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Swaggerty gaggle of Kook-a-Lele's three of em' 1960s free shipping

New Price$799
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Listed:5 years ago
Sold By
All Curiosities
Simi Valley, CA, United States
Joined Reverb

These kooky Swagerty ukes are being sold as a lot of 3, I will not break up the lot.

Here' a little history that I found online from some collectors (I can't confirm that any of the following internet post details are accurate, I don't know if these people are Swagerty experts or not, do your own due diligence please):

Swagerty first began producing ukuleles the late 1950s and became massively popular during the surf craze of the 50s and 60s – the pointed ends of their ukes were intended to be driven into the sand while their owners were off catching waves.

They produced a number of models including the Surf-a-lay-lee, the Kook-A-Lele, and the Treholipee.

The Swagerty company ceased in the 1970s.

Swagerty was a San Clemente California based manufacturing company in the 1950's-70's, and owned by Ancil Swagerty. It's full name was "SWAGERTY Specialties Company, Artistry In Woods".

The Swagerty company manufactured many oddball instruments such as the Surf-a-lay-lee the Kook-A-Lele, as well as the "singing" Treholipee. A patent was granted for Treholipee in 1966.

Advertisements claimed the Treholipee could be tuned "...as Uke, tenor banjo, plectrum banjo, tenor guitar or baritone uke."!! The Treholipee and the Kook-A-Lele had pointed extended headstocks that, according to advertising materials, allowed the instrument to be stuck into the sand when the surf was up.

The Surf-a-lay-lee was shorter, presumably to allow it to be played while on a surfboard, although no mention was made of it being waterproof.

It is said that the first instrument was made as a "wall decoration", (Swagerty was a wood worker) and after a friend mentioned that it would not take much to get it playable, the idea was born.

Swagerty also made the "Little Guitar".

From what I've read, the double neck model were only made specially for friends and were never marketed to the general public. Besides having two necks, they are also different from the standard Kook-a-La-Lee in that the sound holes are round and not heart-shaped.


Please review the photos carefully, I posted many. In my humble opinion, these are very clean considering the age and possible prior application (sticking them in the sand in the sun...). The double neck appears to have a minor repair on the back, see photos. One of the orange ones has some paint discoloration on the side. Overall, these play nicely and still have some of their decals and emblems attached.


 All I need are some Kook-a-Leles, some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I'm fine.


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