Drooling on the Pillow

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The Ukulele 

Thus is the image of the ukulele. A comic prop employed by a dork who would saw off a limb to 'entertain' you.

However, my recent post on Tiny Tim revealed a small, but passionate sub-culture of ukulele aficionandos. Notably, Gregor, of What A Sad Old Goth declared himself ready to acquire one to keep the tradition alive.

I hope he read the Times business section today, which had an article about a new entrant in the uke makers' sector.

Before being laid off from his job as an ultrasonics engineer in 1998, Mr. [Dale] Webb had never played a ukulele, let alone built one. But his brother-in-law, Jim Beloff, is a longtime enthusiast, and he encouraged Mr. Webb to try his skilled hand at making a prototype worthy of true musicians, rather than tourists.

Mr. Webb, who lives in New Hartford, Connecticut, got into the luthier business to produce a product somewhere between the concert quality ukes, costing over $1,000 and the souvenir quality ukes which wind up gathering dust in the attic.

His ukes are mainly plastic, which, apparently produces a better sound than wood, and cost between $179 and $365.

I'm looking forward to a ukelele/git fiddle duet with Gregor and Jim at the next blogfest.
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