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Welcome to the Tripped Out
Musical World of Ukulele Dick
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Performing Musician
Recording Artist
Singer/Songwriter
Actor
Producer
Sound Designer
Collector
Musical Archivist
Mentor to Many
Luthier/Master
Instrument Repairman


UPCOMING SHOWS

TUESDAY, JULY 25 3:30 pm - 6:00 pm
Felton Farmer's Market
120 Russell Avenue
Felton, CA
With The SkiffleBeats


• SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21 • 8:00 PM
THE RIO THEATRE
1205 Soquel Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA

INVASION OF THE HIPPIES!
Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love
Featuring a MYRIAD of Santa Cruz's Best Performers
A Collaborative Production by Ukulele Dick and Snazzy Productions

Dick & Jayme
Photo By Michelle Kiba

AND IN OTHER NEWS ...
Dick's New Project,
The SkiffleBeats, asks "What if the Beatles never plugged in, never got famous but
kept right on playing and writing music anyway?"


With:
JAYME KELLY CURTIS, vocals and fiendish stringy thingies

Harmonica whiz GEORGE GALT
Percussionist and multi-instrumentalist BOB VICKERS
Bass doctor MATT BOHN

Book us for your next party! 831/335-3593



NEED A REPAIR?


Call Rick at 831/335-3593
The best stringed instrument
repair in Santa Cruz since 1972


MORE DICK ON VIDEO:

The Ukulele Dick Primer,
a short video by Tom Ellison, is available
HERE!

Romance in the Redwoods
Features Dick, bassist Bill Bosch and vocalist Jayme Kelly Curtis

Ukes Ought To Be in Pictures
Relive your Mighty Uke
Rio Theater Experience - Click HERE!

Relive your Mighty Uke Castro Theatre Experience by Clicking HERE!


If you'd like to be on Ukulele Dick's gig alert email list, send an email to
jayme at purrgirl dot com
Our list is always blind. We will never share your address with anyone.

THE LATEST ...
Dick's got Beatlemania!!!
The SkiffleBeats asks "What if the Beatles never got famous?"
See us in action on YOUTUBE!
With:
Harmonica whiz GEORGE GALT
Percussionist and multi-instrumentalist BOB VICKERS
Bass doctor MATT BOHN
and JAYME KELLY CURTIS

CAPITOLA SERENADE
Capitola History Museum's new exhibit features a  video starring Ukulele Dick's performance of "Capitola Serenade" by Composer Joe Ortiz.

JAYME'S COCKTAIL HOUR
Ukulele Dick, bassist Matt Bohn and singer Jayme Kelly Curtis video taped a set of jazz standards and obscures.

HOWARD RUGG UKULELES
Legendary luthier Howard Rugg is now making limited edition ukuleles
in his Felton shop. Check out this video that tells the story of the repair
and discovery of a legendary Jose De Espirito ukulele and sneaks a peek at Howard's new line of ukuleles.
 Featuring a live performance by Ukulele Dick!


Dick was honored with a Gail Rich Award for 2011

The beautiful Gail Rich (1951-1996) continues to be an inspiration to the Santa Cruz Arts Community. Dick is proud to have been Gail's friend and colleague.
*See the bottom of this page for the complete text of the Santa Cruz Sentinel article about Rick "Ukulele Dick" McKee.



SHOW US YOUR UKES, 2009 - The first recorded collection of songs
played by members of the Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz. This studio recording is more than 70 minutes long and features 24 songs performed by more than 40 members of our "four-string family," plus a live recording of the entire club singing Under the Boardwalk, the club theme song.

Get your copy for just $10 by calling 831/ 425-5244 or emailing
Sandor (the Uke Club "tech-meister") at paprika1 at comcast dot net


DISCOGRAPHY

Dick Dujour - The Zombie Walk, 2009
The dance sensation that's creeping out the nation. DJs and program directors wishing copies for airplay consideration please email jayme at purrgirl dot com with "Zombie Walk" in the subject line. Be sure to include a shipping address.

The UkeAholics — Rock n' Roll with a Twist, 2008 
Ukulele Dick, Sandor Nagyszalanczy and Eric Connoly perform songs from the 50s and 60s on a vast array of acoustic, electric and eclectic ukuleles. The British meets the Ukulele Invasion.  Click here for a live performance on YouTube!

