Merry Christmas everybody (other winter celebrations available)! I was pleased to spot a couple of the excellent long-haired, bearded, bare-foot Australian musician, Tim Minchin’s numbers in this year’s Ukulele Wednesdays Xmas Songbook. Why not hop over to page 37 to enjoy this jolly little number Woody Allen Jesus? And while you’re there, read about donating old ukes, volunteering to entertain for Crisis or even giving some goods or money to a homeless charity or foodbank. Thanks.
Today marks the 150th anniversary of the Shipping Forecast – the world’s longest continuous weather forecast. Warning of storms in thirty-one sea areas around the British Isles in a specific & concise format, it was originally sent by telegraph & then transferred to radio. The BBC have been broadcasting it four times a day since 1924, with a short interruption during WWII.
The 0048 broadcast is undeniably the most popular. In addition to it still being a vital aid to seafarers, many Radio 4 listeners use the soothing tones of the announcers to help them fall asleep, especially as this edition is preceded by the gentle lilting sounds of Ronald Binge’s Sailing By (played to help fill any gap between the previous programme to ensure the forecast starts punctually & also to allow a recognisable signal by which people can tune in).
See our Sailing By article from Radders, where he discusses that it’s his favourite PLUC tune.
In this week’s PLUC session we were all very shocked and saddened to learn the news that Kitty Lux of the Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain had died. Co-founder and Director of the UOGB, she was a major force behind the Orchestra.
She had been ill for a while and thus unable to perform on stage with them for the last few years. Here’s Kitty’s rendition of the Lou Reed number Satellite of Love:
The Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper, with its iconic cover art, is possibly the most influential pop album ever, recorded with great ingenuity on just four-tracks back in 1967. A mix of styles, from rock to vaudeville, psychedelic to Indian, it’s seen as an early concept album.
Unsurprisingly, numerous ukulele versions of its songs abound. Dip into most of our regularly recommended YouTube artists & songbook sites to find some of these well-known tunes lurking. However, for those seeking chords to the entire album, why not try Beatle-lele or Stewart Greenhill? The former site has interesting playing tips (& we use his version of Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds); the latter allows for easy transposing or showing in different layouts.
Eat My Uke gives tabs of the main riffs for all of the tunes, played here in a medley:
And here’s WS64 playing the album in full:
Now you know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall!