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George Formby

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Duke 18 Oct 06 - 04:33 PM
breezy 18 Oct 06 - 04:38 PM
greg stephens 18 Oct 06 - 04:38 PM
Murray MacLeod 18 Oct 06 - 04:56 PM
GUEST 18 Oct 06 - 05:00 PM
GUEST,GUEST Trev 18 Oct 06 - 05:09 PM
GUEST,ibo 18 Oct 06 - 05:35 PM
GUEST 18 Oct 06 - 05:38 PM
GUEST,ibo 18 Oct 06 - 05:39 PM
skipy 18 Oct 06 - 06:01 PM
GUEST,ibo 18 Oct 06 - 06:04 PM
melodeonboy 18 Oct 06 - 06:24 PM
melodeonboy 18 Oct 06 - 06:26 PM
GUEST,ibo 18 Oct 06 - 06:36 PM
cobra 18 Oct 06 - 06:52 PM
GUEST,ibo 18 Oct 06 - 06:53 PM
Girl Friday 18 Oct 06 - 07:51 PM
Seamus Kennedy 18 Oct 06 - 07:59 PM
Brakn 18 Oct 06 - 08:03 PM
Leadfingers 18 Oct 06 - 08:05 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 19 Oct 06 - 04:03 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 19 Oct 06 - 04:12 AM
Fidjit 19 Oct 06 - 05:32 AM
Big Al Whittle 19 Oct 06 - 07:25 AM
John Robinson (aka Cittern) 19 Oct 06 - 08:08 AM
Duke 19 Oct 06 - 10:25 AM
jojofolkagogo 19 Oct 06 - 01:16 PM
GUEST 19 Oct 06 - 08:20 PM
The Fooles Troupe 20 Oct 06 - 12:52 AM
Big Al Whittle 20 Oct 06 - 04:55 AM
GerryMc 20 Oct 06 - 05:03 AM
fat B****rd 20 Oct 06 - 08:47 AM
Roger the Skiffler 20 Oct 06 - 09:29 AM
Flash Company 20 Oct 06 - 09:59 AM
GUEST,Guest Trev 22 Oct 06 - 03:15 PM
The Sandman 22 Oct 06 - 04:45 PM
Scrump 23 Oct 06 - 05:37 AM
GUEST,Darowyn 23 Oct 06 - 06:43 AM
GUEST,Penguin Egg 23 Oct 06 - 07:36 AM
Snuffy 23 Oct 06 - 08:55 AM
Scrump 23 Oct 06 - 08:57 AM
Big Al Whittle 23 Oct 06 - 09:08 AM
Scrump 23 Oct 06 - 09:34 AM
GUEST,Penguin Egg 23 Oct 06 - 10:21 AM
Dave the Gnome 23 Oct 06 - 10:42 AM
Big Al Whittle 23 Oct 06 - 06:33 PM
jojofolkagogo 24 Oct 06 - 06:58 AM
GUEST,Penguin Egg 24 Oct 06 - 07:56 AM
GUEST,Penguin Egg 24 Oct 06 - 08:08 AM
Scrump 24 Oct 06 - 08:56 AM
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Subject: George Formby
From: Duke
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 04:33 PM

I remember him from when I was a child, oh so long ago. I thought he was a Scot, but a friend said he was a Yorkshire man? How would you classify his music? Any information would be helpfull.

thanks,

duke


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: breezy
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 04:38 PM

Entertaining.

I dont know for sure but I thought he was from Lancashire


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: greg stephens
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 04:38 PM

Lancashire, not Yorkshire. I would classify his music as great. What more can you say?


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 04:56 PM

as ever, YouTube is your friend.

George Formby's Last Performance , an endearing snapshot of a true master of his idiom.

lots of other Formby stuff on there as well, but not necessarily linked to this clip for some reason.

input "George Formby " into the search box and they all come up.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 05:00 PM

George Formby Society


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: GUEST,GUEST Trev
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 05:09 PM

Definitely from Lancashire.

His father was a music hall comedian (George Formby Snr)who I believe introduced the term 'Wigan Pier'.

Music? great.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: GUEST,ibo
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 05:35 PM

A drummer i work with in a club in newcastle looks just like him.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 05:38 PM

My window cleaner looks just like him


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: GUEST,ibo
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 05:39 PM

IS IT MR WOO?


