Ukulele in the 1920's

By the 1920's, popular music had become a mature business and since this was before the depression and during prohibition the public had lots of time and money for entertainment. Scores of new musicals opened every season on Broadway and the restaurants featured bands for dancing. Burlesque and Vaudeville added to the options. The Tin Pan Alley "conservatory" provided a level of sophistication that made the old European works sound like someone practicing scales. For the ukulele player, the huge number of instruments sold in the twenties means there is an opportunity to play the music of the twenties on an instrument that was being played at that time. Such ukuleles turn up all the time at prices well under $100 and you can see pictures of some very cheap ones on gallery 1 on this site. Here is my suggestion: Invite your friends who play Vivaldi on their authentic obsolete viols over and play "Five Foot Two" and "If I Had You" on your authentic original 1920's ukulele. Look for song books of the hits of the twenties and you will be able to have the sheet music for a great many songs you will enjoy. Look for "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out", "Nobody's Sweetheart", "Deed I Do", and "Limehouse Blues", which makes a good chord solo and should be in the public domain since it is copyright 1922.


Vintage 1920's ukuleles.




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