Ken Middleton – Thank You!

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(Part 3 of my goodbye – see two previous posts for details.)

One of the things you hear over and over again about the ukulele community, both virtual and real, is how the members of this group are so helpful, kind and accepting.  My experience with them has proven this to be not just an fact, but an immutable law.  I can’t decide if loving the uke makes people better, or if it’s just that good people love the uke.

Out of this subset of humanity, if I had to chose just one that personifies the exceptional essence of the group, it would hands down be Ken Middleton.  As an example of his good nature, in an interview I asked Ken what skills a beginner or immediate player should focus on.  Like the “Liar Paradox” Captain Kirk used to defeat an android, this simple question almost shut Ken down.

Being innately honest, Ken had to say he felt the technical skills of playing an instrument, while useful in the pursuit of art, were not the most important part of the art of making music.  But being innately kind, he did not want anyone to think he was discounting their impressive and hard won technical skills.  Even with the added pressure of me dunning him with reminders that I was impatiently awaiting his answers, Ken managed to gracefully walk that line, and in the process, gave one of the best answers I have seen for this age old question.  Ohana brand ukes, and the ukulele in general, have in Ken the best possible ambassador of the spirit and joy this little instrument inspires in people.

The attached video is one of my personal favorites from his enormous catalog.  Ken, thank you for your friendship, and for the enjoyment you and your uke have given me.

Don Lawson (AKA Donnie Bubbles)

YouTube: KenMiddletonUkulele

Web Site: (free tabs and online store for his exceptional books)


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  1. Ken Middleton July 19th, 2011 1:47 am

    Thank you so much for these kind words, Don. I shall be very sad to see this website go. It is one of the very few ukulele sites that I check every day.

    I really do appreciate the help and unfailing support that you have shown me since starting your site.

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