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: skipy
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 06:01 PM

I'm leaning on a lampost.
Skipy


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: GUEST,ibo
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 06:04 PM

Ive got a little bit of blackpool rock,heh heh


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: melodeonboy
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 06:24 PM

No, Ibo, it can't be Mr. Woo. He found that not only did laundry work not pay, but window cleaning didn't either. Last I heard was that he'd opened up a Chinese reataurant with little Chinese wifey.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: melodeonboy
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 06:26 PM

Sorry; that should have been "restaurant".


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: GUEST,ibo
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 06:36 PM

i think i know that restaurant,it was the first time i ever had my prawn balls held with chopsticks,   heeh heh,turned out nice again


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: cobra
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 06:52 PM

I got one of those George Formby Health Grills. Rubbish it were.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: GUEST,ibo
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 06:53 PM

lol


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Girl Friday
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 07:51 PM

We're not the only ones to refer to our George Formby grill then.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 07:59 PM

Cobra, I think you mean George Formby Health Girls.
Definitely not rubbish.

Seamus


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Brakn
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 08:03 PM

A diamond. Would you call it folk?


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Leadfingers
Date: 18 Oct 06 - 08:05 PM

You try taking a Five String Banjo out of its case in a British pub !
Some 'wit' will immediately launch into 'When I'm Cleaning Windows'
despite the fact the G F was an excellent player of the Ukulele Banjo !


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 19 Oct 06 - 04:03 AM


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 19 Oct 06 - 04:12 AM

This is a bit drepressing! George really should be an icon among English folkies. First, he sang in his own regional accent ( a big plus in my book!). Secondly, he was an acoustic superstar ( indeed, he was a Superstar, full-stop! For a while, he was the most popular British film and theatre star). Thirdly, he was wizard on the ukelele. And, of course, in many ways, he was the last great star of the music-hall tradition. He came from Wigan ( not that you'd know if you visit the place!) He father, before him, was also a star of the music-halls. George still has a big following ( George Harrison was a fan and was great at doing George's uke "thing").


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Fidjit
Date: 19 Oct 06 - 05:32 AM

George had several ukes tuned in different keys. As other hav efound out this saves time re-tuning. i.e. Dransfield etc.

Just had a visit from the Ukelele Ochestra of Great Britain and they did a great version of Leaning on a lampost,
as a Russian Cossak song!

Chas


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Oct 06 - 07:25 AM

yes he should be the icon, we lean our bike on.

but he's not.

why, you may ask.

Formby's music was jazz based and therefore - its roots were more Americana than, than the pre-industrial revolution sound that most traddies strain after.

More urban than rural. So no deranged Walter Gabriel impersonation, which is the gold standard of english folksingers.

Plus he didn't play jigs and reels - through some oversight.

Plus, was something of naive amongst artists. The stories of other artists even, scoffing at his stupidity are many. the trad folk music movement is predominantly middle class - George Formby wasn't clever enough to realise his own significance as an artist, not really self conscious enough to adopt the 'seriousness' that characterises our movement.

having said that, theres a certain cross fertilisation between music hall and folk. I bet he shared the bill with artists like Sam Sherry a few times.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: John Robinson (aka Cittern)
Date: 19 Oct 06 - 08:08 AM

I own a George Formby "signature model" uke banjo.

Did I say that out loud?


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Duke
Date: 19 Oct 06 - 10:25 AM

I'm so happy with all the information I got from my post. I loved the song on utube? I must check that site out a little more. I've always loved his music and his movies are a part of my early life.

thanks for the information, guys.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: jojofolkagogo
Date: 19 Oct 06 - 01:16 PM

Very mysogynistic - he did NOT like women and took the P**S out of them - this is why I DO NOT LIKE THIS MAN

A person who finds it nice/funny to bring women down is No gentleman

Apart from that, I think his songs are particularly BADLY written

and I hasten VERY QUICKLY to add that he did NOT write
"Leaning on a lamp-post" he may be famous for singing it, but it was written by one Noel Gaye - a beautiful song ruined by GF.

well, that's my opinion.

jo-jo


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Oct 06 - 08:20 PM

I LOVE women and I take the piss out of them all the time. It puts a smile on their face. Except lesbians, who take themselves too seriously.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 20 Oct 06 - 12:52 AM

A Golden Shower man then, eh, GUEST?


