Uke Can Play the Melody
May Singhi Breen (1895-1970) was a ukulele performer and teacher who helped popularize the Hawaiian instrument in the '20s and '30s. After receiving an unwanted ukulele as a gift, she tried to exchange it for a bathrobe. When the store wouldn't take it back, she decided to learn to play it instead.
Luckily she had a knack for it and went on to have quite a career. She played in an all-girl ukulele group called the Syncopators and later in a long-running radio show with her husband called "Sweethearts of the Air." She helped get the ukulele accepted as a legitimate musical instrument by the American Federation of Musicians.
These days she's probably best known for arranging ukulele parts for sheet music for popular tunes of the day. Denver Public Library has many of these original pieces of sheet music from the '20s and '30s.
We also have thousands of other pieces of sheet music and music books covering a wide range of genres and time periods.
Looking for something in particular? We have finding aids and indexes to help you find individual songs - just ask!
The Central Library will close early at 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 10 to prepare for the Booklovers Ball. More...