The ukulele — an instrument for serious musicians … behind bars.

Army News (Darwin, NT) reported on 28 February 1944 that the Red Cross had supplied some 8500 ukuleles to Australian prisoners of war in Europe over a three-year period.

The spokesman said that the Red Cross took ‘every care to look after the interests of prisoners’ who were serious about music.

In comparison to the ukulele, other instruments were not thought to be in as great demand by serious musicians.  Other prisoners (79 of them) received bagpipes, and several hundred of them got violins and other (lesser) stringed instruments.

Published in: on July 15, 2011 at 5:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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