Smithy with Uke (Sir Charles Kingsford Smith)

In an earlier post, I noted a newspaper report about Smithy (famous Australian Aviator) buying a ukulele in Hawaii to keep his co-pilot awake.

Tim Kalina has now very kindly shared a photo of Smithy holding the ukulele while sitting on the front cockpit of the “Lady Southern Cross”, a Lockheed Altair. The photograph was taken at Wheeler Field, Hawaii, in 1934.  His copilot, Gordon ‘Bill’ Taylor (later Sir Patrick Gordon Taylor), said in his book Pacific Flight that Smithy played well.

Tim’s has a large collection of photographs related to Kingsford Smith which may be viewed here:

CKS and uke

Photograph courtesy of the T. Kalina Collection (many thanks to Tim).

Published in: on February 15, 2011 at 5:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Ukulele Code

The Palm Beach Post became zealous for ukulele safety on 29 November 1934, after it heard about regulations to protect people working in the ukulele manufacturing trade. It felt the code was deficient, and suggested the following additional provisions:

1. No ukulele may be played between the hours of 6 pm and 6 am, nor between the hours of 6 am and 6 pm.

2. No crooning shall be allowed as accompaniment to ukulele playing.

3. The sound-producing parts of the ukulele, ie., the strings, shall not be constructed of gut, wire, thread, string, rope or any other article which might possibly produce sound.

4. The hazards of the ukulele industry shall be defined as the dangers which arise from bodily injury to the ukulele player, and therefore it shall be unlawful for persons between the ages of two years and one hundred and fifty years to play ukulele.

5. Tariff on the importation of ukuleles from foreign countries or United States possessions, including Hawaii, shall be one thousand dollars per instrument. The tax on domestic manufacture shall be one thousand dollars per instrument.

At least they recognised that the uke is a musical instrument…

Published in: on August 3, 2010 at 6:09 pm  Comments (1)  
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