I’ve been watching a whole bunch of 1930s American movies lately and one of the things that is hard to miss is the omnipresence of the ukulele, exemplified by Cliff Edwards aka Ukulele Ike (presumably whence our own Ukulele Ike derives his monicker).
I don’t know much about this instrument so I’ll ask a few questions, if I may. The ukulele that they all seem to play (Cliff Edwards, a guy called Rue Tyler, etc) looks tiny. Is that the standard size or a cut-down version? When did it begin to be so popular? Even in the 20s when they show students they always sport a raccoon coat, a battered boater and a ukulele.
Then suddenly, late 30s/early 40s, the instrument vanishes and you only see it when you see a band, or a rural folk singer (unless that’s a banjo they’re playing, I’m not really sure of the difference).