My post today was inspired by a conversation I had when replying to a post by RACHELMANKOWITZ called The Ukelele Life where she was discussing taking ukulele lessons.
My response was to ask if she had a George Formby Society where she was and unfortunately her reply was, George Formby, who?
George Formby was one of Britain’s biggest film stars of the 30’s and 40’s so I was somewhat surprised he wasn’t more well known which leaves me no option but to endeavour to educate my readers about this very talented man.
George was famous for his risque songs which he used to sing and accompany himself on a banjolele which is a cross between a banjo and a ukulele but louder.
He was so famous that the George Formby Society was formed in 1961 in tribute to this great man.
Here are two of his most famous tunes, the first being “Leaning on a lamp post.”
The second being, “When I’m cleaning windows.”
This is the George Formby Society which meets every year and is as popular today as it was years ago, only in Great Britain you may think and you may be right but eccentricity is considered a virtue in this country.
George Formby has obviously influenced other performers, one of which is The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.
Finally I give you a documentary on George Formby with the recommendation that you seek him out on youtube where you can find his films and tunes. It is people like George Formby and Gracie Fields who kept moral up and may have gone some way in assisting the winning of World War Two.
I can say no more ladies and gentlemen, I give you the rather wonderful George Formby, do enjoy. “Turned out nice again!”
I am a retired actor, although to be honest I only retired because I wasn't getting any work due to losing my agent when I became a full time carer to my mother who had dementia. and the option of becoming an unemployed actor/waiter at my age was ludicrous, especially as my waiting skills are non-existent.
Having said I’m retired, I don’t think there really is such a thing as a retired actor for I am still available for work, I just don’t have an agent or any connections with regards to obtaining any worthwhile work.
I have over the years done student films when there is nothing else available, always low paid (if at all) the only incentive was always the promised copy of the finished film for your show reel which nine times out of ten always failed to materialise.
I spent many years looking after my aged mother and shortly after her death I was lucky enough to run into an ex-girlfriend of many years ago and our romance blossomed once again, resulting in us getting married in 2013.
My move to the countryside inspired me to write The Diary of a Country Bumpkin which tells of my continuing dilemmas in dealing with the rigors of the countryside from the unexpectedly large number of pollens, fungal moulds and hay products waiting to attack the unsuspecting townie.
I enjoy writing, see my play Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori on The Wireless Theatre Company, The Plays Wot I Wrote and The Battle of Barking Creek both available on Amazon.co.uk and am very fond of classic cars so my ideal occupation would be acting in a film I had written set in the 1930s/40s, we live in hopes.
I am delighted to say that since venturing to the countryside where space is not quite the premium it is in town, I have due to the availability of two double garages acquired more classic cars to form a small collection the pride of which are a 1947 Bentley Mk VI and a 2000 Bentley Arnage.
My various blogs and websites are continually evolving and I’m sure that by following the appropriate links you will find something which will edify or amuse.
I have written a number of different books all available on Amazon, so don't be shy should you feel the urge to purchase. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mr-Joe-Wells/e/B06XKWFQHT/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
I remember George Formby and his songs. He was from “up North” as we Londoners said, although it was more my mum’s sort of thing.
He would have been my parents era but I love eccentric British things whatever they are!
We once ‘accommodated’ the Ukulele Orchestra on their world trip of Great Britain.
They had already visited Boston and were passing through New York so asked us to take their picture by the road sign. We got a copy of their CD and their version of the Dam Busters is awesome!
Brilliant aren’t they?
They are, and a very nice bunch of people too.
Yes they look like the’d be fun to be with.
A great read and some lovely musical memories. Thank you.
Ahh The Ukulele Orchestra are amazing, some of their music choices are epic, I’d love to catch them live. I remember seeing them on tv, performing Nirvana, Smells Like Teen Spirit, such fun! I really enjoyed the very interesting tv programme, presented by Frank Skinner, about George Formby. My husband has 2 Ukes, I keep thinking I’ll have a go at learning how to play, one day!
I have a ukulele myself but haven’t got around to having a go. Theoretically all you need is three cords and you can play anything, sound easy doesn’t it. I bet it’s not!
Haha! Yes, it does sound easy! I think my problem would be the correct way to strum, I’m more used to a guitar, not that I play that very often either. I think my favourite song with a ukulele is, “I’ll See You In My Dreams” by Joe Brown, especially when he played it at the Concert for George Harrison..very moving. Maybe that song is something to aim for!
I’d be happy with three cords and being able to strum away at the back of the George Formby Society annual get together!
We’d best get practicing, methinks..good luck! 😊
One of my dads favourites
Daft old fashioned British humour.
George drank and beat his wife too often. On stage or film he was adored. I watched all his films but the fact off stage he just could not handle the boredom of life at one pace.Sorry to say it but it gave me no joy to carry on watching him.
I had to look him up on Wikipedia, and discovered that he was born blind but his sight was restored after a violent coughing/sneezing fit when he was a few months old. Bizarre. Your readers may enjoy the following verse, banned for being too risqué:
“To overcrowded flats I’ve been,
Sixteen in one bed I’ve seen,
With the lodger tucked up in between,
When I’m cleaning windows!
Now lots of girls I’ve had to jilt,
For they admire the way I’m built,
It’s a good job I don’t wear a kilt,
When I’m cleaning windows!”
– Banned by the BBC: “The Window Cleaner”
ps I’m envious of your Bentleys, my dream car!
I can see why they were banned! Yes, I love the cars too.