“Sunny” by Bobby Hebb – a song for the Sunday Summer Break

Collage of clips from YouTube videos of versions of Sunny

A lovely song to while away the summer – with some links to stuff that you might find useful for finding and learning other songs!

There are some beautiful ukulele versions of “Sunny” on the internet, both sung and instrumental. None of the versions here have been recorded as a tutorial, with the purpose of teaching someone how to play the song.  I just liked these ones. There are many other versions that I liked too but I had to stop somewhere and 10, including Bobby Hebb’s original, seemed like a good place to draw the line.

My top pick for the easiest arrangement to play and sing is by NGUYEN DINH Quoc-Huy.

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Clever monkey! Manitoba Hal Newcastle Workshop – Mailchimp Newsletter!

Gmail can get very sniffy about sending out an email to a bunch of people at the same time.  . . . “Are you a spammer?” . . . NO!  . . . “Well we think you are! Petition us, you wretch, plea for mercy, or we will continue to block you . . . and maybe worse!”

Mailchimp, clever monkey, speaks no such evil!

So now I can send an email update “newsletter” to the folks who have booked on the Manitoba Hal Blues Uke Workshop in Newcastle on 4 June:

Manitoba Hal Workshop Updates - Newcastle 4 June 2014 New edition of Hal's Ukulele Blues Method Book. Book updated for Hal's UK Blues Uke Workshop Tour! Manitoba Hal's Ukulele Blues Method Edition 2, Spring 2014 Hal has updated his Ukulele Blues Method book for the UK Tour. Cost: £10 There will be copies on sale on 4 June immediately after the Workshop - to anyone who wants one, not just workshop participants. The digital version costs £4.99 - for download from Hal's Store on Etsy There will be no workshop handouts. (I think I know why, now!) I must admit that I am rather tempted to by the digital version, to get in a bit of practice before the workshop! If you bought tickets on behalf of others, please do forward this email to your friends in case they have not already received it. Further updates for Workshop Participants to follow as and when I get details (there will be free UK Tour badges, CD's for sale, etc.) Lizzie

The 1st email update has already gone out to everyone who has reserved tickets for the workshop and the Newsletter is on the web is here: http://eepurl.com/UWZSj

UPDATE 30 MAY: ALL TICKETS NOW SOLD for  Manitoba Hal’s Newcastle Blues Uke Workshop and Performance, Newcastle upon Tyne, 4 June 2014!

1st 2014 Flash Folk North East Gathering – Sat 10 May – Beamish Mary #FlashFolkNE


12:00 – Late Evening, Sat 10 May 2014

No Place Village
Co. Durham
(just off A603 at Beamish Museum Roundabout)

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Manitoba Hal Blues Uke Workshop 4 June Newcastle upon Tyne – SOLD OUT! @thecumby

Download UK Tour Poster + Ukes4Fun Details (pdf )

UPDATE 3rd May: Download info about Hal’s Workshops (pdf )

UPDATE 30 MAY: Manitoba Hal Blues Uke Workshop and Performance  - SOLD OUT!

Maximum attendance: 35

£10 from Ukes4Fun (see below)

Date and time:
Wednesday 4 June 2014
6:00 – 8:00
(30 min break at 7:00)

The Cumberland Arms (1st Floor)

James Place Street
Newcastle Upon Tyne

Ramp or stairs

(toilets not officially wheelchair accessible)

Who is Hal Brolund? Ha’way! Manitoba Hal, the Ukulele Blues Man!

Update 16 May! Manitoba Hal Ukulele Blues Method Book!

Manitoba Hal Blues Uke Book

Hal has updated his Blues Uke Method book for the UK Tour.

There will be copies for sale immediately after the Workshop – £10 for anyone who wants one (not just workshop participants).

You can also order digital copies from Hal’s Store on Etsy

Links to information, videos, interviews and a short documentary about Hal – or skip to How to book a placeNOW SOLD OUT!

