The ukulele was not always obscure. Two of the biggest stars of the 20th century used them as their principal instruments. One is a name you probably don't know, but George Formby was a enormous sensation in Great Britain on stage and in movies in the 1920s and '30s. He specialized in playing a banjo-shaped ukulele, and he trafficked in comical, mischievous songs full of double entendres.
Better known to you, probably, is Arthur Godfrey. Godfrey played the ukulele and had some big hits with songs like "I'm Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover." He also did much more than that. You could argue that Godfrey almost invented the modern on-air radio persona. He was the first guy to relax, be a version of himself and even kid his sponsors as he ad libbed through their commercials.
He was also a weird, unhappy dude, but that's another story. This hour, we're all about the uke renaissance. You can join the conversation. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.
***This show originally aired on November 29th, 2012***
- Jake Shimabukuro is a world-class ukulele player from Hawaii
- Liz & Jim Beloff are ukulele players, arrangers, and founders of Flea Market Music