Police Raid Ukulele Marathon

The Milwaukee Sentinel of 5 July 1923 tells of a gang of harden ukulele players being apprehended by police in the dead of night.

It seems that the top floor of an apartment building in the Central Park district of New York had become the epicentre of a disturbing noise. Many residents complained, but the police were not willing to tackle the gang (the cops might have been on the take) until the intrepid Inspector Dominick Henry — himself the occupant of the second floor of said apartment building — called headquarters himself and demanded action.

What the police found were seven young men and 3 young women (artists’ models, dancers and students — you know the types), armed to the teeth with ukuleles and at least one banjo. The said that they were endeavouring to break a record for continuous ukulele playing. One of the gentlemen identified himself as Lamberto Obregon, who claimed to be the 20-year-old nephew of the President of Mexico — the president denied it. The ten were dismissed without charge due to lack of evidence against them. Evidence of what? It seems that they had been playing ukuleles loudly after dark, but apparently that had not yet become an indictable offence.

Published in: on November 22, 2010 at 8:54 pm  Comments (2)  
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Shot while playing ukulele…

You might remember the former baseball star who shot his ex and her ukulele playing friend in 1929?  Here are a few more ukulele players who found themselves on the wrong side of a gun.

In 1923, The New York Times reported that a girl playing ukulele in a boat on a river was hit by a bullet fired from the Pennsylvania shore by an unknown assailant.

In 1925, The New York Times reported the trial of Ms Marci who was accused of murdering a Mr Bagnana. It seems that they were playing ukulele and singing together, but they also had brought their guns along. Mr Bagnana appeared threatening, so Ms Marci shot first.

In 1928, The Chicago Tribune reported  that a policeman shot a college student for playing ukulele. Daniel Wharton, 22, was shot — he says — while trying to replace a broken string on his ukulele. A policeman ordered him to stop and… The policeman said that it was in self-defence.  The uke player was going to attack the officer. Daniel said the policeman hit him first.

Published in: on September 28, 2010 at 7:47 am  Comments (1)  
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