Australian Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham plays the Beyoncé hit, “Single Ladies (Put A Ring on It),” on his ukulele. This video went viral after Mitcham posted it during the 2012 London Olympic Games. In his original posting he explained that he uploaded it after someone asked him to put up a video of him playing the uke.Matthew Mitcham at the 2009 Mardi Gras, Sydney (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
“I profess to be neither a great instrumentalist nor singer, I’m just an Olympic diver who likes to strum away in his spare time,” Mitcham said.
Born in Brisbane, Australia, Mitchem lives and trains in Sydney. He was the 2008 Olympic champion in the 10=meter platform event, receiving the highest single-dive score in the games’ history. He was the first Australian male to win an Olympic gold medal in diving since Dick Eve accomplished it in the 1924 Summer Olympics.Sydney Panorama (Photo credit: FrancoisRoche)
Mitcham followed his victory in Beijing by coming in second in the 10-meter platform at the 2009 World Aquatics Championships in Rome, and by winning four silver medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. After recoving from an abdominal injury, Mitcham went to the 2012 London Olympics, where he narrowly missed the mark to qualify for the finals.
In 2008, Mitcham made waves in Australia by coming out as gay to the Sydney Morning Herald.Beyoncé Knowles performing “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” in Berlin, May 8, 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
“Single Ladies (Put A Ring on It)” was released as a single from Beyoncé Knowles’s third studio album, “I Am … Sasha Fierce.” The song was inspired by her secret marriage to Jay-Z in April 2008; the lyrics explore men’s unwillingness to commit.
John Michaelson perfoms a ukulele cover of the song “Dream Catch Me,” originally by Newton Faulkner.Interstate 90 descending Sunset Hill into Spokane, Washington. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Michaelson lives in Spokane, Washington in the U.S. He describes himself as a “folk pop ukulele-wielding singer-songwriter” who has been playing instruments, singing and writing since childhood. He n received his first ukulele when a senior in high school, but he found it too small for his fingers and too different from a guitar, “the instrument I was by far more comfortable with.”Ukuleles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A few years later, during a break from college, he picked up a ukulele he’d bought the summer before and started playing it again. “It was a beautiful Epiphone Les Paul ukulele, concert-sized and much easier to play than my old soprano uke,” he says. He practiced the ukulele more and more, writing “tons of new songs and changing old ones so I could play them on it.”
The song that Michaelson plays in this video, “Dream Catch Me,” was written by Crispin Hunt, Newton Faulkner and Gordon Mills for Faulkner’s debut album, “Hand Built by Robots.” The album was certified double platinum in the UK, and “Dream Catch Me” was one of three songs from it released as singles. Faulkner is a singer-songwriter and musician from Reigate, Surrey, known for his style of guitar playing in which he often taps and hits his guitar’s body.
A video-sharing ukulele player called Sweetnerdette (her user name on DailyMotion) plays a cover of the Death Cab for Cutie song, “Ice Is Getting Thinner.”Chris Walla of Death Cab for Cutie performing in Eugene, OR in 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Downtown Mason City. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Sweetnerdette is from Mason City, Iowa.
Death Cab for Cutie is an alternative rock band formed in Bellingham, Washington in 1997. The band, currently consisting of Ben Gibbard, Chris Walla, Nick Harmer and Jason McGerr, has released seven studio albums and five EPs to date. Their music has been labeled indie pop and emo, as well as alternative rock. They are noted for the unconventional instrumentation in many of their songs, as well as their quirky and often dark song lyrics.
This is a video news report on Matthew Mitcham, who made a ukulele video that went viral during the 2012 London Olympics. T!his actually only has a few brief seconds of the Mitcham video; we’ve posted the full video elsewhere.Diver Matthew Mitcham led the 2009 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Here’s the transcript of this report as posted by ClevverMusic!
