Lyle Ritz

The ukulele is often considered a novelty instrument when in its usual Hawaiian surroundings, but Lyle Ritz never felt that way. Born in 1930 in Cleveland, Ohio, Ritz studied violin and tuba as a child. While attending college in California, he found a job at the Southern California Music Company in Los Angeles. Working in the "Small Goods Department" meant he took care of harmonicas, accessories, and the instrument that was to become his love, the ukulele. It was the '50s and he started by playing the hits of the day and some novelty numbers. Guitarist Barney Kessel was also working as an A&R man at the Verve record label at the time, and when he heard Ritz playing live he quickly signed him. Verve released Ritz's albums How About Uke? in 1957 and 50th State Jazz in 1959. The albums did well in Hawaii but failed to get much attention on the mainland past hardcore jazz collectors....

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Lyle Ritz Albums

1 record

Albums featuring Lyle Ritz

2 records