Dick Dujour — Music to Scare Children By, 2005Click here to find it on iTunes!
As a theatrical sound designer, Dick has created sonic landscapes for countless live productions of all kinds. Couple that theatrical sensibility and technical wizardy with a sly lyricism, and the result is 12 original songs that delight in the essential irony of the human condition and revel in our inexorable mortality.
As heard on The Dr. Demento show!

Ukulele Dick — The Ukulele Dick Story, 2003
CD and 24-page booklet track the musical journey of Ukulele Dick from Prohibition through the Disco era through 21 classic songs. Of particular note is a hip hop version of "Swinging on a Star." Performers include Rob Espinosa, Jim Greiner, Michelle Kiba, Ken Kraft, Jim Norris, Tiran Porter, Blind Willie, Zun Zun, and many, many more. Story by Rick McKee and Sven Davis

Ukulele Dick – Self Titled, 1997

15 classic songs from the 1920's and 30's performed in various styles of the jazz era. Ukulele Dick earned praise from Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., George Harrison and William H. Macy. The CD features performances by 27 local musicians, including Bill Walker, Annie Steinhardt and the Paris String Quartet

Bread, 2002 — Selections from the musical by Joe Ortiz, including the hit song "Watsonville."

My Heart's In Santa Cruz, 1995
Producer and performer on a collection of songs about Santa Cruz collected and written by co-producer Ross Gibson

This is All You Get — Ukulele Dick and His All Nude Castanet Orchestra, 1991
10 original songs, independently released
Art by John Poole


PRODUCER/CREATOR

THROWING STONES: Ukulele Dick's Rolling Stones Vaudeville Revue
More than 20 acts from the finest of Santa Cruz's musical performing community reinterpreted the songs of Mick Jaggar and Keith Richards in a two hour extravaganza spanning Baroque to Reggae, Bluegrass to Ragtime, Celtic to Andean, Middle Eastern to Brazil and much more.

Jugtown, USA
In honor of Motown's 50th anniversary, Jugtown USA features the classic hits (and complete arrangements) of Motown, played on instruments anyone can afford. Funny man Sven Davis weavesan historical narrative around a multi-talented nine-piece band playing the orchestral arrangements of Motown on suitcase drums, pie plates, kazoos, beer-o-phones and the like. The sold out audience clapped and sang along in ecstacy to this live, never-been-done-before, re-creation of "the music we mated to."

The White Album Live
The world's first accurate, fully detailed, live re-creation of the Beatle's White Album, a feat even the Beatles had never attempted. Dick gathered together an ensemble of musical elites including Michael Daughtery, Bob Bliss, Richard Bryant, Alan Heit, Ken Kraft, Dale Ockerman, Tiran Porter, and Jason Schimmel. The first White Album Live shows presented at the Rio Theatre and the Mello Center were multi-media events, featuring dancers, video projection and a 60's psychedelic environment conceived of by Ukulele Dick. Since the initial performances, the White Album Ensemble gone on to create a wide variety of Beatles-themed shows featuring Northern California's greatest talents, and raised thousands of dollars for local school music programs in the process.

Many people felt they would enjoy the concert. But a common response in the wake of those shows was that people weren't merely entertained, but transformed," said Wallace Baine, Santa Cruz Sentinel, 9/25/03

Keep Santa Cruz Weird in Concert, The Rio Theatre, Halloween, 2005
A vaudeville variety show featuring Sven Davis, The Great Morgani, the Gurgling Sopranos Red Wine Ensemble (Paula Bliss and Pipa Pinon), Tim Furst of the Flying Karamazovs, the UkeAholics, Oliver Brown, New Music Works maestro Phil Collins, Elsewhere Troupe from Electron Salon, Ross Eric Gibson, Iman Lizarazu, Gong Master Sadanam, Charlie Tweddle and Zunzun. Pre-show highlights included Halloween carols such as “Witches Roasting On An Open Fire.”

