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Ukulele/Uke player - dickTed


Hi. I'm Rob or 'Hip', which derived from hippie. I post on forums as dickTed (since I've been addicted to just about everything under the sun, including ukes). I'm 61 and almost retired. My only legitimate job is as a volunteer worker at a local aged care nursing home. I always take my soprano uke with me, because the oldies love a sing-song as much as I do.

My family came from a town named Warrnambool, situated on the coast of western Victoria, Australia. I moved to Melbourne at 17 and I'm still here. My aunt Lil, played well known Winifred Atwell style piano numbers on the Warrnambool radio station 3YB in the days before TV, and people at home would sing along.

At family gatherings, Lil played piano, and my old man Les would be asked to sing Galway Bay. He would look up to the ceiling as he sang it. His face would gleam from the light, and you could hear a pin drop. I used to sing "Dear John Letter", with the dialogue bit and all. Later in my teens I would sing "A Pub With No Beer" or "Green Green Grass Of Home".

In my early teens I would sit in dad's car on Saturday afternoon, and listen to the Australian top 40 followed by the US pop top 40 then the US country top 40. I remember Cliff Richard and Roy Orbison both debuting on the same day with their big hits "Please Don't Tease" and "Only The Lonely". I was 15 then.

I didn't take up guitar until 20, and about 5 years later ended up selling a nice Maton acoustic guitar for $50 to score with. Never got another one. Drugs, prison and rehabilitation took up 20 years of worthless time, then hard work and a mad woman took care of the next ten.

The ukulele came along 3 years ago, after my mate Mark brought one back from Hawaii. I just had an old $20 clunker for 2 years, but now have a nice solid koa Epiphone soprano. I also have a Cole Clark concert uke, which looks and sounds brilliant, but for some reason I can't get enthused by it and it stays in it's case mostly.

New music doesn't interest me much. I'm pretty much in the pre-80's, and mainly like the early Jerry Lee style rock and roll, country, r&b and blues. I especially like good rockabilly and lonesome country or blues ballads.

I haven't read any uke books, but I watched "Jumpin' Jim's Joy of Uke 1", which after replaying Travis Harrelson about 15-20 times, gave me a good start at a triple strum, and Bob Brozman's Instructional DVD taught me another good strum technique - by using 2 or more fingers, curling them on the upstroke and straightening them on the downstroke, strumming down sharply and muting with the bottom of the hand where it joins the wrist.

Mark and I make home recordings under the name The Hip Cats. You can find a few of our songs here at Ukeland. We also have some public domain oldies songs and viddies at ezfolk.com/the_hip_cats

The songs in the Ukeland Hip Cats folder are our first stereo trials. So far we only have one mic, so usually I will record the song first, then Mark either sings, plays uke, slide guitar or harp for the other stereo track.

Thanks Hip

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