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Flea Market Music offers an on-line community for ukulele players, informative books on the ukulele, ukulele CDs,songbooks, videos and information on our instrument manufacturing of the FLUKE ukulele. Brought to you by "Jumpin" Jim Beloff.
Roy Smeck Concert Ukulele

Original Post By: John in Fla Date: 4/4/2009 10:46:02 AM
It is with a breaking heart that I say this, John King has passed away. A man I admired and felt privledged to call a friend. His passing is a great loss to all. My sympathies go out to all of his family and friends. I know he will be missed dearly.
Posted By: earnest Date: 4/4/2009 11:13:48 AM
Yes, I just heard this morning, but didn't have the heart to break the news on the BB. I was looking forward to seeing John this week and we had planned to unleash a new ukulele/saw duet together. He was such a talented musician and a great scholar. We will all miss him. Joel Eckhaus
Posted By: earnest Date: 4/4/2009 11:25:04 AM
Here's a link to his obituary, they misspelled his name as John Kinig http://www.legacy.com/SPTimes/Obituaries.asp?Page=LifeStory&PersonId=125709574
Posted By: Craig Date: 4/4/2009 11:26:34 AM
This is truly sad news....
Posted By: B Flat Date: 4/4/2009 11:31:43 AM
That's awful. He was so wonderful. Irreplaceable.
Posted By: Papaya Boy Date: 4/4/2009 11:54:51 AM
This is very sad news.....Aloha mi amigo
Posted By: jeanadriane Date: 4/4/2009 11:59:33 AM
Oh no! What a sad, sad message! I had hoped so much to meet him again. Such a wonderful person and such wonderful player. What a loss for all of us. I can't even begin to fathom it.
Posted By: warndt Date: 4/4/2009 12:04:28 PM
He really showcased what an ukulele, as a respected instrument, is truely capable of...
Posted By: NinaC Date: 4/4/2009 12:10:23 PM
One of the loveliest, most genuine people you could ever want to know. Incredibly humble, massively talented, generous in spirit, wickedly funny. This is just one of the saddest days ever.
Posted By: yodelinglee Date: 4/4/2009 12:10:35 PM   (Updated: 4/4/2009 12:11:46 PM)
He was a very kind person. It was a pleasure to be in his class and to learn from him.
Posted By: BeachBumTom Date: 4/4/2009 12:25:46 PM
Had the pleasure of seeing/hearing John a couple times. What a talent and nice fellow. Sad news indeed. Tom Noble
Posted By: ~~ KENT in Surf City ~~ Date: 4/4/2009 12:27:23 PM   (Updated: 4/5/2009 10:16:33 PM)
~~~ Aloha 'oe Bruddah John! I'll always remember the times that I've been honored to be in your presence. Your autograph on my 'Ukulele Legends concert will now mean so much more to me & those who see it every time it's viewed. I can see & hear you in my mind as if it was yesterday............. Mahalo Nui Loa & A Hui Hou ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Posted By: Kevin Crossett Date: 4/4/2009 12:28:37 PM
Very sad news. I never met him, but felt the parts of him that come through in his joyous playing.
Posted By: Spats Date: 4/4/2009 12:29:26 PM
May God rest his soul. A true gentleman and an
incredible artist. One of a kind. We were all
very fortunate to have known him.
Posted By: ~~ KENT in Surf City ~~ Date: 4/4/2009 12:41:02 PM   (Updated: 4/4/2009 12:41:18 PM)
~~~ P.S., For those of you that never had the great fortune of spending time with him or need another John King fix, look him up on YouTube. He will never be replaced, but we'll have this to bring him back with us as time goes on. ~~~~~~~~~~
Posted By: Dominator Date: 4/4/2009 12:48:03 PM
This is such sad news indeed. My thoughts go out to all his family and friends. I am fortunate enough to have seen him perform in concert. An incredible musician and a wonderful individual.
Posted By: UkeGap Date: 4/4/2009 1:19:24 PM
I am so grateful for John's scholarly and musical contributions to our world. I only met John once, but you could tell he had such a wonderful soul.
Posted By: singndance Date: 4/4/2009 1:33:18 PM
I am so fortunate to have met John and taken his workshop. I still am working on his Carol of the Bells. What a loss for his family, friends and the world ukulele community.
Posted By: Gerald Ross Date: 4/4/2009 1:42:49 PM
This is such sad news and a shocker indeed.

