Do you like a ukulele lady?

For the June 7, Saturday night concert portion of the 2008 Mid-Atlantic Ukulele Invitational in Annapolis, Maryland, the Paint Branch Ramblers were invited to play un-mic’ed intro, intermission, and outtro sets while the audience filtered in and out (serving the function that “dumb show” acts used to serve in vaudeville — plate-spinners, acrobats, dancing bears, etc.). And, though we didn’t end up having much opportunity to use our much rehearsed “cues” for this, we were also set to play the bands on and off the stage and fill in the cracks between acts and to set up the MC work of that ukulele lady, Victoria Vox.

For set lists, see the Paint Branch Ramblers site for June 6 and June 7.

Link to this at

I had the honor of being asked to sit in on jug with Victoria Vox for her own performance of “Ukulele Lady,” which she called in the key of G#. My jug solo over the middle 8 section was fine, but I also made an ill-advised attempt at a vocal harmony on the main line.

I was trying to do the thing that Frank Crumit did in the last pass on the chorus in his 1925 recording of the Gus Kahn and Richard Whiting tune. (Something like what Scooter tries to do in the video above — and dig the Maccaferri-style plastic ukulele played by Hyattsville, MD’s own Kermit the Frog!.) But I think the G# did me in, and I ended up stepping all over the Divine Ms. V’s toes. Guess I should have tried to sing in Ab. I think I’m going to write her a letter of apology today.

I later found out that Victoria Vox was from Wisconsin — in fact, from the Green Bay area right up I-43 from where I hail in Sheboygan (indeed, she appears to be playing a coffee house in Sheboygan in just a couple of weeks). In honor of this fortuitous convergence in Annapolis, I thought we could all listen to The Viper and His Famous Orchestra’s Hawaiian song about East Central Wisconsin, “Winnebago Bay.”

download here

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