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Big, nasty security bug Heartbleed – what to do


You know those “secure” websites, like banks and eBay, where there is a little padlock in the address bar next to the URL? Well, apparently, in 2011 somebody sneezed when they were writing the security code that most of the banks and other “secure” websites use – and a bug landed in the code.

On Monday, someone in Finland and someone else at Google spotted that there was something wrong. They found the bug and realised that it is very. very easy for anyone to get your username, password and loads of other stuff when you log in to one of these “secure” sites. Not just that, but anyone can easily get these “secure” sites to tell them the user names and passwords of people who have logged in at some time in the past.

When I say “anyone” I mean, of course, that nerd next door and anyone else who understands the techie jokes in “Big Bang Theory”.

What is happening now is that all the nerds and “Big Bang Theory” fans are just playing around, testing different “secure” sites and seeing how much info they can download. Just for a larf.  I’ve seen them at it on Nerd Forums!

Luckily, most nerds are not nasty but there will be other people out there who are not doing this for a larf.

Hackers can use this information several ways. For example:

  • to impersonate you, eg. to log in to your bank account or email account (if you have a Yahoo! email account you DO need to change your password now).
  • to impersonate a website, eg. to pretend to be that bank or online shopping site that you love and trust.

There is a lot of lengthy technical information about this on the internet – this article is short and intelligible to mere humans like you and me: Lifehacker Heartbleed Info

Great news, isn’t it?!

  • What you DON’T want to do is go scurrying about changing all your passwords without checking first if the sites you use have updated their code.
  • What you DO want do is check which passwords to update now and which ones to do later, when the affected secure sites have wiped their noses and got clean hankies in their pockets.

The easy way:

Use the LastPass Security Check – this is being updated to accommodate people who do not already store their usernames and passwords with LastPass.

  • The Security Check will only show sites relevant to you and, of those, only those which are or have been affected by the Heartbleed bug. (By “you” I mean “the passwords and user names you have locked up safe and sound in your LastPass vault”. If you do not already do this, now would be a good time to start. )
  • After you run the security check, some sites might have “Wait” next to them. If so,  you need to go back and keep checking using this tool until it says “Go update!”.  Once a day should be quite often enough.

The more tedious ways:

Use a site like this one to check each site individually http://filippo.io/Heartbleed/

That was the first site on the internet offering site security checks for Heartbleed. There are more and more just like it popping up all over the place. Be wary and only use a security checking site if you are sure it is legit.

  • You do NOT need to pay for a Heartbleed Security Check – some sites are cashing in by charging for security checks but there are plenty of free ones around.

UPDATE: The first and last pages of this reader-friendly article from Mac Observer sum it up nicely – the middle pages explain the situation in more detail: “Dealing with Heartbleed – What you need to know


Ukes4Fun Songbook 9! Another ten songs for ten singers!


Songbook 9

You can download Songbook 9 by selecting the image above or by going to main “Songsheets” page (there is lots of other info about the Songbooks on that page, so have a look if you haven’t visited it before).

As with Songbook 8, I am trying to share out the uke-lurve by including as many different singers as possible in each song book.  Apologies to those who have not yet been included in Songbooks 8 or 9 – your time will come as soon as you have sent or approved the song files.

  • 1. Ain’t That a Shame – Megs
  • 2. At The Hop – Jazzy
  • 3. Blackpool Belle, The – Denis
  • 4. Heart and Soul – Lizzie
  • 5. Hello Mary Lou (F) – Brian
  • 6. He’s Got You – Keith
  • 7. King of the Road – Charlie
  • 8. Stupid Cupid – Terri
  • 9. Sweet Honey in the Rock – Andy
  • 10. Teenager In Love – Karl

Many thanks to Andy, Brian, Denis and Jazzy for providing copies of some of these arrangements – it makes my job much easier!

If you spot any typo’s or errors, eg. in terms of deviating from the way we play these songs, they will be of my doing – and please do let me know so that I can correct them.

Songsheets Alphabetical Index

This is the updated alphabetical index of Songbooks 1 – 9 (pdf download)

This next bit is almost the same as in the post about Songbook 8:

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