Ukulele Craze Sweeps Country!

The Honoulu Star Bulletin (6 September 1915) reported that:

‘A ukulele craze which is sweeping  the states from San Francisco to New York is directly the result of the Hawaiian quintet in the exposition building,’ sas Mr. Effinger.

As an example of the great popularity which has come recently to the little Hawaiian instrument, he mentioned an incident of where a crowd of 200 people who visited the exposition from Chicago brought along 86 ukuleles. These instruments are made in Chicago and do not compare at all with the Hawaiian make, he says.

‘In New York and Chicago I found all the music stores advertising Hawaiian music and instruments more than any other sort,’ says the commissioner. ‘Large posters in the windows also announce Hawaiian records for phonograph music.’

‘I believe,’ says Mr. Effinger, ‘that the demand for ukuleles alone, in the next year, will amount to 30,000 instruments. The two most popular songs, “Honi Kaua Wikiwike” and “Paradise Isles” are being advertised three times as much as any other music.”

Mr Effinger was not far wrong. There was a shortage of Hawaiian ukuleles in 1916.

Published in: on June 17, 2012 at 3:27 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Anyone can play ukulele

The Colville Examiner 5 August 1916 ran the following, aiming to strike the balance between selling a uke to anyone and warning that it might take a bit of work, really.

Get one today!

 The key selling points seem to be

1. The ukulele has had a sudden rise in popularity.

2. A worthwhile instrument if you study it seriously.

3. There are thousands of ukuleles in schools.

4. On US Pacfic Coast the ukulele has become a craze (almost every home in California has one)

5. The ukulele is ideal to accompany the human voice

6. The ukulele is cheap (compared to grand piano).

7. Seller has lots to get rid off, and is willing to help the beginner.

So it was all there at the beginning of the craze.

Published in: on April 9, 2010 at 5:59 pm  Leave a Comment  
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