As a highly regarded studio bassist in Los Angeles in the 1960s and 1970s, Lyle Ritz could hardly have imagined the impact of a few earlier recordings he had done using a considerably smaller four-string instrument. His two ukulele jazz recordings on the Verve label in the late 1950s, "How About Uke?" and "50th State Jazz", were unlike anything previously recorded. Ritz will always be known as the brilliant pioneer in the area of ukulele jazz.
His recordings are legendary and have inspired countless players both in Hawaii and on the mainland. Ritz returned to his ukulele roots in the mid 1980s, releasing a number of more recent recordings as well as an instructional book of his arrangements.