The El Paso Herald unfair to ukuleles

28 November 1916: thus saith The El Paso Herald:

The Ukulele

Hawaii, following the lead of the mother country, the United States, is in the midst of a manufacturing boom with the ukulele as the chief product, an article less deadly than war munitions and less high-priced than flour and women’s boots. The popularity which Hawaiian music has achieved in this country is responsible for the making of ukuleles, on which this music may be played, or which may be used for purposes of accompaniment.

The ukulele is a guitar which never grew up. It produces a melodious groan, just as the Hawaiian steel guitar produces a musical whine. It is easy to manufacture and easy to play, which accounts, perhaps, for some of its popularity.

String in string with the ukulele goes the “Hawaiian” song, a missionary’s hymn elaborated, syncopated and generally disguised, and full many a man and girl are doing yeoman service in trying to master these songs of the islands who never sang a good old gospel hymn in their lives.

Fine business for Hawaii while it lasts. Only, if it grows and lasts much longer, there is danger that Connecticut will soon be making most of the genuine Hawaiian ukuleles, to the detriment of Honolulu.

Published in: on March 21, 2011 at 8:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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