It was always a treat to spend time with John. Not only to experience and listen to his musicianship, but just to be around him. His intelligence, conversation, quick wit and sense of humor were always a welcome breath of fresh air.

My sincere condolences to his family.
Posted By: DanK09 Date: 4/4/2009 2:01:51 PM
This is very sad news. John was a good friend, a true expert on the history of the ukulele, an amazing player and a sincerely nice guy.
I will have to reflect on all the great times I got to spend with him, learning and enjoying his musical artistry.
He will indeed be missed dearly.
Sincerely, Ali Lexa
Posted By: looney tunes Date: 4/4/2009 2:05:01 PM
It is with the deepest of sadness to have received this news. To me he was not only world's greatest ukulele player for classical music but more deeply he was one of the world's most classical individuals. This is a sad loss to both worlds.
My sincere condolences to his family.
Ron Knaus
Posted By: Dutch Date: 4/4/2009 2:17:26 PM
A major loss for all of us.
Posted By: Marko Date: 4/4/2009 3:26:09 PM
I just heard. I am so shocked.

My deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

John was the best classical ukulele player. He shared with me many ukulele techniques but even more valuable was his shared friendship.

He will be missed.

Mark Gutierrez
Posted By: ukemaker Date: 4/4/2009 4:43:10 PM
I am deeply saddened by this news. John was the best. He approached his ukulele playing and his ukulele history research with unbelievable passion and diligence. His mastery was an inspiration to us all. But I will also remember John for his wonderful humor and warmth and friendship.
Michael DaSilva
Posted By: Geoff Rezek Date: 4/4/2009 4:57:30 PM   (Updated: 4/9/2009 5:06:58 PM)
Please sign John's guest book at the St. Petersburg Times on line newspaper. It will be on line forever.

Geoff Rezek
Posted By: SamUke Date: 4/4/2009 5:13:22 PM
This is very sad indeed what a great guy and musician. His music is why I got interested in the ukulele.
Posted By: Ukelenco Date: 4/4/2009 5:46:54 PM   (Updated: 4/5/2009 12:04:53 AM)
Wow, that's sad. John was really special. My thoughts and prayers go to his family - Rachel
Posted By: foolish jac Date: 4/4/2009 6:09:17 PM
my condolences to his family and friends. he was an amazing player and a nice guy.
Posted By: DaveInClintonville Date: 4/4/2009 8:38:55 PM
Oh, that sucks; I just loved his videos. My condolences to family & friends.
Posted By: Patsy Date: 4/4/2009 9:02:36 PM
May I add my condolences to his family and close friends. I only met John briefly once, but the impression he leaves in musical talent and humanist grace us will last a lifetime. RIP, Maestro King.
Posted By: AlanJ Date: 4/4/2009 9:26:45 PM
John shared so much of what he learned. In our sharing with others, I'm sure we'd do nothing less than honor his name. My thoughts are with his family and I am deeply saddened.
Posted By: Ukeguy Date: 4/4/2009 9:34:16 PM
Alas, the world is a sadder place today and Heaven just got better. My deepest condolences to his wife, children, family and friends. You are in my prayers.
Posted By: steve-o-reno Date: 4/4/2009 10:21:48 PM
John made music on a ukulele that I'd never heard before, or even imagined possible. He will be deeply missed on Earth, but he will make the Heavens so much more wonderful. Peace and comfort to his family at this time of his passing.
Posted By: Dave Means Date: 4/4/2009 10:21:55 PM
I was deeply saddened when Mike DaSilva called me today and gave me the news. John was that extremely rare man with a huge talent AND a huge intellect. We will miss not only all the new music he would have made, but all the encyclopedic knowledge of our instrument that he was so willing to share. May you rest in peace, John.
Posted By: Tom B. Date: 4/4/2009 10:28:56 PM
I'm stunned. What a terrible loss for all of us. My thoughts are with his loved ones.
Posted By: AndyW Date: 4/4/2009 11:04:06 PM
What a shame. He was a true artist and a great inspiration to me. He will be missed.
Posted By: REMIT Date: 4/4/2009 11:33:20 PM
It was a dark day when I read this! Getting to know John at Portland over the past several years was such a joy. It is hard to believe! What an icon!
Posted By: Boswell Date: 4/5/2009 12:11:24 AM   (Updated: 4/5/2009 2:34:43 AM)
I got to hang out with John a bit at the past two Portland Uke Fests. He had an amazing facility to play classical music on the ukulele. He had huge hands and stocky wrists. I was always amazed at how he could make those thick fingers of his fly up and down a narrow soprano fretboard with such commanding ease!

