Cover image for The ukulele : a visual history
The ukulele : a visual history
Beloff, Jim, 1955-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
San Francisco : Miller Freeman Books, 1997.
Physical Description:
111 p. : col. ill. ; 24 cm.


Call Number
Material Type
1 787.89 B452 Adult NonFiction Book

On Order



(Book). From its birthplace in Portugal to its famous Hawaiian home, the "jumping flea" has left its mark on popular music and pop culture worldwide. This book traces the uke's evolution with colorful whimsy. Readers will meet some of the world's greatest ukulele players through profiles, photos, and a list of recordings. Splendid color photos show more than 100 of the finest and most unique ukes and vintage catalog illustrations, fanciful sheet music covers, and witty ads that capture the craze of the 1920s and '30s.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Miller Freeman's musical-instrument showcases are all nifty, none more so than Beloff's tribute to the four-string device that is an indelible emblem of Hawaii. The uke, known as the braguinha in its native Madeira, arrived at the island paradise in the nineteenth century. The Hawaiian royal family took a shine to it; eventually, the tourists did, too; and the rest Beloff relays in chapters on uke history, on great players (including reigning virtuoso Ohta-San, 1920s pop singer Cliff Edwards [later the voice of Jiminy Cricket], British music hall superstar George Formby, early TV star Arthur Godfrey, and, yes, the late Tiny Tim), and on uke manufacturers and their wares. The text is dandy, and the pictures, snazzily laid out and all in color, of ukes, uke players, and uke paraphernalia make this picture-on-every-page album one of the most eyeballable (so to speak) books around. --Ray Olson

Library Journal Review

Often seen as a toy instrument, the ukulele has nonetheless influenced the pop music landscape. Bilboard editor Beloff offers an entertaining look at this whimsical, diminutive instrument and an elaborate showcase of rare ukuleles, famous players and manufacturers, and witty memorabilia and artwork. He traces the instrument's evolution from its 19th-century roots to current ukulele festivals in Hawaii and beyond. Splashed with bright illustrations and 200 photographs, the book entices fans of musical instruments and pop culture alike to follow the ukulele from Hawaii to the mainland, where the island craze and "uke" fad began in 1915. Also included are reference lists of ukulele song titles, method/songbooks, and essential recordings as well as a resource guide. Well written and enjoyable, this book will have library patrons tiptoeing through the tulips. The only book of its kind available, it is highly recommended.‘Eric C. Shoaf, Brown Univ. Lib., Providence (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.