With My Little Ukulele in My Hand

With My Little Ukulele in My Hand


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The ukulele (Hawaiian for "jumping flea") was a 19th century Polynesian modification of the Portuguese cavaquinho, a guitar-like object of modest proportions introduced to the inhabitants of the Hawaiian archipelago by immigrants from the North Atlantic island of Madeira. Mainland North America's first mass exposure to both the ukulele and the lap steel guitar occurred at the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, where George E.K. Awai's Royal Hawaiian Quartette attracted a lot of attention performing week after week at the exposition's Hawaiian Pavilion. This little group has been credited with inadvertently triggering a nationwide trend as dozens of Tin Pan Alley songwriters and millions of curious citizens quickly developed a lively interest in both authentic and pseudo-Hawaiian music that lasted throughout the 1920s. In 2008 the ever-resourceful Proper label brought out Properbox 140, a 104-track compilation entitled With My Little Ukulele in My Hand. This excellent and entertaining survey of ethnic and popular music covers a healthy span of years (1916-1957) and includes examples of the ukulele's active role in genuine Hawaiian, vaudeville, country, pop, and jazz music. Most of the early ukulele and steel guitar luminaries heard on this compilation were born in the Hawaiian Islands, as were Frank Ferara (1885-1951); "Hawaiian Jazz King" John Avery, "Johnny" Noble (1892-1944); King Bennie Nawahi (1899-1985); Sol Hoopii (1902-1953); Andrew "Andy" Iona Lona (1902-1966); Lani McIntire (1904-1951); Sam Ku West (1907-1930), and Andrew Kealoha "Andy" Cummings (1913-1995). Additional Hawaiians who are audible on the first disc of this box set are ukulele master William Kalama, steel guitarists Tau Savea Moe and Mike Hanapi; harp guitarist Bob Nawahine, and six-string guitarist Dave Kaleipua Munson. The ukulele's rise in popularity through comedic vaudeville is wonderfully represented here with 18 performances by Cliff "Ukelele Ike" Edwards (1895-1971), a man best remembered as having provided the voice of Walt Disney's Jiminy Cricket; then with seven selections performed by Oklahoma-born Johnny Marvin, who also recorded under the name of Honey Duke & His Uke. Further examples from this lighthearted realm are credited to the Knickerbockers, a normally banjo-driven dance band here fortified with conspicuously strummed ukuleles; Illinois-born early vocal star Vaughn DeLeath (1894-1943), and England's George Formby, Jr., an ex-racehorse jockey whose father was a legendary British music hall comedian. Following in dad's footsteps, Formby cooked up all kinds of topical mischief, and managed to get some of his songs banned by the BBC, including the genitally inspired title track and its apparent cousin, "With My Little Stick of Blackpool Rock." Reading, PA's Roy Smeck (1900-1994) made lots of records during the '20s and '30s, even playing steel guitar and harmonica with King Oliver. Smeck's ukulele technique as demonstrated on this collection is really marvelous, and like Johnny Marvin he's since had an entire line of ukuleles named after him. The anthology closes with examples from Jimmie Rodgers (1897-1933), Jimmie Davis (1899-2000), Louis Armstrong, who in August 1936 recorded a couple of Hawaiian tunes for Decca with Andy Iona, string bassist Joe Nawahi, vibraphonist Lionel Hampton, and a group billed as the Polynesians; Bing Crosby, whose Hawaiian routine would have benefited from a cameo appearance by Dorothy Lamour, and Cleveland's own Lyle Ritz, a legendary L.A. session man whose "Ritz Cracker" and "Playmates" come from his 1957 Verve album How About Uke?

Product Details

Release Date: 04/15/2008
Label: Proper Box Uk
UPC: 0805520021401
catalogNumber: 140
Rank: 87416


Disc 1

  1. Kai Maia O Ka Maoli
  2. Medley of Hulas
  3. The Wang Wang Blues
  4. Palolo
  5. Lepe 'Ula' Ula
  6. Farewell Blues
  7. Tickling the Strings
  8. Uheuhene
  9. Ellis March
  10. E Mama Ea
  11. He Aloha No O Honolulu
  12. My Girl from the South Sea Isles
  13. Mauna Kea
  14. Ukulele Benny
  15. Guitar Rhythm
  16. Hilo E
  17. Lei Ohu
  18. I Like You
  19. Minnehaha (Hawaiian Stomp)
  20. Ta-Hu-Wa-Hu-Wai
  21. Hula Blues
  22. Kaneohe
  23. Hame Pila
  24. Tiger Shark
  25. Hilo March
  26. Kawika

