Some Famous Ukulele Players

Did you know that Beatle George Harrison played the Ukulele proficiently? He is among the most famous of ukulele players. Others include Tessie O’Shea, Cliff Edwards, Bill ‘Uke” Scott, Roy Smeck, and George Fornby.

The Ukulele is often associated with Hawaii as it is often used to play that type of music. A ukulele looks like a small guitar and comes in many different styles. There is he tenor ukulele, the pono ukulele, the baratone ukulele, banjo ukulele and a baritone and soprano ukulele. Although the sound is similar to that of Hawaiian music, it is believed that the ukulele dates back hundreds of years and has roots in Portugal.

The Ukulele was first brought to the United States in 1915. Famous ukulele players began using this instrument to play early forms of folk music. It has always been the favorite of folk musicians. In the United States, it really picked up with Vaudeville acts which featured Roy Smeck and Cliff Edwards. It was also very instrumental, no pun intended, in the jazz age.

Legendary ex-Beatle George Harrison had a great fondness for the ukulele and his last album, that was published after his death, featured him playing the banjo ukulele. Many of the songs on this album featured the Banjo Uke, which make many ukulele fans very happy.

George Formby was another famous ukulele player who played the banjo ukulele. He was the son of a famous musician who took over the act after his father died in 1925. When he incorporated the ukulele into his act, he became a raging success and entertained in the United Kingdom through WWII. He was awarded and OBE in 1946 and continued performing with the ukulele until his death in 1961.

Tessie O’Shea was another famous ukulele player who also preferred the ukulele-banjo. Originally from England, she moved to the United States where she performed in films as well as on stage. She starred in musicals as well as a variety of television shows. She was one of the few female famous ukulele players who is considered famous. Tessie O’Shea lived in Florida until her death in 1995.

Throughout the years, in Vaudeville, comedy, country music and even modern music, the ukulele has been prominent. It has a distinct sound and is picked usually with the thumb or a felt pick. Learning how to play the ukulele is no more difficult than learning how to play the guitar and most of the famous ukulele players were also like Harrison, excellent guitar players.

Although the banjo ukulele is among the most famous, other forms of this instrument each have a distinct sound and are used throughout the world to perform a variety of different types of music. In addition to honoring the famous musicians who were ukulele players, like George Harrison, there are also clubs devoted to this magical instrument that has been around for quite some time and has managed to bring a quality sound to many different types of music.