The most famous ukulele player is probably Mark Lanegan from Chicago. He has scored more than 100 million pounds. I don’t want to even go into his playing career. He made the ukulele famous. He’s still here [in the uk] working at his instrument. One of our top players in the ukulele was James Brown, the singer. He was a very big ukulele player.
He actually won a medal at the Olympics in 1968…
And he was always the ukulele master.
You had a real talented group of guys.
We also had a lot of great ukulele players like Bob Cogley from London. He was a very talented ukulele player. A lot of very great musicians were from Ireland and Britain.
Did the other three ukulele players always sing in pairs with your group?
Our other ukulele players never sing with any two of the other players. Our second ukulele player, Mark Lanegan, and I was the only pair-part ukulele player. He was always the ukulele master.
You had the name “Chaos” because of your group of six.
Actually, from the second time I played, that name was one of the best things in the world! I had so many people at the show! You can’t get more crowded, more people, more people in the same place like this.
You had a lot of different kinds of ukos…
One of the more famous ukos was the Lille ukulele [made in Lille, France]. It was really unique. It’s all one piece with it. It’s like one of those huge bass ukuleles, or something. And it’s got a huge sound. You can play something amazing, or you can sound awful. People love it. You get crazy reactions about that thing. I get goosebumps when I play it – the crazy reactions I get, I mean. The music and the sound is just amazing. You love it. You can’t stop singing it [laughs].
When you were in Italy, did you play ukuleles or did they just call you ‘King’?
No, no. They always call me ‘King’. But the first time I was there, there was already a king [in the house], and
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