Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Another Carol(e)

I have a lot of ukulele happenings I will have to catch you up on soon. So many that I haven't written in nearly two months. But for now, I thought I'd apprise you of this uke player tidbit I just found: yet another famous person(s) who picked up a ukulele.

I am currently reading "Girls Like Us." No, it's not a summer reading trashy chick-lit novel. Instead it chronicles the lives and careers of Carole King, Joni Mitchell, and Carly Simon and the journey of their generation. I remember growing up on their music. I was especially a huge fan of Carole's music.

Anyway, the book tells of a time early on when Carole King won a talent show as a child and requested a baritone ukulele as her prize. But as if this weren't enough, she appeared soon after on Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour, strumming that uke through a rousing rendition of the hit parade-topping "Shrimp Boats!" I sure wish I could find a clip of that appearance on YouTube!

Funny thing is that when I was growing up my parents thought I resembled Carole King. You be the judge! Now I was a bit younger than she in this photo, but I thought it gave the best image with the profile and wavy/curly hair. Although shorter here, my hair used to be long and flowing like hers.

For better or for worse, I've been sidetracked on her music over the last couple of weeks. Meaning: ukulele playing has been suffering at the expense of piano playing: I bought a book of great piano arrangements of Carole King's songs and am having a groovin' time with them.

OK. Now I got further into the book and found out that around her junior year Joni bought herself a $38 baritone ukulele and a Pete Seeger songbook. Who knew?! According to the book, she was in love with performing, but she had a weird/squeaky voice and she played the ukulele so much at sleepovers that her friends wanted to say "Please, Joni, take your ukulele and go home!" Ouch!!!!