He had a very wry, and very dry, sense of humour. He was fun to be around. He was fond of telling people, with a twinkle in his eye, that he never, ever, changed strings on his ukuleles!

John taught me the proper way to wear a Hawaiian shirt. The secret is to first put on your newest T-shirt, and then don the Hawaiian shirt, leaving it unbuttoned and untucked. You see, you have to dress warm to look cool! It's a lesson I learned all too well. Now you know the 'how and why' of the way I dress up to busk 'eight days a week.'

I never took a class with John. (It's impossible to take every instructor's classes at The PUF. There's only 3 days (this year 4) and upwards of fifteen performer/instructors!) I was fully intending to take John's 'Pulling Strings' class this year, but now it's too late. I will have to settle now for his published charts and the Jumpin' Jim Songbook.

What Child Is This?/Greensleeves was the first chord solo I ewer learned. I found it on John's website one day, after PUF07. http://www.nalu-music.com/

I mentioned that I had learned this piece to John at PUF08, and that I next wanted to learn how to play his arrangement of Carol Of The Bells. He said to just start whittling away at it, and learn it in sections. COTB has proven to be the most daunting piece of music I've ever attempted! I knew it would be. I had hoped to have it worked up in time for last Christmas, but I only managed to get it 'roughed in.' Hopefully, I have it fully polished up by Christmas 09. I try to warmup with these pieces once a day, now.

Here is some video a student shot of John teaching at PUF08 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYmvqkQ16Oo

I'm glad I knew John King. I'll miss him.

Jimmy Jackman
Posted By: Heidi Litke Date: 4/5/2009 12:30:17 AM
I am heartbroken to find we have lost such an important part of the ukulele community. We will never be able to fill your shoes. Mr. King you will be missed by those who know you and those who did not have the opportunity.

Thank you for your gifts.

Cheers and Farewell
Heidi Litke
Posted By: William Date: 4/5/2009 2:10:34 AM
John is not remembered for what he kept for himself,but for what he freely gave to others. He said what he thought. He did what he said. He repeated his actions until they became habits. His repeated habits have created his legacy. He did not intend for it to die with him, but to be carried on as his legacy to the world through each and everyone with whom he came in contact through music,speech or written words.
Posted By: ukemaker Date: 4/5/2009 2:30:56 AM
Boswell, after hearing John play Carol of the Bells, I became obsessed to learn it. It took me at least a year and I can now get through it "rough" and I have to practice it constantly also. I played it with John in Portland last year, just hanging out. I should have been terrified to attempt it in front of him, but somehow he made me feel comfortable playing it for him. Well, we played it together, but I flubbed the really tough part. Of course, John was right there with a big smile and immediately quipped, "That's what separates the men from the boys!". That was John.

