Mele Fong and her husband Richard Tom – The Hawaiian Serenaders – sing and play What the World Needs Now on ‘ukulele and u-bass over photos of peace memorials we saw in Japan and some of the people we have connected with during our travels around the world.
Mele’s arrangement of the song is in G with 14-chords using two Waltz Strums for ‘ukulele.
This pop song was first recorded and made popular by Jackie DeShannon and released on April 15, 1965. The song was originally offered to Dionne Warwick, who turned it down at the time saying she felt it was “too country” for her tastes and “too preachy” though she later recorded it for her album Here Where There is Love. The song’s success caught the two songwriters, Burt Bacharach, and Hal David, by surprise, since they were very aware of the controversy and disagreements among Americans about the Vietnam War, which was the subtext for the lyrics. Burt Bacharach went on to use the song as the intro and finale for most of his live concert appearances well into the 2000s.
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Native Hawaiian Mele Fong from Maui is an experienced educator and professional entertainer with over 50 years experience playing the ‘ukulele – Hawaii’s official instrument. Are UKE having fun yet? Watch. Listen. Play. The Ukulele Mele Way!