An Olympian goes from diver to diva in new cover song video! Hey guys, you’re tuned in to ClevverMusic! One of the biggest things we’ve learned during the Olympic games is that music artists love Olympic athletes, and the Olympians love them back! Not only have Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift tweeted to their favorite athletes in the games, but rapper Paul Wall designed a custom grill for swimming star Ryan Lochte. At a recent Coldplay concert singer Chris Martin blamed flubbing his lyrics on being distracted by thoughts about the Olympics! Hip hop singer Nicki Minaj even exchanged tweets with Gabby Douglas after her US Gold Medal win in women’s gymnastics.
Now, we have a home video from Australian Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham, who won Gold in Beijing 4 years ago, covering Beyonce’s hit “Single Ladies” while playing the ukulele! He stands presumably in his bedroom leaning against the wall strumming and singing the cover tune and it has a bit of a Hawaiian flare, check it out.
In the description for the video he explains he uploaded the video after someone asked him to put a video up of him playing the ukulele. He explained, “I profess to be neither a great instrumentalist nor singer, I’m just an Olympic diver who likes to strum away in his spare time.” We’re shocked that this self-professed perfectionist has any spare time, but we’re glad he does! We’re loving this cover, now it’s your turn to check it out, just see the link below, and leave us a comment- LOVE or HATE it? Be sure to subscribe to ClevverMusic, see you soon.
Our comment: The reporter seems a bit breathless over the fact that an Olympian would play a ukulele, or even have time for such a thing. Oh, well, it’s more publicity for the uke and for the variety of people who have taken up the instrument.
The Ukulele Punk performs a uke cover of “That’s Entertainment” by The Jam, an English punk rock/New Wave band in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
The Ukulele Punk, also known by his video user name of UkePunk, says about this cover: “Not strictly punk at all I suppose but still a great poem of its time put to music. Done in one take instead of 46 for a change.”A view of Ramsbottom, North West England. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
UkePunk, from Ramsbottom in the UK, seems to be the monicker of both an individual (the Ukulele Punk) and a band, also known (apparently) as The Forty Thieves. Their promise: “All your favourite Punk(ish) songs adapted/rehashed and ruined via the medium of Ukulele Punk!” Musical influences are listed as Buzzcocks, Sex Pistols, Stranglers, Clash, Ramones, Damned, UK SUBS, X-Ray Specs, Discharge, Anti-Pasti, TenPole Tudor and “many more.”Bridge Street, Ramsbottom (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A short but informative review of a UkePunk gig was published here. Its conclusion: “If you’re looking for a gig with a difference, then UkePunk ticks all the boxes. People’s initial reaction to the concept of The Clash on a ukulele is generally ‘what the @!>%?’ but if punk is all about pushing boundaries and eschewing mainstream music, then this band has it all. George Formby this ain’t.”
UkePunk has a Facebook page at facebook.com/UkePunk.That’s Entertainment (song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The song “That’s Entertainment” is probably The Jam’s best known piece, consistently making lists of all-time great songs in Britain. Interestingly, it was never released as a domestic single in the UK during the band’s period of activity; it actually made the charts there as an import! It was finally given its first full UK release in 1983.
The Jam formed as a band in Woking, Surrey in the UK. Although they share some characteristics of the punk bands of the era, they also incorporated 1960s rock and R&B influences, which put them in the forefront of the mod revival movement. From their debut in 1977 to their break-up in December 1982, they had 18 consecutive Top 40 singles in the UK, including four No. 1 hits.
Jim Keyes plays an excellent ukulele cover of The Beatles’ song, “Here Comes the Sun.”
One of the wonderful things about having a ukulele video website is being able to discover some really good talent during the continuing hunt for the best uke performances to feature here. Evidently, Jim Keyes is a New York based (Irvington, to be precise) musician who is primarily a guitar player but has been inspired (by YouTube uke star Julia Nunes in particular) to try his hand at ukulele, “even though I’m not nearly as cute & I haven’t won any ukulele contests.”(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Keyes has or had a website at JimKeyes.com (it is not working as of this writing). If the biography I found elsewhere belongs to him (and not another artist by the same name), I can state that Keyes is a long-time participant in the New York music scene, the son of a man who was a recording engineer for Columbia Records. The younger Keyes learned to play guitar at an early age and soon began writing his own songs.
