SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – An estimated 500 strummed in chorus at San Francisco’s Castro Theatre Sunday evening. It was a fun evening, but not a record-setting event, as organizers had hoped.
Film producer and ukulele enthusiast Tony Coleman embarked on a worldwide tour, showing his well-received movie “The Mighty Uke” to all sorts of audiences. The Bay Area was simply one stop along the way.
“Ukulele music might not be cool but it is so fun and so rewarding,” he told the audience.
KCBS Tim Ryan Reporting:
He said San Francisco deserved the credit for bringing the 4-stringed instrument from Hawaii to the rest of the world, during the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Expo.
“The 30s and 40s, the guitar was an unheard of instrument. It was around, but not so much. Everybody played the ukulele,” explained Coleman.
Evidencing the instrument’s wide appeal, there were plenty of younger musicians in the audience.
“It used to be kind of a novelty item, nobody really took it seriously,” acknowledged Gabriel Bennett, 13. “But now it’s kind of making a comeback.”
The Oakland teen said he sometimes played his ukulele behind his head, emulating some of the more iconic and mainstream rock stars.
The crowd hoped to break the Guinness World Record of 851 playing the ukulele together, but the size of the crowd fell short.
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