Ukulele Dick Serves Hors-d'oeuvres, 1999, Actor's Theatre
Vaudeville-style variety show featuring a broad spectrum of iconic and lesser known performers including Santa Cruz Ballet Petit Company choreographed by

Stephanie Golino, guitarist Kenny Hill and Phil Collins, both on ukuleles, the Ukin’ Elvises and Ross Gibson performing songs of Santa Cruz. Guests were treated to locally grown organic hors-d’oeuvres and champagne in the lobby.

Uke Fest West, 2004
Conceived, performed, Master of Ceremonies, steering committee

Airwaves, 1986 — 1989
Owned and operated a jingle company writing and producing jingles for numerous regional clients including Big Creek Lumber, Marina Pontiac, Pacific Pack & Pants, Capitola Mercantile, CM & Company Jewelers, Ocean Chevrolet, University Alumni Association, Yosemite Fund.


LUTHERIE

Owner, Guitar Works — Located in Felton, California. Call 831/335-3593 for an appointment.
Rick McKee (Ukulele Dick) repairs musical instruments of all varieties, specializing in fretted stringed instruments. Nearly 10,000 guitars have passed through Rick's hands since he began practicing his craft in 1972. As sole proprietor of Guitar Works since 1984, Rick has been a supporter and advisor to countless local musicians. 

Designer — Rick also designs and builds one-of-a-kind electronic guitars, cigar box ukuleles and - recently -  mandolas and electric slide dulcimers. Click here for the Attack of the Guitar from Outer Space, Rick's latest creation.

Collector — 250 rare and vintage ukuleles, many on exhibit August 2007 through January 2008 at the Museum of Making Music, Carlsbad, California. Assisted in conceptualizing, procuring and mounting this exhibit as well as a recent exhibit of banjos. Rick is also famous locally for various uke exhibits at restaurants like Black's Beach Cafe and others.

ARCHIVIST
Santa Cruz Music Archives — Maintains a comprehensive collection of local music recordings and memorabilia. Collection was mounted and displayed at The Attic Gallery. Exhibit featured many performances by local artists throughout the month of December 2005.


SIGNIFICANT PERFORMANCES

Dick  & The Chick Introduce the Show — current
Professional emcees Ukulele Dick and Jayme Kelly Curtis provide polished, professional introductions that are also unusual and comedic pieces of art. For each show, Dick and Jayme write a parody song specific to the act being introduced. These colorful intros communicate the objectives of the venue while whipping the crowd into a pre-show frenzy.

Red, Hot & Blue — A Tribute to Cole Porter, 2010
With singer Jayme Kelly Curtis, bassist Gary Cunningham and the Cast of A Fools Delight

The Moisture Festival, 2009— Seattle's hippest Comedy Varieté and Burlesque

Planet Cruz Comedy Hour, 2008 — Musical director for the inaugural season of comedian Richard Stockton's Haight Ashbury Home Companion

Dick, Mick & The Chick 2007 - 2008
Three wildly different songwriters in the round backing each other on a wide variety of instruments - 27 at last count. Featuring singer/songwriters Dick Dujour,
Mick Overman and Jayme Kelly Curtis

Bread! The Musical, 2003 — A musical by Joe Ortiz with Dick in the role of Dr. Dick Jones

Kitchen Cabaret, 2004 — Dinner theatre at Michael's on Main featuring songs by Joe Ortiz and story vignettes by local authors, inspired by the music

New Music Works Garden Party — Performer, technical advisor, recordist


Ukulele Hall of Fame Museum Expo, Rhode Island, 2003  — Emcee and performer. Provided inspiration for Uke Fest West

Lecturer, 2004 — Stanford University on the Beatles White Album

Technical Consultant, 1996 – 2006 — Audio Descriptive Services for the Visually Impaired at American Musical Theatre, San Jose Center for Performing Arts and other venues in the Bay Area including San Jose Arena and San Francisco Orpheum Theatre

Consultant and mentor to numerous productions, companies and artists.

Community Activist
Supporter of Guitars Not Guns, Music in the Schools and numerous other causes.

Ukulele Dick gives approximately 50 concerts per year at venues ranging from the Civic Auditorium to Rio Theatre to retirement homes. Over the last 10 years he has given numerous benefit concerts for local organizations such as Grey Bears, Alzheimer’s Walk, Actor’s Theater, Save the Rainforest, Peace Day.

