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Bills to make ukulele Hawaii's state instrument fail after steel guitar faction intercedes
Reported by: Associated Press
Reported: Saturday, April 26, 2014 6:15 AM EDT
Sorry, ukulele. Hawaii won't spurn the steel guitar to sound its love for you.
The measures easily passed the Senate and House earlier this year, but with differences that meant more debate. That's when steel guitar players stepped in, led by a music teacher who happens to be the son of a former U.S. senator. They argued the instrument born in Hawaii, showcased in Santo & Johnny's "Sleepwalk," better represents the state.
It was enough to reverse the ukulele's momentum.
Alan Akaka says the steel guitar deserves consideration for the honor in the future. He argues the distinctly Hawaiian instrument has influenced other genres.