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Oct 06 - 04:55 AM

Perhaps his unique form of aggression to the wife who allowed him five bob a day pocket money when he was a millionaire.

Perhaps not - perhaps just his translation of the McGill postcard humour of which many of his songs are such a great expression. think of those postcards with their regiment of monstrous ladies and henpecked husbands.

the ugly woman joke is a constant feature of the work of many ragtime artists. If you judged blind Blake and Blind Boy Fuller( the structure of whose songs so much resemble George's) by the same standards - you would be denying yourself the pleasure of some very great artists indeed.

Either way George is a giant amongst artists. you really do put yourself in the ranks of the sort of ignorami who say Picasso's rubbish. Not everything george did was a masterpiece, but absolutely nobody else has had his touch of genius when it comes to comic song.

what is it with mudcat. One week they are shitting on the memory of Ewan MacColl, now its george Formby.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: GerryMc
Date: 20 Oct 06 - 05:03 AM

This guy came to Otley folk club a few weeks back. No prizes for guessing what songs he sang.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: fat B****rd
Date: 20 Oct 06 - 08:47 AM

Just keep your ukuleles in your hand, boys.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 20 Oct 06 - 09:29 AM

...and his grill cooks healthy food...

RtS
(I'll get me cloth cap...)


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Flash Company
Date: 20 Oct 06 - 09:59 AM

Used to do one of his father's songs, 'John Willy's Ragtime Band', which requires no accompaniment. Never did Georges own stuff as I wasw never clever enough to play the uke' like that.
He lived about eight miles from me when I was a kid, and all the stories about his wife being a monster are quite true. She was also an alcoholic and apparently was hell to live and work with.

FC


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: GUEST,Guest Trev
Date: 22 Oct 06 - 03:15 PM

Apparently another reason he had several ukes on stage at the same time (differently tuned) was cos he wasn't able to tune them himself (think I heard that in a BBC documentary).


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Oct 06 - 04:45 PM

any old how he wornt as good as the Singing Postman, Halloween, My little miss from diss ,Was the bottom dropped out , Mind yer head bor,Nicotine girl,. Different Class of songwriter, more varied subjects and sang in his regional accent too.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Scrump
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 05:37 AM

George Formby (Jr) was so popular in the 1930s and 40s that it became fashionable later to belittle him, as he was seen as being old-fashioned and representing a way of life that people had moved on from. But looking at him objectively now, IMO he was indeed one of the all time great performers.

As for the Singing Postman (Allan Smethurst), he was good too, but I wouldn't say he was better than GF. They're both very different artists. AS certainly wasn't as successful as GF (but then not many artists have ever been - he was phenomenally so). But then again success and quality are not always in direct proportion to one another.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: GUEST,Darowyn
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 06:43 AM

George is still part of Biking history. His Film "No Limit" is still shown during TT week, as the first mainstream star to feature the Isle of Man TT races on screen.
To this day you wil find home built specials entered in competitions as a "Shuttleworth Snap"- the name of George's bike in the film.
Cheers
Dave


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: GUEST,Penguin Egg
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 07:36 AM

I remember when George Formby's films were shown on tv in the 70s. I thought they were rubbish and so was his music, which were novelty songs that have dated badly. To compare him to Blind Blake is flattering to the point of ubsurdity. It is like comparing Roger Whittaker to Christy More.A mildly amusing man, but of no lasting interest.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Snuffy
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 08:55 AM

I think you're being a wee bit harsh on Christy Moore.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Scrump
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 08:57 AM

A mildly amusing man, but of no lasting interest

Perhaps to you, but the existence of the thriving GF Society is evidence that he continues to be of interest to many.

I agree the films don't stand up well today, but the songs are a different matter. Of course they weren't all the same standard - his output was prolific. But the best are still enjoyed by many today (there is a large number of compilation CDs available).


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 09:08 AM

Egg, my dear friend

G G7
C Aaug
G E7 A7 D7 G

the chords for cleaning windows made famous by George Formby, and also the chords for too tight rag by blind blake.

that was the point I was making.

ps the middle eights the same as well!


