Now That’s What I Call Ukuleles 1!

I love Ukuleles. There’s something about the instrument that seems to attract talented and above all nice people to it. You’ll never hear of a Ukulele soloist who has let the fame go to his head. Perhaps to you, dear reader, the Uke only brings back nightmarish memories of George Formby. If that is the case then today is your unlucky day; here are some of my favorite Ukulele songs.

1) Ukulele – Loudon Wainwright III

What can I say about Loudon Wainwright III? The man is brilliant, every one of his albums has at least one song that I would describe as perfect and his ability to switch between the gloriously silly and the cripplingly heartbreaking is astounding. Everything about the man’s performance is entertaining; the words, the music, the facial expressions, the jokes, the wild leg gestures. Here we find ourselves firmly ensconced in the silly category. I’ve never heard this song done as well as when he performed it live at The Sage in Gateshead but this is the only officially recorded version I know of. It’s still bloody good.

2) The Good, The Bad and The Ugly – Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

Watch this one and be astounded. It really demonstrates how beautiful this instrument can be when given the chance. Six uke’s, one guitar, perfection.

3) Tiptoe Through the Tulips

If you mentioned Ukuleles to an American in the 1970s chances are they would have thought of Tiny Tim. A true eccentric and believe it or not a true talent. If you don’t agree then there is no way I’m going to be able to convince you so just have a gander at the video.

4) A Million Ukuleles – MJ Hibbet

Here’s a song that defends the Uke to the hilt! I’ve met MJ and he’s yet another nice guy. He writes a lot of great songs including one, Hey Hey 16k, that became a surprise internet hit. There’s something about songs from a slightly nerdy guy who works in technical academia that I can identify with. I can’t imagine why.

5) Tonight You Belong To Me – Janet Klein

Klein projects an innocence that is just so endearing I could watch her play all day. Although her homage to the 1920s and 30s may be OTT I don’t think there is a hint of parody in her performance, she genuinely loves that period of history and music. This song too is a classic.

6) Life on Mars – Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

To round things off here is another track from the Ukulele orchestra of Great Britain. This is one of my favorite songs of all time, and this is one of my favorite versions. I really must get around to seeing these guys live!

So, have I won over any converts?

* He actually played the banjolele more often than not so really there’s no need to worry!

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2 Responses to “Now That’s What I Call Ukuleles 1!”

  1. Hi Drew,

    Good choice of videos… Do you play uke?

    Best
    Nipper

  2. illegibleme Says:

    I wish I did Nipper but alas my hands have all the rhythm of two sagging shoots of broccoli tied to the end of broom poles.

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