Arthur Benjamin played ukelele

The Mercury newspaper, Hobart, Tasmania reported on the 15th of March, 1929 (the Ides of March — beware already) that composer, pianist, conductor and teacher, Arthur Benjamin played ukelele and liked it.

At last we have discovered a man who is a musician, and who is not ashamed to play the much maligned ukelele. This outstanding figure in musical circles is Arthur Benjamin, pianist and composer, and the winner of the Carnegie prize in London for a composition for a string quartet. He was encored six times when he played with Sir Henry Wood’s orchestra. That should show anybody that he is a musician. When interviewed today, he admitted without a blush that he liked the ukelele, and played it into the bargain. No doubt such a confession brings joy to the hearts of those who have no aspirations but jazz, and who are heartily sick of having it dinned into them that jazz has no element of music at all.

I hope that Arthur knew that you can play any music on a uke, even something that’s not jazz.

Published in: on June 27, 2010 at 6:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,

how ya gonna keep ’em down on the farm, after they’ve seen Paree?

Published in: on June 25, 2010 at 4:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , ,

My Mammy, a ukulele chord solo

Published in: on June 14, 2010 at 7:20 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , , , ,

More Poetry and the ukulele

The Evening Ledger (Philadelphia) of 21 July 1917 gave another poem featuring the ukulele.¬† Tom Daly (the fellow who gave the word ‘frumgeous’ to the world) in his¬†column lamented the death of a famous poet of the USA, and thus could not bring himself to play the happy ukulele.

The Village Poet

Whenever it’s a Saturday
I should address you tritely,
Or stroll on Chestnut street and play
My ukulele lightly.

I know, in spite of draft and war–
Of which we’ve had an earful–
I should permit my muse to soar
And warble blithe and cheerful.

But this is why my eyes are dim
And I am thrall to sorrow:
I’ve just read Whitcombe Riley’s ‘Jim’
He’s dead a year tomorrow!

Sic transit gloria mundi.

Published in: on June 2, 2010 at 5:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , ,