During the teens no one could predict the duration of the ukulele craze or the banjo fad, so someone invented the ukulele-banjo to cover all bets a brilliant idea, since consumers couldnt decide either and bought the new hybrid.
Zillions were made by every company in existence (except Martin!
Disclaimer to Internet readers: The following text is a humorous essay written for the layperson.
It originally appeared in a companion booklet to my 1995 Christmas Collection CDs.
There is more to this little guy than My Dog Has Fleas!
The ukulele, as every schoolboy knows, was first heard in Hawaii in 1879 (having sneaked over from Portugal), eventually making its debut on the mainland in 1915 .
Even though they were mass-produced, they were each hand-made, highest-quality instruments.
As the name implies, the ukulele-banjo is tuned and played like a uke but looks and sounds like a banjo.
While normal ukuleles are always strung in nylon, these accept either nylon or steel strings.
These instruments have a vintage sound and look that some of today’s musicians desire. The company went out of business in the 1970s, though its name was sold and other companies have made Harmony guitars in the decades that followed.
The guitars made in the 1960s or earlier have always had some limited value—for instance, about 10 years ago, good examples tended to sell for up to 0.
I think steel makes them sound too much like a banjo so I use nylon, which sounds like the name suggests a novel blend of the two instruments!