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George Formby

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MGM·Lion 21 Aug 12 - 02:32 PM
GUEST,Eliza 21 Aug 12 - 02:22 PM
MGM·Lion 21 Aug 12 - 09:06 AM
GUEST, Sminky 21 Aug 12 - 05:41 AM
Megan L 20 Aug 12 - 02:22 PM
GUEST,Eliza 20 Aug 12 - 01:50 PM
GUEST,Guest 19 Aug 12 - 05:41 PM
GUEST,Guest 19 Aug 12 - 05:37 PM
Claire M 19 Aug 12 - 03:32 PM
M.Ted 01 Nov 06 - 09:40 PM
Dave Roberts 01 Nov 06 - 01:24 PM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Nov 06 - 12:48 PM
BuckMulligan 01 Nov 06 - 10:30 AM
Leadfingers 01 Nov 06 - 08:53 AM
Compton 01 Nov 06 - 08:42 AM
GUEST,Penguin Egg 01 Nov 06 - 08:26 AM
Scrump 01 Nov 06 - 05:49 AM
GUEST,Penguin Egg 01 Nov 06 - 05:08 AM
Big Al Whittle 30 Oct 06 - 11:57 AM
Scrump 30 Oct 06 - 07:22 AM
GUEST,Penguin Egg 30 Oct 06 - 05:34 AM
Big Al Whittle 25 Oct 06 - 01:42 PM
Scrump 25 Oct 06 - 12:08 PM
Big Al Whittle 25 Oct 06 - 10:41 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 25 Oct 06 - 10:36 AM
GUEST,Penguin Egg 25 Oct 06 - 10:32 AM
Scrump 25 Oct 06 - 10:24 AM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 25 Oct 06 - 10:16 AM
Scrump 25 Oct 06 - 10:16 AM
GUEST,Penguin Egg 25 Oct 06 - 09:49 AM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 25 Oct 06 - 09:46 AM
GUEST,Penguin Egg 25 Oct 06 - 09:26 AM
GUEST,Penguin Egg 25 Oct 06 - 09:08 AM
Big Al Whittle 25 Oct 06 - 08:55 AM
Scrump 25 Oct 06 - 08:42 AM
GUEST,Penguin Egg 25 Oct 06 - 08:31 AM
Scrump 25 Oct 06 - 07:42 AM
GUEST,Penguin Egg 25 Oct 06 - 07:15 AM
Leadfingers 25 Oct 06 - 07:10 AM
Scrump 25 Oct 06 - 06:42 AM
Big Al Whittle 25 Oct 06 - 06:19 AM
GUEST,Penguin Egg 25 Oct 06 - 05:57 AM
Scrump 25 Oct 06 - 05:45 AM
Big Al Whittle 24 Oct 06 - 09:03 PM
Folk Form # 1 24 Oct 06 - 06:22 PM
Ian Burdon 24 Oct 06 - 05:19 PM
Long Firm Freddie 24 Oct 06 - 04:11 PM
Dave the Gnome 24 Oct 06 - 03:23 PM
Leadfingers 24 Oct 06 - 02:44 PM
Duke 24 Oct 06 - 02:38 PM
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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 21 Aug 12 - 02:32 PM

Great minds, Eliza...!

xxxx


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 21 Aug 12 - 02:22 PM

There we are Michael, yet another thing about which we agree! I really did not like Morecambe and Wise. I found their humour juvenile and trivial. I was also put off by Spike Milligan's obvious self-satisfaction. He found his own jokes very funny, but I did not.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 21 Aug 12 - 09:06 AM

"Going back to Morcambe and Wise, my Mum never liked them. She must have been the only person in the country in the 70s who thought that. Mind you, the humour of Spike Milligan totally escaped me." Penguin Eggs
.,,.
Somewhat delayed response [only 6 years!]. PE's mum was not alone. Neither my then wife Valerie or I could ever raise a smile at the unsubtle clowning of Morecambe & Wise. Recognised their popularity ~~ all my then pupils loved them. But it just didn't get thru to us.

As to Milligan ~~ found him thoroughly unfunny, and by all accounts a most unpleasant personality; tho sympathise of course with anyone who suffers from bipolar disorder.

~M~


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 21 Aug 12 - 05:41 AM

My grandparents once lived in a flat above a pub/hotel in Morecambe. One evening my mum - just a little girl - saw GF leaving the hotel. She knocked on the window and when he looked up she put her tongue out at him. It earned her a clip round the ear.