Posted By: Boswell Date: 4/5/2009 2:46:42 AM
Thanks for sharing that, ukemaker. That moved me.

We're going to have to get together at PUF09, and sit beside that big old tree outside the student union building. And slowly work through COTB together.

And remember our friend, John.
Posted By: Carl Date: 4/5/2009 8:28:05 AM
I did not know John King, but he had a large presence in the ukulele commmunity and was recognizeable to even those who only gained uke knowledge through the internet. He was truly a unique contributor.

Condolences to his family and his many friends.
Posted By: ChefJeff Date: 4/5/2009 9:16:25 AM
I never met him but John King was a master and unique in the ukulele community.

As I wrote in his guestbook, John King's videos are what I show someone who says the ukulele is a toy. Nobody who loves music can listen to his Bach Prelude or Carol of the Bells without being moved.

RIP, Maestro. You will be missed.
Posted By: Kirbster Date: 4/5/2009 10:13:21 AM   (Updated: 4/5/2009 10:26:44 AM)
What heart breaking news. I didn't know John but I have admired his talent for years. He will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. His version of the Washington Post March is awe inspiring.

Thank you, John, for what you have given to us.
Posted By: Ernie Date: 4/5/2009 10:53:05 AM
I'm shocked to learn this. A true loss for all of us. His playing was exquisite, and his encyclopedic knowledge of the ukulele's history are irreplaceable. My sincere condolences to his family.
Posted By: TomHB Date: 4/5/2009 10:58:38 AM
My sincere condolences to the family. Having just turned 55, I am completely shocked that Mr. King was taken so soon, and so suddenly, at this age. I have to admit (being fairly new to the ukulele) that I hadn't seen or heard his playing before, but I just enjoyed his videos on YouTube, and he has to be one of the -- if not THE -- best ukulele players I've ever seen and heard. Just beautiful music, and masterful playing skills.

Posted By: Mus of Making Music Date: 4/5/2009 11:39:29 AM
This is devastating news.

John was a kind and generous individual who gave generously of himself so that others could discover and be inspired by the joy of making music.

It was our absolute honor to have met him and witnessed his passion for music. He will be sorely missed.
Posted By: John Kavanagh Date: 4/5/2009 12:43:26 PM   (Updated: 4/5/2009 12:46:51 PM)
I corresponded some with John, but I never had the pleasure of meeting him - I was looking forward to it, and now I've missed him. He was a great musician and brought a flawless technique and taste to the uke, and serious scholarship to the instrument and its music. Those who did know him were lucky.
Posted By: alex.jang Date: 4/5/2009 1:24:43 PM
I've been working on playing every piece in his books ever since "Famous Solos and Duets" came out in '04. I had the privilege of meeting him and taking his workshops 2 years in a row at the Portland festival. He will be greatly missed.
Posted By: Noel-lele Date: 4/5/2009 2:46:56 PM
It is indeed a sad day for the uke world and my sincere condolences to John's family.
John is the first "real" ukulele player that Auntie Carmen and I met at the infamous Uke Fest West in Santa Cruz. He was warm, funny and charming ... and encouraging. It was great to reconnect with him at the last two Portland festivals. Peace to John in heaven and may he be playing his graceful classical style with Iz! What a combination! Thank you John for all of your wisdom the sharing of your talent.
Posted By: Adrian Date: 4/5/2009 3:30:55 PM
I did not know Mr King but he was a master in his own craft.

Take care and regards to your family and friends.
Posted By: Tonya Date: 4/5/2009 6:09:54 PM
If you're a member of John's family, I'm sure you can sense the delight he brought to those of us in the ukulele community--and I thank you for "sharing" him.

John's tongue-in-cheek sense of humor made any conversation with him a joy, but his humility (despite all that skill!) is what made him a man to admire.