His music can now be heard worldwide on talk shows, news shows, and reality shows. In recent years he has released CDs of his work as a singer-songwriter, featuring just his acoustic guitar and his voice. His record label is Roniepup Records.George Harrison singing “Here Comes the Sun”.(Photo credit: Wikipedia) 12 Arnold Grove, Liverpool. The house where George Harrison was born and lived until he was 7. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
“Here Comes the Sun” was written by George Harrison and his one of his best known Beatles contributions. He has stated, in his autobiography, that he wrote it at Eric Clapton’s house during a time when he felt that being a Beatle was becoming too much of a business in which he was expected to be signing papers and meeting with accountants much of the time. Also, he said, “it seems as if winter in England goes on forever, by the time spring comes you really deserve it.” The song, then, celebrates the coming of spring warmth as well as getting away from seeing “all those dopey accountants,” according to Harrison.
The Hot Tone Rhythm Boys, joined here by gypsy jazz ukulele master Jim “Djang” Gritt, perform the jazz classic, “All of Me.”Soprano pineapple ukulele, Baritone ukulele and taropatch baritone ukulele. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Hot Tone Rhythm Boys’ are a UK-based vintage jazz duo who play songs of the 1920s, 30s and 40s. Tom French and Nipper formed the duo in 2009 after playing together for several years in the bands The Night Owls and the Taunton Ukulele Strummers. French is an accomplished bass player and vocalist, while Nipper has been playing ukulele all his life and written several books on how to play the uke.
In this video, Jim “Django” Gritt is playing a cedar top Ohana concert ukulele while Nipper plays a Favilla baritone ukulele (and provides the vocals). That’s Tom French on the double bass.
You can learn more about The Hot Tone Rhythm Boys at rhythmboys.wordpress.com.NOFX
“All of Me” was written by Gerald Marks and Seymour Simonsin in 1931, first performed (on radio) and recorded by Belle Baker, and since recorded by many artists in many styles. It features prominently in the 1984 Steve Martin/Lily Tomlin film of the same name. A “modern” cover of note was the 1996 version byNOFX.
“All of Me” is a favorite of many of today’s ukulele jam groups.
Phing Lalita performs “HBD” (สุขสันต์วันเกิด), well known in Thailand as a happy birthday song. Evidently, this is a cover of a version originally done by a group called Cookie United.
Ms. Lalita is from Bangkok, Thailand. She is currently studying in an international program at Mahidol University, a public research university in Bangkok. She previously studied at the Thidanukhro School at Hadyai.
You can find her Facebook page www.facebook.com/phing.lalita.
Siany Kummer and Chris Hoyle, two prolific YouTube musical stars, collaborate on one of the greatest songs of all time, “Be My Baby,” orignally by The Ronettes.map of australia (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Canada map for geolocation (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Ms. Kummer is from Australia, and Mr. Hoyle is from Canada. Parenthetically, isn’t it wonderful that the Internet and services such as YouTube make it possible for people in different parts of the world to come together, at least virtually, for collaborations such as this one? It makes the ukulele community even more of a close-knit, though far-flung family.
Siany Kummer plays the ukulele and sings, and Chris (or CJ) Hoyle is a multi-instrumentalist whose favorite music genre is 1960s pop.The Ronettes
“Be My Baby” was written by the famous (perhaps now infamous) Phil Spector, with Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich. As sung by The Ronettes, and produced by Spector, it is one of the best examples of the latter’s “Wall of Sound.”
After its release in 1963, the song reached No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard Pop Singles Chart and No. 4 on the Uk’s Record Retailer chart. It also reached No. 4 on the R&B chart.Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes Featuring Veronica (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
“Be My Baby” is No. 22 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. Time placed it at No. 6 on its list of the 200 Greatest Songs of the 1960s. Among the many people influenced by the song, Brian Wilson (of The Beach Boys fame) declared it the greatest record ever made.
The Ronettes were girl group from New York City. One of the most popular groups from that period, they placed more than eight songs on the Billboard Hot 100, five of which became Top 40 hits. The trio from Washington Heights, Manhattan included lead singer Veronica Bennett (later known as Ronnie Spector), her older sister Estelle Bennett, and their cousin Nedra Talley.
