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A History TRANQUADA and KING HAWAI‘I MUSIC/HISTORY “The authors have successfully produced the most thoroughly documented research into the history of the ‘ukulele. They describe in great detail the background of its forerunners, the machete, and describe the transformation into ‘ukulele.” — Byron K. Yasui, professor emeritus, music department, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa “Here, at last, is the complete story of the ‘ukulele. Thanks to the authors’ years of tireless research, the instrument’s incredible journey is brought vividly to life. This book is a labor of love and a gift of enduring scholarship.” — Jim Beloff, author of The Ukulele: AVisual History “The ‘ukulele has a rich and lively history, and this book tellsitall.For‘ukulelefans—andfansofpopularHawaiian music in general—this is a must-read.” — Roy Sakuma, founder of Roy Sakuma Studios and ‘Ukulele Festival Hawai‘i “The ‘ukulele has served as one of Hawai‘i’s pop culture icons for decades, and with this history, Tranquada and King finally give it the academic and intellectual attention it so justly deserves.” — Aaron J. Salā, musician and song writer, Nā Hōku Hanohano award winner, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Cover art: Maria Lane and friend, ca. 1891‒1892. Reproduced by permission of Bishop Museum. Cover design: Mardee Melton ISBN 978-0-8248-3544-6 9 780824 835446 9 0 0 0 0 University of Hawai‘i Press HONOLULU, HAWAI‘I 96822-1888 S ince its introduction to Hawai‘i in 1879, the ‘ukulele has been many things: a symbol of an island paradise; a tool of political protest; an instrument central to a rich musical culture; a musical joke; a highly soughtafter collectible; a cheap airport souvenir; a lucrative industry; and the product of a remarkable synthesis of Western and Pacific cultures. The ‘Ukulele: A History explores all of these facets, placing the instrument for the first time in a broad historical, cultural, and musical context. Drawing on a wealth of previously untapped sources, Jim Tranquada and John King tell the surprising story of how an obscure four-string folk guitar from Portugal became the national instrument of Hawai‘i, of its subsequent rise and fall from international cultural phenomenon to the “Dangerfield of instruments,” and of the resurgence in popularity (and respect) it is currently enjoying among musicians from Thailand to Finland. The book shows how the technologies of successive generations (recorded music, radio, television, the Internet) have played critical roles in popularizing the ‘ukulele. Famous composers and entertainers (Queen Liliuokalani, Irving Berlin, Arthur Godfrey, Paul McCartney, SpongeBob SquarePants) and writers (Rudyard Kipling, Jack London, P. G. Wodehouse, Agatha Christie) wind their way through its history—as well as a host of outstanding Hawaiian musicians (Ernest Kaai, George Kia Nahaolelua, Samuel K. Kamakaia, Henry A. Peelua Bishaw). In telling the story of the ‘ukulele , Tranquada and King also present a sweeping history of modern Hawaiian music that spans more than two centuries , beginning with the introduction of Western melody and harmony by missionaries to the Hawaiian music renaissance of the 1970s and 1980s. Jim Tranquada, a former newspaper reporter, is director of communications for Occidental College in Los Angeles. He is a great-great grandson of ‘ukulele pioneer Augusto Dias. The late John King was widely acknowledged as one of the modern masters of the ‘ukulele. He taught guitar at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida, was a contributor to Soundboard, the journal of the Guitar Foundation of America, and is the author of The Hawaiian ‘Ukulele and Guitar Makers: 1884–1930. (Continued on back flap) (Continued from front flap) A History Jim Tranquada and John King A Latitude 20 Book University of Hawai‘i Press Honolulu © 2012 University of Hawai‘i Press All rights reserved Printed in the United States of America 17 16 15 14 13 12   6 5 4 3 2 1 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Tranquada, Jim. The ‘ukulele : a history / Jim Tranquada and John King. p. cm. “A latitude 20 book.” Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-0-8248-3544-6 (hardcover : alk. paper)—ISBN 978-0-8248-3634-4 (pbk. : alk. paper) 1. Ukulele. 2. Ukulele—Hawaii—History. I. King, John. II. Title. ML1015.U5T73 2012 787.8’91909—dc23 2011052157 Unless otherwise identified, images are from the authors’ collections. University of Hawai‘i Press books are printed on acid-free paper and meet the guidelines for permanence and durability of the Council on Library Resources. Designed by Mardee...


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