Years later, before she became a nurse, mum worked at Morecambe Town Hall. One of her jobs was to take the wages out to the council employees who worked off-base. One of these was a Mr Bartholomew, father of Eric Morecambe, who used to sweep up in the market place.

My grandparents eventually got a 'proper' house in Morecambe which is the one I remember. Thora Hird lived just around the corner and I once saw Hilda Baker entering her 'digs' right across the road.

Different world.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Megan L
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 02:22 PM

Strange this thread should resurect now. Today we had a glimpse of sun so i kidnapped my friend from her sons and headed of on an adventure. we ended up in St Margerets Hope not that unusual for me but today the Cromarty hall was open serving ploughmans lunches and cakes.

When we were finished eating we wandered round the hall looking at pictures and books for sale. tucked away in a corner was a picture first glance was "I know that face" moment second look and i realised it was George Formby so I went over to read the typed note below he had come up to the island to entertain the troops I asked one of the ladies if i could slip behind the curtain and up on stage so I can honestly say I was on the same stage as George :)


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 20 Aug 12 - 01:50 PM

George Formby left a considerable fortune to his fiancee, not his 'bit on the side'. He died a few days before they were due to be married. The Singing Postman can indeed be compared with GF in some ways, because both men sang in their local accent and accompanied themselves. 'Nicotine Gal' is in fact called 'Hev Yew Got a Loight Bwoy?' Both men often sang narrative songs, using a key phrase as a refrain. Each is extremely funny and cheerful. But Alan Smethurst had a more nostalgic feel to his songs, especially the later ones referring to his childhood in Norfolk (where I live). It isn't 'was the bottom dropped out?' It's 'Hev the Bottom Dropped out?'
Each gives a delicious glimpse into typical life in their part of England, and as such are almost archive material. I have almost every song of both men, and play them over and over.   But I'm old, and I don't know if they'd still appeal to the youngsters.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 19 Aug 12 - 05:41 PM

If the link doesn't work just google George Formby subterranean homesick blues for a surprise.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 19 Aug 12 - 05:37 PM

He also taught Dylan something Subterranean homesick blues


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Claire M
Date: 19 Aug 12 - 03:32 PM

Hiya,

I like him, in the same way I like John Otway; good for when you need cheering up, but wouldn't go out of my way to listen to either (although JO did a good blues song

As for blues, I luv it. It's my favourite kind of music.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: M.Ted
Date: 01 Nov 06 - 09:40 PM

I am in agreement with Buck Mulligan's thought--Music Hall is a tradition--and music hall tunes, in one form or another, form a big bit of the "Traditional" repertoire--as to Gracie, well, I've been listening to a lot of her stuff lately, on headsets, as her voice puts my wife off--her songs were and are very funny, and she had great comic delivery, but her stage personality was what put her over--and it still comes through--Heaven will protected an honest girl--


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Dave Roberts
Date: 01 Nov 06 - 01:24 PM

So would I.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Nov 06 - 12:48 PM

Here he is with one of his less well known songs -n "She's got two of everything" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSc-e-QffTs. And there are lots more clips of him on YouTube, where this comes from.

I think I'd be a bit suspicious of anyone who said they didn't like George Formby.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: BuckMulligan
Date: 01 Nov 06 - 10:30 AM

What makes anyone think music hall isn't a folk tradition? More "folk" sing and have sung music hall songs than have burbled through any Child ballad. I bet.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Leadfingers
Date: 01 Nov 06 - 08:53 AM

Ah , BUT -- WHICH Blind Blake !!


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Compton
Date: 01 Nov 06 - 08:42 AM

It's a terrible thing ...but I've heard oif George Formby...and such is my education, never heard of Blind Blake, and I guess 95% of the Great British public haven't either!!