When checking out from the host hotel at the UkeFest West (Santa Cruz, 2004), I finished paying my bill and heard, just around the corner from the lobby desk, pure, sweet sounds coming from an ukulele. I searched out the source and there, in a darkish alcove, sat John, suitcase beside him and Fluke in his arms. Who'd have guessed that just 12 hours before he'd been one of the evening performance's featured acts? He looked up at me. "I'm sorry. Am I bothering you?" he asked. Not having met him personally until that time (but in awe of his playing skill) I said he certainly wasn't bothering me at all and to please continue playing. He smiled, patting the ukulele. "They're lovely little instruments aren't they?" he stated quietly.

I think that sense of joy John got from playing is why so many of us got an equal sense of joy in listening to him.

My prayers are with John's family.
Posted By: Spats Date: 4/5/2009 8:36:19 PM
Alli over at Ukulele Cosmos has posted a clip from Tony Coleman's documentary "Mighty Uke" featuring John. It has some nice performance footage of John as well as some interview stuff and that's me at the beginning introducing John when I emceed the concert at last year's NYUKEFEST.

It brought back some great memories of being totally mesmerized by John as a player and person while we talked backstage. How many people can hold a fascinating conversation while playing brilliantly on an instrument. Come to think of it, how many people can even do that one at a time.

It's a nice tribute to a nice guy.
Posted By: UkéDan Date: 4/5/2009 8:36:32 PM
I'm really saddened to learn of John's passing. Thanks, John, for the legacy and the personal touch you brought to our joy and love of ukulele.
Posted By: NinaC Date: 4/5/2009 9:11:46 PM
Here is the Tony Coleman clip, it was emailed out to everyone who was in the documentary. It's very touching.

