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The UKULELE makes its debut to the world at the PANAMA PACIFIC EXPOSITION of 1915

January 11, 2013


In 1915 San Francisco was host to the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. This year was specifically chosen by the city to celebrate 2 significant events: The opening of the Panama Canal and the resurrection of the city out of the ashes of the great earthquake. San Francisco was teeming with pride and enthusiasm and wanted to share that with the entire world and specifically the Pacific Rim region.
The governing body of the Territory of Hawaii appropriated a large some of money to construct a pavilion to promote Hawaiian products and tourism. One of the most memorable attractions of the Hawaiian pavilion was a show which featured Hula dancers in grass skirts playing the ukuleles. One song that was featured at the pavilion was called “On The Beach At Waikiki” which can be heard in the movie “Cheaper By The Dozen”. Tourists could purchase these new little novel ukuleles to take home as souvenirs. As a result the ukulele was introduced to thousands of people throughout the US and abroad. Songwriters from Tin Pan Alley began writing songs referring to the ukulele and Hawaii and In homes and college campuses throughout the US people everywhere were strumming all of the new songs to the enchanting sound of the ukulele. Typically any song that was published during this time would always have the uke tuning and uke chords notated on the sheet music. Being a portable and social instrument the ukulele easily found itself within groups of people everywhere. My wife’s grandmother got her first and only uke around 1917 and her leading of the family at parties and holiday gatherings was an element that enriched all our lives. We treasure that little ukulele in our home to this day.
The SONGS OF YESTERYEAR collection features 39 songs of that era. Each song has been carefully arranged in ukulele friendly keys. I’ve included chord grids and strumming suggestions for each song. I’ve also included the starting vocal note for each song. I have so many fond memories of Grandma Kaufer strumming these endearing and lasting songs on her little soprano uke. It is my hope that this collection will allow others to enjoy the richness of this American musical legacy. People such as Ian Whitcomb have contributed so much to preserving the legacy of these songs. Make a point to check out all of Ian Whitcomb’s publications and songbooks.
Below is a YouTube video describing the contents of my SONGS OF YESTERYEAR eBook collection.

The SONGS OF YESTERYEAR has been reduced to just $20.

To purchase just make a payment through the paypal button on the Ukulele Mike website

Questions regarding any Ukulele resource please email 

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 24, 2016 2:54 p01

    Reblogged this on UKULELE MIKE LYNCH – All things UKULELE.

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