Ukulele versus guitar — all for a girl

Front page news for the Perth Mirror on 8 October 1938 — the old story of one pretty young woman, and two young men.

The young woman, who was a fine musician, was taken to a dance by one of the two. On the way home, the other fellow rushed up and angry words were exchanged. There was a bit of pushing and shoving at first, but then the ukulele came out and it was vigorously applied to the rival’s head. In reply, the other fellow produced his guitar, and the battle was on.  After the splinters and dust cleared, there remained on the field of honour only the two bruised young men. A third hopeful had come by and escorted the young woman home.

Sic transit gloria mundi

Published in: on March 10, 2012 at 6:51 am  Comments (2)  
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There is hope for the ukulele yet

The Argus of 6 February 1936 related the news that a chair of guitar playing had been set up in the music conservatory of Madrid by the Spanish Government. The argument for this move was that it would preserve the playing of the guitar against the onslaught of movies and jazz music — apparently young people were voting with their feet, listening to the radio rather than the strumming of folk tunes.

This seems to put the idea of a conservatorium in an unfavourable light. It is then the case that, once a thing cannot support itself in the popular imagination, it has to be conserved by government decree.  Nevertheless, did the headline of this article (with now forms the title of this post) mean that the jazzy ukulele would now be the popular choice of the young Spaniards, or did it mean that since the guitar has now made the grade for ‘conserving’, the ukulele might someday be ‘preserved’ in a similar way?

Published in: on March 26, 2010 at 5:37 pm  Comments (2)  
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