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Monday, September 27, 2010

Meet The Yesterukes--Dick

When the bass guitar player joined the Yesterukes, our sound improved immeasurably.  A bonus for us was learning that Dick had many other talents.  He is a terrific ukulele player, soloist, rhythm player.  He has been known to put on sideburns and belt out the Elvis version of Blue Christmas around the holidays.  And he does animal sounds as needed by the group.

He tells his ukulele story:
The ukulele was my first stringed instrument.  I still have the booklet that I used to teach myself to play.  That was in the early 60s and the uke was soon replaced by the guitar and rock 'n roll.  My first ukulele was purchased for me by my parents when I was 8 years old.  We were in a music store when I saw a ukulele and thought that it would be fun to play.  At the time, Roy Rogers was my hero and he played the guitar.  So I thought it would be neat if I had something so I could strum along Roy.  As I got older, I was in several bands that played rock 'n roll and rhythm and blues.  I've continued to play acoustic guitar, electric guitar and bass guitar throughout my adult life.  More recently I thought it would be nice to go back to my roots, so I purchased a new ukulele about 3 years ago.  When a member of the Yesterukes found out I played ukulele, she invited me to join the group.  The rest, as they say, is history.
Listen as Dick sings one of the most popular songs in our set list:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

You Oughta Be In Pictures

Sometimes things just don't go as planned.  We had many people absent this week.  And we could not use our regular practice space.  So we moved to a smaller room and changed gears.  After playing a couple of songs, someone showed up with ice cream for all of us.  And we settled back for something different.

This week we watched the recently released DVD, The Mighty Uke.  We set up a new iMac computer to view the DVD and learn more about our beloved ukulele.  This wonderful documentary includes a little history of the instrument, current ukulele activity and shows some of the best ukulele players around.  It's funny.  It's educational.  It's a "feel good" film that made us glad we play ukulele, glad we are part of this ukulele world. 

If you have the opportunity to see this movie, don't miss it.  In the meantime, you can preview it right here.

Every now and then, it's good to do something different.  Keeps it interesting!

You Oughta Be In Pictures, Suesse & Heyman, 1934

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Second Time Around

A second visit at Northside United Methodist Church was as much fun as the first time. They even planned the table decorations to match our shirts! That's a real welcome.

The members at Northside UMC had invited visitors. And we also had family and friends of some of our band members come. The room was packed.

After a wonderful meal (do other parts of the country have a covered dish dinners as often as we do in the South?), the Yesterukes played and sang songs from years gone by. Songs that brought back so many memories for those listening.

The Yesterukes sing and play because it's fun for them. But it's always more fun when the audience joins in. This audience was a good one. We think they had as much fun as we did.

The Second Time Around, Bing Crosby, 1960

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Back In The Saddle Again

It's been a while since we have done a full program. So starting back knowing there would be over 300 people in the audience was just the tiniest bit nerve-wracking. We should not have worried. Folks were singing along, tapping toes, laughing---all signs that they were having fun.

Taylors First Baptist Church's XYZ Club is made up of people from many churches who gather monthly for fellowship, food and fun. This most gracious audience was not quite sure what to expect when they learned that this month's program was a ukulele band. But oh, were they ever excited when they heard us!

After program comments ranged from "This is the most fun I've had in a long time" to "Our table voted--you're the best program we've ever had" to "After hearing you, I'm just too excited to eat!" Which is a shame because the meal was delicious.

A treat for us was having the church's professional sound man take care of all our sound needs. Top of our wish list now is our own sound man. Oh, how easily we are spoiled!

The XYZ Club called right after we left and asked us to come back next year. Gotta love a great group like that.

Back In The Saddle Again, Gene Autry, 1939

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Friday, September 3, 2010

Meet The Yesterukes--Lois

Our members come to us in many different ways. Lois came to listen to us play because she was leading ukulele group at a senior center. That group plays all baritone ukuleles, unlike the Yesterukes who seem to have one of every kind of uke. She wanted to find out how another group operated.

After seeing us perform, Lois decided that one ukulele group was not enough for her. So we happily welcomed her into our band.

Here's what Lois says:
The Yesterukes have surely made an impact on my "Elder" life. I take a Uke lesson on Tuesday, I play and sing with the Yesterukes on Thursday, and play and sing with a group of Senior Citizens on Friday. I can't even find a time to make an appointment with my hairdresser!!!
Well, we think her hair is always perfect. And we're glad she found us.