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Scrump
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 09:34 AM

Ee, I can't help imagining Blind Blake singing "When I'm Cleaning Windows" now. Or George singing "Too Tight Rag". Not sure which is funnier ;-)


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: GUEST,Penguin Egg
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 10:21 AM

Snigger! I was refering to George Formby, of course. I don't care about the chords. George Formby just AINT Blind Blake. I know little about chord structure, but I got ears.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 10:42 AM

George Formby just AINT Blind Blake

Thank heavens for that! Imagine if everyone sounded the same and had the same tastes PE. What a boring life it would be! I must say I am not a great fan of the blues but I would not dream of calling it rubbish just because it is not to my taste.

I do happen to enjoy Mr F's brand of silliness and my ears, although I am sure they are not as good as yours, seem to tell me he has a certain amount of musical talent. My eyes tell me that he also seems to have performed somewhat better on celluloid than Mr B did:-)

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 23 Oct 06 - 06:33 PM

I wasn't talking about chord structure - just song structure. Which anyone with with a pair of working lugholes can appreciate.

I think some species of owls have prominent ears that don't function - maybe eggbound penguins have the same sort of shit in their ears.

what do you get out of slagging off people who have devoted their lives to entertaining others? does it make you feel important? they deserve better.

For a short while I was on the same German record label as roger Whittaker. Probably one of his hugely successful German albums alone would represent more record sales than Christy Moore's entire output - and I am a devoted fan of Christy. But its not that you abuse people you don't know - but you really don't know what you're talking about.

For example, why would George Formby be the most popular film star in the UK for over 10 years if he were only mildly amusing? In his lifetime George played every gig of significance in the world and got every honour up to an including the order of Lenin. Have you ever trod the boards - do you have any idea of the magnitude of that achievement? read one of his biographies and you will get some idea of the sweat, talent, genius and stage craft that he and his wife put together.

Perhaps more important than all this however was the spiritual sustenance that George Formby gave to the Northern industrial counties of this nation when the entire country was in the grip of the worse economic depression in living memory. In film after film he was the little man - the provincial hick slugging it out with the class that had buggered up the economy of the country as they knocked back the vintage claret.

Lastly, he was a shit hot banjo/uke player - try it - its not easy! I've seen hundreds and I've never seen anyone remotely as good as him. Tell you one thing - playing too tight rag is a piece of piss compared to playing any one of George's weird creations. I've tried both - and it wasn't the Blind Blake piece that defeated me.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: jojofolkagogo
Date: 24 Oct 06 - 06:58 AM

WELL SAID   Captain Birdseye !!!

Singing postman was a Great Artist and great writer.

Love him !

Jo-Jo


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: GUEST,Penguin Egg
Date: 24 Oct 06 - 07:56 AM

Far from being a class warrior, I once heard George Formby described as a Northern Uncle Tom, which just about sums him up. Remember, I have seen his films. They may have been popular in their time, but this is what people were fed to them by the entertainment industry. On a modern note, Madonna represents empowerment to a lot of women and her records sell in their millions. Yet her singing is flat and lifeless. As with Formby, it is not about slagging people off. It is about having an opinion. According to you, weelittledrummer, we should like anyone without discrimination. No, I have never set foot on a stage. If I did, I would be putting myself into the public domain where people would have the right to express any opinion they liked. That we are in a left leaning folk/blues forum defending Formby strikes me as incredible. Ok, if you like him-fine; just don't be to sniffy, or surprised, if people don't agree with you- and say so. Honestly, to God: George Formby, indeed. Anyone would think I had slagged off Woody Guthrie.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: GUEST,Penguin Egg
Date: 24 Oct 06 - 08:08 AM

Oh, come on people, Blind Blake on a level with George Formby? Side me with me here.

DtG, I don't believe Blind Blake ever performed in front of a camera, so we will never know.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Scrump
Date: 24 Oct 06 - 08:56 AM

GF also did a lot for the WW2 war effort, entertaining the troops and so forth, something often overlooked. But apart from that, many of his songs are still fondly remembered and I think they do stand up well as classic comic songs. Of course they sound dated on his original recordings, but that doesn't make them bad songs. And what's more he put Wiggin on t'map!

Ee, they'll be slaggin' off Our Gracie next ;-)


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