Ukulele Player's Guide - Performers

This section includes mainly vocalists, not just ukulele players, who peformed the great Tin Pan Alley songs in the manner in which they were meant to be performed. Don't miss the incrdible Club Cicada website which has archives of incredible live performances including Janet Klein and Ian Whitcomb along with various fabulous orchestras and vocalists and other ukulele players. Their website is clubcicada.com. For a large collection of free videos of current players go to ukuleledisco.com which is the website of MIDNIGHT UKULELE DISCO, which was a semi-weekly TV program where you could see and hear some of the greatest ukulele performances from the past two years of the show. I liked "Home" by Dave Wasser and "Rag Mop" by the Old Spice Boys, and "'Till We Meet Again" which is actually "We'll Meet Again" and is performed by Patsy Monteleone. The sheet music to this last one is unavailable as is often the case. Patsy has the best version of "What Are You Doing New Years Eve?" which is now on youtube.com and not to be missed. Also worth a look and listen on ukuleledisco.com are "Rag Momma Rag" by the Boulder Acoustic Society, "Moonglow" by Davis Sweet, "In My Dreams" which is really "I'll See You In My Dreams" by Mark Occionero, and "Beyond the Reef" by Rick Russo. Also, don't miss "Skulls" and "Helen Kane is Betty Boop" by Amy G, a true and truly bizarre ukulele prodigy. At the present time ukuleledisco.com is on a break and you have to search for their videos on google.com or look through the videos one by because the search function doesn't seem to work very well. Some of the better ukulele performers can also be found a ukulelenoir.com. Craig Robertson performs a lot of good songs at robertsonstudio.com. You can now see thousands of ukulele videos on youtube.com including one of Tom Hanks singing and playing a vintage Martin style 3 ukulele. Just enter "Tom Hanks Ukulele".

Yours truly, L A (Alward) White, Jr. performing at Lone Star Uke Fest, in Dallas Tx, May 1, 2009 . Here is L A (Alward) White performing with a great country music band in Santa Fe: Country Music Ukulele. And here is Taylor Swift performing "Fearless" with her ukulele.

Jim Beloff performs at the Las Crucas Uke Festival.

 

 

 

Texas Uke Fest 2008 was host to new star and singing sensation Julia Bernson shown here playing and singing with Pops Bayless of the Shorty Long band of Austin Texas.

 

Texas Uke Fest 2008: Julia Bernson on the left with the Shorty Long band from Austin and the legendary Washtub Jerry (who can thump out the correct and true bass notes in any key) provide quality professional ukulele music for a great finale Friday night. Sitting next to Washtub Jerry is Shorty-Long vocalist Mysterious John who is also the world's best Kazoo player.

Nancy says, "You've got to bring some ukes".

For a live performance from this years Texas Ukefest go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Et9f YyMjcTU where you can L A White, Jr sing "Then I'd Be Satisfied With Life.

This the Shorty Long ensemble consisting of "Pops" Bayless on ukulele and "Mysterious" John on the microphone.

 

 

In this shot the ukulele player (and singer) is Gerry Long. "Washtub" Jerry is on the tub. They sounded great playing and singing "Just in Time".

Shown here is Al Negrete who taught a class on Latin songs and rhythms as well as singing and playing for the evening gala.

This group said they were DUH. DUH? Well, that stands for Dallas Ukulele Headquarters. Their best song was "Coney Island Washboard".

This man may be Gary Crider, baritone uke specialist who is pictured with DUH above. He led a blues workshop.

TEXAS UKULELE FESTIVAL 2006

texasukefest.com texasukefest or Texas Ukefest

Mark Gutierrez and Michelle Kiba

This is the Shorty Long group from Austin Tx whose website is at shortylong.com. where you can hear them sing and play.

Michelle Kiba

Another shot of the Shorty Long group from Austin Tx--great-sounding bunch.

Mark Gutierrez

Jerry Moore

Joyce Flaugher

Ted Lewis as shown on the cover of his great hit and theme song from 1920, "When My Baby Smiles At Me", which is now in the public domain in the US and can be performed and recorded in the US without permission or payment of royalties. Ted Lewis was an early jazz band leader who discovered Sophie Tucker and other great performers. His best recordings were made in the late forties and early fifties and are found only on 33 1/3 lp records.


 

Ukulele Ike--real name Cliff Edwards--the all-time ukulele champion. This cd is one of his best. It has 32 songs, many of which have the ukulele as the only instrument played while he sings. If you think that the ukulele is some kind of gag instrument that does not deserve serious attention this cd should change you mind. Needless to say there are many other great cds and records that he made during his long career, some much better than others. Get them all.

Al Jolson, all round great performer from the early and mid 20th century recorded many songs that are now public domain in the US, including "When You Were Sweet Sixteen", "April Showers", "Ma Blushin' Rosie", "Rock-a-bye Your Baby With a Dixie Melody", and the above song "Toot Toot Tootsie". His work is widely available on cd and lp records, and includes many of the best versions of the great songs of the twenties and thirties, the years of the most enduring hits.

Fanny Brice, shown here on the sheet music of "Rose of Washington Square" was the subject of the movie FUNNY GIRL. She was a far better singer than Barbara Streisand ever was. Unfortunately recordings of her are hard to find but they do exist. Look for one called FANNY BRICE SINGS on the Audio Fidelity label. I have never heard of a recording of Fanny Brice singing "Rose of Washington Square", but you can hear it by yours truely L A White, Jr. on the music section of this website or on "Vintage Banu" a cd recorded by Banu Gibson who is discussed below.

These are the two best Ruth Etting cds I have found so far and include most of the classics such as "Button Up Your Overcoat", "You're The Cream In My Coffee", "If I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight", "Hello Baby!", "The Kiss Waltz", "Love Me Or Leave Me","Dancing With Tears In My Eyes", "Body and Soul", and others on TEN CENTS A DANCE, and "'Deed I Do", "Back In Your Own Backyard", "I'll Get By As Long As I Have You", "Nevertheless, I'm In Love With You", "A Faded Summer Love", "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes", "Goodnight, Sweetheart", and others on AMERICA'S SWEETHEART OF SONG. These songs are better than good for the ukulele player.You may have to find her lp records to get some of the others such as "Glad Rag Doll" and "All Of Me".

This may be the best Banu Gibson record or cd and is naturally out of print and hard to find. If you read negative reviews of this record don't believe them! It was recorded live at the Manassas Jazz Festival in 1982, and has a good version of "Rose of Washington Square", discussed above. Other wonderful songs included are "Big Butter and Egg Man", "Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out", "I've Got A Feeling I'm Falling", and "Jazz Me Blues". There are many Banu Gibson lps and cds that you can find, but another one of the best, VINTAGE BANU, I noticed selling for $49.00 used recently on Amazon.com showing that there are a lot of vintage-Banu fans out there. It seems that you can get the VINTAGE BANU album at a reasonable price or download the individual songs from it from Jazzbymail.com. This cd also has Banu Singing "Rose of Washington Square" a great song discussed above which you can also hear on the music section of thhis website as sung by me.

Joe Brown, a multi instrument virtuoso, has some grea ukulele numbers. Here he plays I'LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS.






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