts – History of The Ukulele - recorded in Feb 2012 as part of a series called Self Improvement Wednesday.
You can either download it or listen on-line, plus there’s a short quiz on the site to try afterwards.
We’ve realised that many of the songs we bring along to club nights are old standards. The last time we brought in a more ‘modern’ batch of tunes (actually ’70s & ’80s numbers!), we were requested to dig out some Irving Berlin, so I was researching numbers written nearly a century ago.
Perhaps because of the different eras when ukuleles have been popular, it seems that Tin Pan Alley numbers are very suited to the instrument. Regular reader Tom Peters (who writes the Asperger’s Ukulele blog), often performs & discusses these songs. His recent articles have included renditions of Honey (1929 - Seymore Simons, Haven Gillespie & Richard A Whiting) and Ain’t Misbehavin’ (also 1929 - Fats Waller, Harry Brooks & Andy Razaf).