Posted By: ricdoug Date: 4/6/2009 12:41:10 AM
John was quite the ukulele historian, too. I remember the small rubber mat he would place between his torso and uke, so his uke would not slip during his lightning fast chord changes. Our prayers go out to John's family and friends. Ric
Posted By: Diesel Date: 4/6/2009 8:39:46 AM
Never met him; didn't know him. Honestly, just a name to me, but clearly a good person. Rest well, sir. And may we all remember to appreciate those whom we have while we have them and tell them so while we can.
Posted By: Zathras Date: 4/6/2009 9:02:20 AM
Sad news indeed - if you don't have it his Famous Solos & Duets book is practically required material - and the CD is great.
Posted By: FranSpain Date: 4/6/2009 9:47:25 AM
I can`t believe it!!!
I was talking to him a few months ago about a future visit to Spain!!!
John, I prefer to think you are still here, playing and writting for us...
Good travel...
My sinceres condolences to his family!!!
Posted By: Mark 'JazzUkes!' Occhionero Date: 4/6/2009 9:57:06 AM
Wow, I am deeply saddened by this news. No words can express the loss to our community and to his family. My sincere condolences to all of us who loved John and his works. Peace and God's Grace to his family.
Posted By: Papamonty Date: 4/6/2009 11:48:15 AM   (Updated: 4/6/2009 11:49:15 AM)
My daughter and I just returned from the funeral mass. It was beautiful. Emma, one of John's daughters, shared her most memorable thoughts about her father, which brought about laughter in the midst of sadness in the audience. The priest expressed his surprise at how universal and worldwide John's impact was. The priest mentioned how John's guestbook was signed by people from all over the US. It was a great turnout for a beloved player. I passed onto Debra, John's widow, that John's spirit will live on in myself and in my daughter as we continue to perpetuate his music. Rest in peace John!! Aloha, Jon M
Posted By: Grampie Date: 4/6/2009 12:54:29 PM
RIP, John King. Of all the ukulele instruction books I have bought, I liked his the best. What a loss!
Posted By: ToeBone Date: 4/6/2009 2:17:51 PM
I guess now I'll never meet him - I've had a hard time hooking up with the East Coast uke community. I did enjoy his playing and his scholarly work. We'll hook up next time, John.
Posted By: Dave in Petaluma Date: 4/6/2009 2:39:08 PM
I had the great pleasure of hearing his clean and consise playing of the machete in the warmth of Del's Ohana. The notes filled the room and our hearts and are still in our memmories. Thanks You John we remember.
Posted By: Belanos Date: 4/6/2009 2:56:21 PM
I was lucky enough to meet him breifly last year at the P.U.F. I LOVE his books and his website. His instructions helped me find the grave of Manuel Nunes in Honolulu. Watching him perform was awe-inspiring. He will be missed for sure.
Posted By: Jared Denhard Date: 4/6/2009 3:44:07 PM   (Updated: 4/6/2009 3:51:10 PM)
A beautiful musician and a kind, generous man.
He thought nothing of handing(to my shock) me his "Stradelele" before we had even met at the NYukefest. He leaves a great legacy in having rescued much of the early classic repertoire from oblivion, and creating excellent editions of it, lending an easy-going, good humored dignity
to our misunderstood instrument.
Very sad.
Posted By: Fred Fallin Date: 4/7/2009 2:56:32 AM
My heartfelt condolences to John's family !! We all share in this great loss ! John King was truly unique and special ! He was a grand master of research and performance on the machete and ukulele ! His passing is a major loss to our ukulele community and the world of music !! He will be sorely missed by all of us who knew and respected his contribution to ukedom ! But he leaves behind his research, writings, and CD's that will be with us forever ! When I emceed at the NYUKE FEST 2007 and gave him a proper intro that only he could have gotten...I ended by quoting Al Jolson..."Folks...You ain't heard nothing yet !" Here is the king of classical machete and ukulele...JOHN KING !! That performance took the house down and taught the audience what could be done on that little instrument by a true musical master !! That same year I met up with him again on a ukulele tour ...first in San Fransico...then Santa Cruz..and ending at the Museum for Making Music in Carlsbad, California ! He repeated each time his uniquely outstanding performance and wonderful historical commentary on the machete and ukulele !! He always astonished and educated his audiences on what the machete and ukulele could do in the hands of a virtuoso !! I will miss him greatly... but will treasure having known him and playing a small part in the various venues we shared !! Fred Fallin Chicago, Il
Posted By: tamster Date: 4/7/2009 9:13:47 PM
I never met him nor had a chance to take a workshop of his, but I loved his Youtube videos and his CD Royal Hawaiian Music. After hearing his version of Ahe Lau Makani on the cd I wanted to learn how to play it. He was a fabulous player and he seemed to play so effortlessly. Very sad indeed.
Posted By: Ukulelegirl Date: 4/7/2009 11:36:35 PM
Our prayers and heartfelt sympathy are with the family and friends of John King. He was known as a superlative musician and human being.

Shirley Orlando, Island Bazaar
Posted By: musicguymic Date: 4/8/2009 8:55:23 AM
So unexpected and sad. John was always the nicest fellow who always gave time to teach his techniques freely.... A big loss,, my sympathies and prayers to his family
Posted By: Ukulele Crooner Date: 4/8/2009 10:07:54 AM
It is clear that John affected everyone who had personal contact with him. I remember one time I asked him to play at bit on my Oliver Ditson. It was a treat to hear him play and I thought..."oh, that's how that thing should sound."
Posted By: Davis Date: 4/8/2009 1:08:11 PM
John led the way in showing the world what you could do on a ukulele. The discipline and precision of his playing is unsurpassed. His Bach performances stand up well to those of Segovia. John inspired me to stretch my mental boundaries on the ukulele as well and for that I will always be in his debt.
I was fortunate enough to know John, although I did not know him well. The awesomeness of his musicianship did not spill over into his personality. He was easy to talk to and very generous with his time and support for other musicians.
We had John up in Boston for an early Ukulele Noire at the Skybar 2006. We had a strong lineup that night, but none of us came even close to John. At the end of his set, John received a standing ovation.

