Steven Sproat, Vaughn De Leath: Friday Links

The outbreak of ukulele stories from last week rolled on. According to the BBC, Steven Sproat reckons too many people are playing the ukulele. A decent article (i.e. Formby is given more suitable prominence) on the Duke of Uke’s troubles (and Neil ‘Mr Amanda Palmer’ Gaiman, Iain Lee and Jeremy Warmsley have been tweeting their support).

Vaughn De Leath’s ukulele instruction record from 1928 (thanks to Ron Hale).

Festival season: photos from the Belgium ukulele festival and video from the Ukulele Boudoir festival and Ukulele World Congress.

The World’s most dangerous triplet.

Shelley Rickey tells BUST magazine how to make a cigar box ukulele.

Bari and non-bari chord charts from Ukulele Bartt.

The guy who put together the United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra answers the question, “how did you get the idea of producing a ukulele show?” This is probably only of interest to Brits of a similar age to me, Peter Moss is responsible for the later Grange Hill theme that replaced Alan Hawkshaw’s slice of genius.

Zelda Overworld Theme on Uker Tabs.

Dancing chord diagrams.

Blondie cover Beirut give it a listen here (no uke in their version). Beirut themselves have released a new single (of an old song) and have announced a new album out in August.

Would I get more chicks if I played the banjo or a ukulele?

View Comments


  1. Ron Hale June 11th, 2011 1:27 am

    Perhaps Steven can give us a list of those he thinks should stop playing. I can think of one.

    Let’s just hope Neil (I’ve read him, pretty decent) doesn’t send along any photos of the
    Tasmania kind of the Mrs. in his support.

    I’m a big Ukulele Boudour fan and the video overview of their festival is great. Lots of
    music, lots of ukes, lots of atmosphere, lots
    of fun, deserves lots of views.

    Now, Peter Moss…The group he put together is established now and they’re not going away, Al, except to Germany again next spring. The most interesting thing for a baby boomer like me was his anecdote about Eric Clapton playing the uke some twenty to twenty-five years ago. Others might find it of interest, too.

    And he goes back to the days when Brit humour was much funnier than it is today. He was part of that scene and it shows in the band’s act. One press review from a city that’s seen both Peter’s band and the Ukes, found TUKUO funnier and more informal. That’s the approach he brings, that zaniness from those early days.

    Finally, I love how Vaughn De Leath, after a rather formal lesson (you can imagine her with a ruler in hand pouncing on lazy pupils), jazzes it up at the end.

  2. Woodshed June 11th, 2011 7:18 am

    Ron: Thanks for your contributions this week. Here’s the Bonzo tune Eric Clapton plays ukulele on. I had assumed it was a joke but apparently not. Also, it says here he was a member of the George Formby fan club.

  3. ted June 11th, 2011 12:46 pm

    Peter Moss and The United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra: “Whenever I give interviews…mostly I say my first instrument was the viola…that isn’t actually true.”

    I suspect that most of the interview is not true. From the bus full of ukulele players to the omission of being inspired by the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.

    There used to be a Peter Moss wikipedia page that listed all of his accomplishments, then the facts were challenged and no one could find any references to back up the facts. Now it looks like the information about the lack of collaboration has been taken down by Peter Moss.

  4. Woodshed June 11th, 2011 1:50 pm

    ted: I doubt he’s lying about any facts – most of the stuff he talks about seems pretty well established. Although he might be indulging in the showbiz practice of anecdote embellishing. The Wikipedia discussion hasn’t been taken down.

  5. Rob NY June 13th, 2011 12:23 am

    Damn! Blondie still looks good! An old shoe,but a comfortable one.

  6. Woodshed June 13th, 2011 11:51 am

    Rob: I’m sure she’d be glad to be described as an old comfortable shoe.

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