Saturday, October 4, 2008

I need a Kooky-Uke

I need a Kooky-Uke. Need it, need it. Neeeeeeed. It.

Jim Craig of Hogeye Music in Evanston, IL shows a Polk-A-Lay-Lee

Jim Craig*, who runs the (highly recommended) Hogeye Music store in Evanston, Illinois, showed me a Polk-A-Lay-Lee and in doing so set me on a quest. Some day, somehow, I must own a Kooky-Uke.

Mind you, the Polk-A-Lay-Lee is not itself a Kooky-Uke. The Polk-A-Lay-Lee – made by the Peterson Company of Ohio — is a knock-off of the Kooky-Uke brand. That's why I'm going to take a pass on any of Peterson's Polk-A-Lay-Lees or Wander-leles and hold out for an actual Swaggerty-brand Kooky-Uke.

And what is an actual Swaggerty-brand Kooky-Uke? Let's ask Jumpin' Jim Beloff*, the author of Jumpin' Jim's Ukulele Beach Party.

Jim has more to say about the Kooky-Ukes, so you should buy the book. He's got pictures, too.

As you can tell from the picture with the blonde, the Trēhōlipee's long headstock has a functional purpose. You play your Trēhōlipee on the beach until somebody yells "Surf's up!" then you flip your Trēhōlipee over, skewer it into the sand and run out to ride the waves on your surfboard. And if you've got a Surf-a-lele, you grab it on your way out since it was designed to be played while riding a surfboard. No kidding. There's even a Rick Griffin illustration on the back of the Surf-a-lele to show you how it's supposed to be done.


* "Wait a minute. Jim Craig, Jim Beloff and James Robert Jenks?" I hear you ask, because I hear it whenever anyone speaks my name. "Do all ukulele players have the first name of James?" The answer is two-fold. First, yes. Second, it's pronounced OOK-oo-lay-lee.


ocelotto said...

How badly do you need that Kooky Uke? I have one, still with the box that says "Steve Allen Presents"!

J.R. Jenks said...

Drop me an email ( jrjenks at agiletek dot com ) and we'll discuss.

Winger said...

Still have the kooky uke? Me at

Winger said...

Still have the kooky uke? Me at

J.R. Jenks said...

The Kooky Uke I posted about was at Hogeye Music in Evanston, Illinois ( You might give Jim a call at (847)475-0260 and see if he's still got it.