The ukes are a hot hit
A SMALL musical instrument most often associated with a falsetto-voiced American entertainer has become an unlikely hit in the city.
Musical people in Bundaberg just cannot get enough of their ukuleles, it seems.
The instruments have been walking out the doors of music shops as people discover their attraction.
And no one seems to know exactly why they have become so popular in Bundaberg.
The situation became so bad recently that one music store owner had to put a sign out the front on the foothpath forestalling any inquiries from people keen to be the owners of their own small stringed instrument.
"No ukes left. Sorry," the sign said.
Bundaberg Live owner Mark Daniel said he had sold 10 ukuleles in a week.
"There was a ukulele shortage in Australia three or four months ago, but it seems to have sorted itself out now," he said.
"It seems to be because of the ukulele club in town, and from there it has taken back up in popularity."
Mr Daniel said the ukulele, the chosen instrument of American entertainer Tiny Tim, who had a hit with his song Tiptoe Through The Tulips, was also taking hold in younger people.
"I think with their popularity, a lot of schools are opening up their music lessons for the ukulele because it is easy to learn and it does not take long to get a result," he said.
"It obviously wouldn't hurt having more popular bands, like Busby Marou, who are using the ukulele."
Mr Daniel said a lot of musicians bought the ukulele as a starter instrument for their kids because it was small and easy to learn.
'Bout Time Music owner and manager Greg Baxter said ukuleles had been popular for about two years.
"We don't really know what started it up," he said.
"I think it is just more of a craze that hit the older people's market."
Mr Baxter said they started in price from about $30 and could cost up to $300 or $400.
"People take it up for that reason because they are cheap and small," he said.
"Once somebody starts something, it usually just grows from there."