Thanks John, for all the inspiration, kindness, scholarship, and superb musicianship.
Posted By: bassfiddlesteve Date: 4/8/2009 1:11:14 PM
Today the St. Petersburg Times had a nice "epilogue" article about John King. Here's a link:


Today would have been the day that finally I met John at the Suncoast Ukulele Festival after communicating with him via e-mail for several months. He was kind enough to join the Tampa Bay Ukulele Society and also contributed one of his recordings to a fund raising project I am working on for a local non-profit organization.

I've been talking to some people I know at work recently about the ukulele in general and John King in particular, directing them to his YouTube videos and website. Two of these people have decided to start playing the ukulele themselves and maybe this will be part of John's continuing legacy: inspiring new players to take up the instrument after hearing the beautiful music that can be produced by a virtuoso like John King.

- Steve
Posted By: Snowman Date: 4/8/2009 1:21:40 PM
An artist and a scholar. I only conversed (electronically) with John King a few times, but those brief conversations led me to read several of his published essays on the history of the ukulele. Read them! His contributions in the field of serious history, based on a disciplined, academic approach and a genuine affection for the subject, have my real admiration and gratitude and his musicianship my awe. His mark will stand.
Posted By: 4wdwilly Date: 4/8/2009 9:26:31 PM
I just checked the site and read about this blow to the ukulele community.It was with wonder and great appreciation that I was able to hear John at many expos, the NY Uke Fest,etc. over the years. His amazing technique and incredibly full sound really were astounding, and I had more than a few conversations with him re: how did you do that?Needless to say, it sounded reasonable, but just try and do it!We had a memorable meal out together last year and I'll always cherish those memories, sounds and conversations. Ron Gordon
Posted By: Ukebug Date: 4/8/2009 9:39:48 PM   (Updated: 4/8/2009 9:40:39 PM)
I had never personally met John King, but felt a connection to him as I do with others who love the ukulele. I had great admiration for his playing and enjoyed his videos on YouTube very much. I send my condolences to his family, his passing is such a loss for the greater ukulele community. My husband purchased John's Classical Ukulele book for me at Christmas. Itís wonderful, and thanks to John's work, I can hope to someday become a better player.
Posted By: George Harper Date: 4/9/2009 12:51:55 AM
Everything Jim Beloff says on the homepage of this site sums up John King's vast contributions to the enjoyment of our little instrument. John was in that rarified air among ukulele virtuosos like Benny Chong, James Hill, etc. Would that we could all play as well as John.

But more importantly, we should all aspire to be as good, as generous, as unpretentious and as accessible as John was to everyone around him. The ukulele has lost one of the best friends it's ever had.
Posted By: Geoff Rezek Date: 4/15/2009 5:44:06 PM   (Updated: 4/15/2009 5:45:24 PM)
If you haven't had a chance please sign John's guest book at the St. Petersburg Times on line newspaper. It will be on line forever.

Posted By: soybean Date: 4/21/2009 3:08:39 PM   (Updated: 4/21/2009 3:09:30 PM)
I am shocked and saddened by this news. John King was a friend and inspiration to all of us. His Bach CD is a classic. He made the ukulele sound like a heavenly harp. He mastered the difficult sustaining style of campennela playing, which he researched and brought back to life. John and I sat at the same dinner table at the Uke Fest West and had a wonderful conversation about the early days of Hawaiian music and Ernest Kaai's strumming. He and I performed together at a few events. John was always surprisingly humble and unassuming for someone with so much talent and knowledge. He was happy to play the music and preserve the wonderful heritage of the original Hawaiian ukulele.

John King will be missed, but his work and music will live onÖ

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Flea Market Music offers an on-line community for ukulele players, informative books on the ukulele, ukulele CDs,songbooks, videos and information on our instrument manufacturing of the FLUKE ukulele. Brought to you by "Jumpin" Jim Beloff. -