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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Baseball, the Redsox and ukulele discrimination

The Pittsburgh Press of 3 December 1928 reported on the effects of prejudice and discrimination on the career of baseball player, Walter Shaner (who might have been born 24 May 1901, according to a summary of career-to-date in the Pittsburgh paper, 23 March 1929). Anyway, the report provides a sad commentary on collective human nature:

Walter Shaner, who is said to have been sent away from the Redsox a few years back because he played a ukulele too much, will be with the Cincinnati Reds next summer. He’s an outfielder.

They put the ukulele player in the outfield — typical. (By the way, how does one gauge too much, when it comes to ukulele playing?)

Published in: on April 18, 2010 at 7:34 am  Comments (1)  
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Three-in-one Banjo, played like a ukulele

An advertisement appeared in Popular Mechanics of February 1928 (page 230) for an aluminium ‘thing’:

Features of a tenor banjo, a banjo mandolin and the ukulele banjo are combined in a recently introduced instrument which has a metal keyboard [fretboard?] to simplify playing, an aluminum bridge in place of the ordinary wooden one and several other distinctive details. It is strung like a ukulele and is constructed like a banjo. A metal resonator and an adjustable metal tone chamber and head tightener are special features. The calf-skin head is adjusted with a nut. The instrument is said to be very easy to play and produces a wide variety of pleasing tones.

Marginal notes in the magazine indicate that the ‘thing’ was called a Tivolette, and it was distributed by Bee-Jay Products Co at a price of $9.50.

Published in: on January 4, 2010 at 8:52 am  Leave a Comment  
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