Disc 2

  1. Hard Hearted Hannah
  2. Somebody Loves Me
  3. Fascinatin' Rhythm
  4. Oh, Lady Be Good
  5. Who Takes Care of the Caretaker's Daughter?
  6. Dinah
  7. Sunday
  8. I'm Tellin' the Birds, I'm Tellin' the Bees
  9. (I'm Crying 'Cause I Know I'm) Losing You
  10. Halfway to Heaven
  11. That's My Weakness Now
  12. I Can't Make Her Happy (That Old Girl of Mine)
  13. Good Little, Bad Little You
  14. Singin' in the Rain
  15. Hush My Mouth (If I Ain't Goin' South)
  16. Love Is Just Around the Corner
  17. One Little Kiss
  18. Somebody Loves Me
  19. Breezin' Along with the Breeze
  20. So Is Your Old Lady
  21. Half a Moon
  22. 'Deed I Do
  23. Oh, How She Could Play the Ukulele!
  24. Crazy Words, Crazy Tune
  25. Me and My Shadow
  26. Magnolia

Disc 3

  1. Chinese Laundry Blues
  2. I Told My Baby with My Ukulele
  3. Sitting on the Ice in the Ice Rink
  4. With My Little Ukulele in My Hand
  5. Swimmin' with the Wimmin'
  6. The Wedding of Mr. Wu
  7. Fanlight Fanny
  8. Riding in the TT Races
  9. We All Share and Share Alike
  10. When I'm Cleaning Windows
  11. Leaning on a Lamp Post
  12. With My Little Stick of Blackpool Rock
  13. The Lancashire Toreador
  14. Oh Dear Mother
  15. Hindoo Man
  16. Hi-Tiddly-Hi-Ti Island
  17. Our Sergeant Major
  18. Springtime's Here Again
  19. I Wonder Who's Under Her Balcony Now?
  20. I Blew a Little Blast on My Whistle
  21. Grandad's Flannelette Nightshirt
  22. It's a Grand and Healthy Life
  23. It's Turned out Nice Again
  24. Mr. Wu's a Window Cleaner Now
  25. I'm the Ukulele Man
  26. We've Been a Long Time Gone

Disc 4

  1. Ukulele Lady
  2. 12th Street Rag
  3. Tiger Rag
  4. Nifty Pickin'
  5. Dear Old Sunny South by the Sea
  6. Everybody Does It in Hawaii
  7. For the Sake of Days Gone By
  8. I'm Lonesome Too
  9. Looking for a New Mama
  10. Moonlight and Skies
  11. Take Me Back Again
  12. The One Rose
  13. Train Whistle Blues
  14. Tuck Away My Lonesome Blues
  15. Whisper Your Mother's Name
  16. Why Should I Be Lonely?
  17. My Time Ain't Long
  18. Ukulele Bounce
  19. To You, Sweetheart, Aloha
  20. On Coconut Island
  21. Nobody's Darling But Mine
  22. The Greatest Mistake of My Life
  23. Blue Hawaii
  24. Sweet Leilani
  25. Ritz Cracker
  26. Playmates

Album Credits

Technical Credits

George Gershwin   Composer
Jimmie Davis   Composer
Jimmie Rodgers   Composer
Henry Busse   Composer
Nacio Herb Brown   Composer
Milton Ager   Composer
Chester Cohn   Composer
Buddy DeSylva   Composer
Arthur Freed   Composer
Cliff Friend   Composer
Ira Gershwin   Composer
Bud Green   Composer
Gus Kahn   Composer
Joe Kaipo   Composer
Benny Krueger   Composer
Ballard MacDonald   Composer
Lani McIntire   Composer
Eddie Miller   Composer
Ralph Rainger   Composer
Leo Robin   Composer
Fred Rose   Composer
Tony Sbarbaro   Composer
Sam H. Stept   Composer
Jule Styne   Composer
Jack Yellen   Composer
J. Russel Robinson   Composer
Richard A. Whiting   Composer
Harry Akst   Composer
Benny Davis   Composer
Walter Hirsch   Composer
Elsie McWilliams   Composer
Harry Owens   Composer
Leo Wood   Composer
Lewis Gensler   Composer
Gus Mueller   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Buster Johnson   Composer
R. Alex Anderson   Composer
Prince Leleiohoku   Composer

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