[alert variation=”alert-info”]Publisher: Hal Leonard Books
Formats: Paperback
Purchase: Powell’s | Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble | iBooks[/alert]

These days the Martin Company is far better known for guitars than ukuleles, but during he 1920’s and 1930’s, Martin made a considerable number of ukuleles, and assorted hybrid instruments like tipples and taropatches that were essentially hybrids that were neither guitars nor ukes, but had elements of both instruments.

Walsh and King provide an incredible amount of information about all of these instruments, including the precise number of ukuleles made in each year that they were produced. This is not a book designed for the casual ukulele player or fan. There are dozens of attractive photographs of instruments and players, together with details of how Martin promoted the instrument. This amounts to a tremendous amount of detail, fascinating for the true aficionado, but a bit mind-numbing for the casual reader.

At the present time, there is an enormous revival of interest in the uke, and the authors show how vintage ukes today fetch hundreds of dollars. Although the bulk of the book deals with Martin products, the book also includes photos of competing instruments.

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