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: GUEST,Penguin Egg
Date: 01 Nov 06 - 08:26 AM

The one thing I remember from his films (apart from his big goofy smile) is the leading ladies. Even though they played working class girls, they all had accents like the Queen!!! Going back to Morcambe and Wise, my Mum never liked them. She must have been the only person in the country in the 70s who thought that. Mind you, the humour of Spike Milligan totally escaped me. Humour is totally subjective. You either laugh or you don't. Now the songs of George Formby make me laugh.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Scrump
Date: 01 Nov 06 - 05:49 AM

The best things about the films now, is that you get a chance to see him perform the songs and observe his uke playing. Apart from that, I don't think most of them stand up all that well in terms of the plot, but of course they are interesting for their period 'charm', like all old films. But they were incredibly low budget, even for those days - the early ones were filmed above a garage, and they had to ask the owners to keep quiet while filming scenes, to prevent the sound being drowned out by car engines. No Limit is probably one of the most popular because of the Isle of Man TT Races scenes, and other ones that spring to mid are Spare A Copper and Trouble Brewing.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: GUEST,Penguin Egg
Date: 01 Nov 06 - 05:08 AM

Nothing to apologise for, weelittledrummer. It's a pity they don't show at least one of his old films on tv again to see if I find it funny.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 Oct 06 - 11:57 AM

There are things to admire and respect about George Formby. But there's plenty of people who were as impervious to his charms as you were initially. Morecambe (or Wise, I forget which) said he had a way with a song, but he was as funny as a drowning man otherwise.

My Dad used to cut George's hair, when he worked at Myett's hairdesser (opposite the music hall in St Helens) before the war. Apparently he was a big tipper for those days - used to give the hairdesser a shilling. I think that's why your remarks cut so deep!

Apologies for my gracelessness and lack of tact.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Scrump
Date: 30 Oct 06 - 07:22 AM

I'm delighted to hear you say you enjoyed the CD, Penguin Egg. It's nice to hear someone being honest and own up that they got something wrong - it takes a certain amount of guts to do that (pity our politicians here in the UK don't do it a bit more often). No need for humble pie, all is forgiven as far as I'm concerned!

George played a ukulele banjo (or banjo ukulele or banjulele), i.e. a uke made like a small banjo as opposed the 'guitar'-shaped uke.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: GUEST,Penguin Egg
Date: 30 Oct 06 - 05:34 AM

You know, my George Formby CD came on Saturday morning and I thoroughly enjoyed it. (Humble pie, anyone?) I love his goofy charm and the songs are funny and a delight. Songwriters in those days knew how to make words rhyme. They could teach modern songwriters a thing or two. I also liked his ukelele (or is it banjo?)playing.

However, I wonder if I will keep going back to Formby in the same way that I keep going back to Blind Blake? Blake has a depth that draws me into his music, makes me "want to lean forward," to quote Bob Dylan. Formby is funnier, though.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Oct 06 - 01:42 PM

Actually without Gracie Fields singing Sing as we Go, there would be no Monty Python singing Sit on My Face....

Now that's what I call tradition - music referring back to its roots, and when more than few old farts know what you're talking about.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Scrump
Date: 25 Oct 06 - 12:08 PM

I've never been to Capri (although I've been in a Capri a few times), but I was told she was always friendly to people who dropped in uninvited at her house there - she was apparently very down to earth in spite of her fame. Unlike many other stars past and present.

I preferred stuff like 'Fred Fannakapan' to 'Sally'. Ee, in't it grand - them was the days!


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Oct 06 - 10:41 AM

I was always pleased when she got the scarf out, that meant she was about to sing Jerusalem and bugger off. However there is no denying the affection she inspired and continues to inspire amongst old folks, who all know every single word of Sally.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 25 Oct 06 - 10:36 AM

1977 punk rock exploded

destroying all hippy toss in its shock wave..



i was 18


errr.. and buying George Formby.. Jesie Mathews.. and Al Bowlly LPs

and enjoying them just as much as the Clash and the Damned.. et al


.. and at that age i'd have probably very happily composed an essay
comparing, contrasting, and theorising socio-economic/ideological links
between 1930's UK mass pop culture and late 70's songs of youth rebellion
and dissent..


..must have been doing way too much cider and mushrooms back then..!!!???


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: GUEST,Penguin Egg
Date: 25 Oct 06 - 10:32 AM

I remember when I went to the Isle of Capri in 1975 with my parents and we went on a coach trip around the Isle. One of the stops was on a hill where you could get off to look down a hill and see Gracie Fields' house. Bloody intrusive of us, if you ask me, but there you go - bloody tourists. According to my Mum, Gracie lived there with her toyboy. I bet the people of Capri didn't have a clue as to who she was.

I understood that by the time Formby had died, he was quite poor. Is that true?


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Scrump
Date: 25 Oct 06 - 10:24 AM

Ah thowt she were born over that chip shop in Molesworth Street?... Ah, yer mean Lisa.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 25 Oct 06 - 10:16 AM

Aye, but she was born in Heywood near Rochdale, but we claim her as ours ;-)


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Scrump
Date: 25 Oct 06 - 10:16 AM

Yes, she did, and I always assumed she was related to Gracie (whose real surname was Stansfield), until I read somewhere she was 'no relation'.

