If there could be a sub-heading on this blog, it might be ‘overcoming one’s prejudices’. My memories of ukuleles’ are not great; when I was young, a certain ‘old-time’ British singer with a soprano ukulele/banjo was famous for his rendition of ‘I’m leaning on the lamp post at the corner of the street...’ In my youth, this was definitely not cool; it belonged to the previous generation. Then, there was the infamous ‘Tiptoe through the tulips’. Nuff said! But now, ukuleles are becoming trendy again. When I visit my favourite music store, they carry quite the selection, and young ‘cool’ guys are buying them. Even our local book store is carrying them!
I’m so impressed by some of the examples of ukulele playing out there – YouTube is great for finding them. You can find a classic version of ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’ by the late Iz, a Hawaiian virtuoso. When I first watched his video, I was entranced by the breathtaking scenery and the laid back playing. He was a really ‘big’ guy, but his gentle spirit emerged so powerfully through his playing and singing. You can see it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1bFr2SWP1I It’s haunting; it’s mellow, and I can play it now! There is something so appealing about it. I’ve watched it a few times, and will definitely watch it a few more, especially when I want to be transported to somewhere warmer than our frozen North!