Original Post By:
||Date: 12/11/2020 9:12:05 AM
|I have just bought what appears to be a Style 1 1960s Ukulele. It has "Uke 1" stamped on the inside of the sondhole.|
The problem I've had is that it looks more like a style 2 (see Pic)
Elvis played a uke in the film "Blue Hawaii" 1961 but as the top of the uke had its logo blacked out and the fretboard markings are different I can't identify it.
Does anyone know if Gibson produced this as a sort of Elvis tribute uke.
I've looked on the internet and the only Style 1s that I've seen didn't have the white binding of the style 2
Any information gratefully accepted
||Date: 1/16/2021 9:54:18 PM
|Hi Steve. the link doesn't work for me, which could explain the lack of responses.|
||Date: 2/2/2021 5:13:57 AM
|Gibson was notorious for mixing up photos in their catalogues. There's an extensive article in the Fretboard Journal #40 about these instruments and their development. Uke-1s were made between 1926 and 1967, uke-2s probably went on a bit longer, uke-3s were phased out by 1938, although the model designation was used after 1946 on what were before that year uke-2s (which meant that they no longer offered uke-2s by that name).|
In short, the main difference between 1s and 2s was the 'ebonized' versus rosewood fretboard, and not the more obvious top binding. 1s and 2s had 12 and later 13 fret fingerboards, 3s initially had 17 fret ones, but from the 1940s onwards, all types could have either 13 or 17 frets. 1s and 2s had white-black-white soundhole rings, 3s had marquetry rings and were bound on top and back.
Gibson never made signature models on their ukuleles, although they did publish endorsers in their catalogues and made custom orders.
In Blue Hawaii, Elvis plays a Martin style 0 soprano, with the logo scratched off. On the publicity photos and the booklet that accompanied the film, he plays three other ukuleles. The most famous one (white shorts, red and white hawaiian shirt, fake background with Diamond Head, used on most posters) has an unknown soprano with a yellow decal in between the tuners. Scotty Moore asked Fred Kamaka and Fred Jr., but neither of them recognized it - it could be the martin, with an added decal. In two other shots Elvis is holding two different tenors (not baritones), probably Regals: with the chorus line, dressed in white, he holds a fairly simple one, used also in the red-shirt promo photographs, and in swimming shorts on the end of a beached canoe he's pictured playing a bound Harmony n° 685 tenor ukulele.