Ukulele Dick is a regular presence on KPIG's Please Stand By live music radio show and is included on Arden Eaton's Take Me Home peace compilation CD. Rick’s song War No More won special recognition from the National chapter of Veterans for Peace.

SOUND DESIGN, MUSICAL DIRECTION Planet Cruz Comedy Hour — Musical director for comedian Richard Stockton's left coast version of A Prairie Home Companion. Recorded live at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center; airs on KUSP and Community Television Blue Skies Forerver — Original music for Claire Braz-Valentine's world premier mystery about Amelia Earhart
Shakespeare Santa Cruz
Damn Yankees
The Rape of Tamar – World premier
Awarded LA Critic’s Circle Dramalogue for Sound Design
Cabrillo Stage
Camelot
Evita
Into the Woods
My Fair Lady
Sound of Music
South Pacific
Sweeny Todd
Actor's Theatre
 8 10's @ 10 – six seasons
Angry Housewives
Amazon Allstars
Approaching Zanzibar
To The Dump
Loot
Numerous staged readings
New Music Works 1985 - 1996
Technical support, live recording and sound design for numerous live concerts and musical theatre productions
Netless Theatre Company
American Buffalo
Appalachian Ebenezer
Barefoot in the Park
Brilliant Traces
Of Mice and Men
Sound designer and consultant
for numerous other regional theatre companies

EDUCATION
Associate of Arts in Fine Arts, 1969 — Pasadena City College
Conscientious Objector: Came to Santa Cruz in 1970 to complete alternative service at Goodwill Industries.

Rick's Gail Rich Award

This is the photo (by Shmuel Thaler) and the text of the article (by Wallace Baine) that appeared in the January 9, 2011 edition of the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

If it were possible to convert the Santa Cruz music community into some kind of map, flow chart or Venn diagram, at the very center would be Rick McKee. Over the course of 40 years, Rick has built his musical reputation in three separate spheres of influence: as a veteran luthier and instrument repair man; as a sound designer for local theatrical productions; and, perhaps most famously, as an entertainer performing as the irrepressible Ukulele Dick. He was not only uke before uke was cool, he was, and continues to be, the Leonardo of Santa Cruz's ukulele renaissance. A tireless songwriter, Rick has always been an idea man, from the Beatles' White Album Ensemble to his latest project, a upcoming vaudeville show based on the music of the Rolling Stones. On top of all that, Rick aspires to be a completist in his attempt to archive Santa Cruz's musical history, acting as both a chronicler and a central player in a community he helped to build and of which he still stands at the center.

IT'S IN THE GENES ~ LAFE McKEE

Ukulele Dick is the grandson of Lafe McKee (Lafayette Stocking McKee 1872 - 1959), a supporting player who appeared in more than 400 Hollywood serials and westerns from 1912 through the 40s.

Film historian William K. Everson called him "The Grand Old Man of Westerns." According to the All Movie Guide, "Lafe McKee played opposite every cowboy hero on the Hollywood range, from Tom Mix to Gary Cooper."

Lafe mostly played incidental characters, such as the heroine's father, the victimized homesteader, the kindly sheriff, various old codgers  and, occassionally, the villain. He directed "Lone Hand Wilson" in 1920 under the name L.S. McKee.

Some of Lafe's notable films include "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" (1936), "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" (1939), and "Meet John Doe" (1941) "In the Days of Buffalo Bill" (as Robert E. Lee, 1922), "Rawhide" (1926), "Men Without Law" (1930), "End of the Trail" (1932), "Blue Steel" (1934), "Gun Smoke" (1935), and "The Lone Ranger" (serial, 1938).

In addition to his film career, Lafe performed as a leading man in touring stock companies before making his movie debut at 40 in 1912. There is now an annual Lafe McKee Film festival in his hometown of Morrison, Illinois.

Several bios are available on line:
http://www.allmovie.com/artist/lafe-lafayette-mckee-47672
http://www.b-westerns.com/villainz.htm
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=5802

A list of film titles can be found at: http://www.citwf.com/person292486.htm
Links to video clips are available at http://www.kosmix.com/topic/Lafe_McKee


Keywords: Rick McKee, Ukulele Dick, Ukelele Dick, Dick Dujour, Santa Cruz