Besides “Be My Baby,” some of the The Ronettes most famous songs include “Baby, I Love You”, “(The Best Part Of) Breakin’ Up”, and “Walking in the Rain.”Phil Spector – American record producer and songwriter (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Siany Kummer performs a ukulele cover of the 1960s’ Nancy Sinatra hit, “Sugar Town.” Ms. Kummer says she was inspired by the Zooey Deschanel version of “Sugar Town,” as sung in “500 Days of Summer.”Coffs harbour (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This was filmed on the beach at Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia. Deemed to have the “most livable climate in Australia,” Coffs Harbour is about 340 miles north of Sydney and 240 miles south of Brisbane. A rapidly growing area, it is popular with people relocating from the big cities.The Big Banana, Coffs Harbour, NSW. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Coffs Harbour’s economy is based on tourism, some manufacturing, and banana farming. Visitors thrill to the Big Banana, a tourist attraction featuring a large walk-through banana. On the grounds of the attraction are a banana plantation, a restaurant and a souvenir shop. Get your tickets here!
The song, “Sugar Town,” was written by Lee Hazlewood. Recorded by Nancy Sinatra in 1966, it became her second-biggest hit (after “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’”).Nancy Sinatra. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Sugar Cubes (Photo credit: rockindave1)
Although some reviewers felt it was less hard-edged than most of Sinatra’s material, songwriter Hazlewood has been quoted as saying it was “an LSD song if there ever was one” — a drug song. The “sugar” of the song refers to the practice in the 1960s of young people putting LSD on sugar cubes; Hazlewood observed some kids doing this and when asked about it, one of them replied “You know, it’s kinda Sugar Town.”
Lorène Devienne, a French singer, actress and comedienne, plays Colbie Caillat’s hit song, “Bubbly.” Ms. Devienne says she is new to the ukulele, but she does a fine job of strumming. This is, of course, one of the great attractions of the uke — even a beginner can quickly learn to play it acceptably (and if that beginner has previous experience on other instruments, so much the better).Photo by Gaetan Lee (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Devienne has sung on several albums with other artists, and debuted her own album in 2006. She has appeared in musical theater, notbably a 2011 production of “Hair;” in television shows (e.g., “the girl in the subway” on an episode of “ER”); and in TV commercials, short films, and in an Internet serial production called “The Wannabes.” She’s also won awards for songwriting.
If you’re in Paris in March of 2013 you can catch her singing her newest songs at the Théâtre de la Reine Blanche in Paris. You can find out more about Lorène Devienne at her website, lorenedevienne.e-monsite.com.
“Bubbly” has become a favorite song for many ukulele players to cover; search “Bubbly” and “ukulele” on YouTube! The Colbie Caillat version is from Caillat’s 2007 debut album, “Coco.” Written by Caillat and Jason Reeves and produced by Mikal Blue, the song was released as the album’s lead single in May 2007. It remains Caillat’s biggest hit in the U.S. to date, and her only single to reach the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100.Bubbly (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Colbie Caillat, from Malibu, California, has sold more than six million albums worldwide and sold over 10 million singles. In 2009 she was named Billboard magazine’s 94th-best-selling music artist of the 2000–2009 decade.
Noted ukulele punskters Gus & Fin play a uke cover of the Trashmen hit, “Surfin’ Bird.”Surfin’ Bird (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Gus & Fin, who are from Scotlinad, are among the most prolific YouTube ukesters in the UK. Covering songs from Devo to The Ramones to Blue Oyster Cult, their YT channel, GUGUG, is reaching toward 5 million views. The two have been playing music for years, and it was Gus who introduced Fin to the ukulele.The Stranglers
In 2011, Gus & Fin scored big with an invitation to play with The Stranglers at their exclusive Meninblack weekend. The two are big Stranglers fans.
The original “Surfin’ Bird” by The Trashmen was a big hit in 1963. It has become something of a punk favorite, being covered by The Ramones and The Cramps, among others. The song has also been used as part of a running gag on the animated comedy, “Family Guy.”