Seems difficult to believe, as they're from the same town, unless Stansfield is a common name there? Unless Lisa was trying to distance herself from Gracie for reasons of 'street-cred' or something?

Gracie is also sneered at by many, in a similar way to those who scoff at George, but she was another formidable talent and was recognised as such by millions of people in her staggeringly long and successful career. I guess I would consider some of her output (the Lancashire accent/dialect and comic stuff) vaguely in the 'folk' arena, but some definitely wasn't.

My theory is that the two GFs became passe because people wanted to forget the hard times of the 1920s and 30s in later decades, especially from the 1960s onwards, and these two artists were a reminder of those times. Just my theory, which is mine.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: GUEST,Penguin Egg
Date: 25 Oct 06 - 09:49 AM

Wasn't Lisa Stansfield from there, or has she become forgotten?


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 25 Oct 06 - 09:46 AM

Two musical icons of Lancashire George Formby and Gracie Fields. Georges songs were still enjoyed in a few pubs I used to drink in, in Rochdale way after 1960. (I aint a pensioner yet)


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: GUEST,Penguin Egg
Date: 25 Oct 06 - 09:26 AM

That should have been :I often wonder what the demographics of Mudcat are? (not is) I expect we have more pensioners than college students in here.

'scuse the poor grammar.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: GUEST,Penguin Egg
Date: 25 Oct 06 - 09:08 AM

I often wonder what the demographics of Mudcat is? I expect we have more pensioners than college students in here.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 25 Oct 06 - 08:55 AM

You are in an old folks forum!

I'll have a biscuit with me cocoa before Countdown comes on......


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Scrump
Date: 25 Oct 06 - 08:42 AM

No problem as far as I'm concerned, PE - I'm glad we were able to avoid the usual descent into a slanging match, as often seems to happen on some of these threads!

Be sure and let us know what you think of the GF CD too :-)


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: GUEST,Penguin Egg
Date: 25 Oct 06 - 08:31 AM

Point taken, Scrump. I suppose the word is a bit inflammatory. In future, I shall choose my words more carefully. Of course, I meant no disrespect to anyone.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Scrump
Date: 25 Oct 06 - 07:42 AM

I may not agree with PE's original assessment of GF, but I defend his right to say it. Perhaps his use of the word "rubbish" was the real problem.

It's OK to say you don't like something, as that's just a subjective opinion that others can take or leave. But to use the word "rubbish" offends those who like whatever is is thus described, as it implies their taste is in some way lacking, or that you think your own taste is superior to theirs. Naturally this gets their backs up.

For example, PE says above that he thinks opera is rubbish. OK, I understand you simply mean that you don't like it, PE, but to apply the word rubbish to opera is an insult to opera lovers, even though you might not have meant it that way.

As I've grown older my tastes in music have grown wider and now include genres I hated as a youngster (opera being one of them). There are still some types of music I don't particularly like, or know little about, mainly the stuff my son used to listen to (club type music, rave, hip hop or whatever it was - I've no idea what it was called). I may not like it, but I don't consider it rubbish, I just don't know a lot about it and it doesn't immediately appeal to my tastes. But I'm prepared to believe that if I took the trouble to learn more about it I might possibly be able to appreciate it. Right now I can't really imagine that, but I once probably thought the same about opera.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: GUEST,Penguin Egg
Date: 25 Oct 06 - 07:15 AM

Define rubbish? Rubbish is a subjective word and it was in that spirit that I said it. Really, it is not that difficult to understand. If I was in a music hall forum or an old folks' forum, I would use my words more carefully. However, in a folk forum, I thought I was safe. How wrong could I be. When I said that I thought he was rubbish, I was giving my initial impressions of what I thought as a 15 year old boy. Music is never objective. We should air our subjectivity loud and clear.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Leadfingers
Date: 25 Oct 06 - 07:10 AM

One thing I have NEVER understood is how ANY thing you do not enjoy has , as a direct consequence got to be Rubbish ! I dont LIKE any very loud music , but that does not make all loud music rubbish !
For God's sake , WHY do people have to be so antagonistic to each other in here ?

Incidentally ,I like both George Formby , and BOTH of the Blind Blakes
I have heard on record !


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Scrump
Date: 25 Oct 06 - 06:42 AM

I wouldn't say Blind Blake was being attacked for using the same chord sequence as George Formby - rather, I think we should celebrate finding such an unlikely connection between these two very different artists, who at first sight (sorry BB) would not appear to have a lot in common musically.

If that's not breaking down barriers I don't know what is! Why, even Penguin Egg is buying a George Formby CD now - good on yer, PE! Please let us know what you think when you've listened to it - I for one would be interested. And I hope you will be able to raise a smile while listening, in spite of yourself!


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

If its any help, for those people who find a left-field thought a bit challenging - and need authentication.   Actually Danny Thompson, Ralph McTell's bassist pointed out the similarity between the two artists songs on late night tv one time.

I'm not even sure it was an original thought from my point of view. But anyway, Danny agrees with me.

Why Blind Blake should be regarded as being under attack because he used the same chord sequence as George Formby escapes me. He also breathed in and out, and used oxygen in a similar sort of way.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: GUEST,Penguin Egg
Date: 25 Oct 06 - 05:57 AM

I am intrigued. I have order a copy of a CD of George Formby. It was fairly cheap, so I don't mind.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Scrump
Date: 25 Oct 06 - 05:45 AM

All this "George Formby vs Blnd Blake" stuff irresistably makes me imagine an alternative version of George's film "Keep Fit" in which he plays a coward who ends up a boxer; only this time with Blind Blake in the opposite corner, swinging his guitar around in the air while George dodges out of the way...

Sorry, I always had a weird imagination :-)


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Oct 06 - 09:03 PM

too weird....


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Folk Form # 1
Date: 24 Oct 06 - 06:22 PM

Just to remind everyone. I never said Formby was rubbish. I said I thought he was rubbish. It is my thought. I thought, so therefore I think. It does not imply that I expect everyone to agree with me. In fact, I expect everyone to have their own thoughts. If not, close down Mudcat 'cause there is no longer any point in it.

Back to the argument. I think it was Alexis Sayle (I think I have the spelling right - if not, you just know someone is going to correct me) who said that the reason Music Hall died was because it was crap. A bit unfair, I thought, but it was his opinion.

Incidentally, there are lots of things I think are rubbish. Heavy metal, prog rock, opera, soft folk rock, easy listening folk.... the list is endless. Is this a problem?

I never thought that I would have to defend the man who gave us Diddie Wa Diddie, Too Tight Blues #2, and Police Dog Blues against fans of George bleeding Formby in the Mudcat forum. Blind Blake, forgive them for they know not what they do. Amen.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Ian Burdon
Date: 24 Oct 06 - 05:19 PM

I've just read through this thread and now have running through my head George Formby singing Blind Blake's "That'll Never Happen No More"...

Ian


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Long Firm Freddie
Date: 24 Oct 06 - 04:11 PM

Delightful to see that the Google ads are for window cleaning equipment and cleaning professionals at the moment!

Here's a link to a review of a biography of George that some might find interesting, especially the bit about what his wife said to the architect of apartheid...

George

Turned out nice again!

LFF


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 24 Oct 06 - 03:23 PM

Nobody is denying your right to an opinion, PE - You have every right to say that you don't like George Formby. What you did say however was that you thought he was rubbish. The implication being that anyone who disagrees with you must therefore like rubbish. As I said, I don't the blues, amongst other things, but I would never dream of saying that they were rubbish. I value other peoples tastes and opinions far more that to believe my tastes are better than the 'rubbish' other people like. It is called common courtesy.

As to Formby being a 'Northern Uncle Tom'. Well, I am a Lancashire Lad born and bred. I have never heard that opinion before and do not believe it exists outside the politcaly correct musings of the pseudo liberal press. He was an entertainer. No more, no less and in my opinion one of the best exponents of northern music hall comedy that there was. The fact that he moved that genre to film and gained world wide renown says far more about him than I ever could. And that fact that Blind Blake did not move his genre to the big screen is perhaps equaly significant?

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Leadfingers
Date: 24 Oct 06 - 02:44 PM

If any of you have ever played Uke , you will know that it is relatively easy to learn - EXCEPT for the RIGHT hand - It was George Formby's right hand technique that made him stand out as a musician !


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Duke
Date: 24 Oct 06 - 02:38 PM

When I asked for some information on the man, I had no idea of the fuss I would be causing. My word! Some of you do get excited. After all is said and done, I just simply love the man for his films and his music.


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