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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
GUEST,Penguin Egg 24 Oct 06 - 09:56 AM
The Sandman 24 Oct 06 - 10:10 AM
Scrump 24 Oct 06 - 10:25 AM
Big Al Whittle 24 Oct 06 - 12:31 PM
Compton 24 Oct 06 - 02:10 PM
Duke 24 Oct 06 - 02:38 PM
Leadfingers 24 Oct 06 - 02:44 PM
Dave the Gnome 24 Oct 06 - 03:23 PM
Long Firm Freddie 24 Oct 06 - 04:11 PM
Ian Burdon 24 Oct 06 - 05:19 PM
Folk Form # 1 24 Oct 06 - 06:22 PM
Big Al Whittle 24 Oct 06 - 09:03 PM
Scrump 25 Oct 06 - 05:45 AM
GUEST,Penguin Egg 25 Oct 06 - 05:57 AM
Big Al Whittle 25 Oct 06 - 06:19 AM
Scrump 25 Oct 06 - 06:42 AM
Leadfingers 25 Oct 06 - 07:10 AM
GUEST,Penguin Egg 25 Oct 06 - 07:15 AM
Scrump 25 Oct 06 - 07:42 AM
GUEST,Penguin Egg 25 Oct 06 - 08:31 AM
Scrump 25 Oct 06 - 08:42 AM
Big Al Whittle 25 Oct 06 - 08:55 AM
GUEST,Penguin Egg 25 Oct 06 - 09:08 AM
GUEST,Penguin Egg 25 Oct 06 - 09:26 AM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 25 Oct 06 - 09:46 AM
GUEST,Penguin Egg 25 Oct 06 - 09:49 AM
Scrump 25 Oct 06 - 10:16 AM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 25 Oct 06 - 10:16 AM
Scrump 25 Oct 06 - 10:24 AM
GUEST,Penguin Egg 25 Oct 06 - 10:32 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 25 Oct 06 - 10:36 AM
Big Al Whittle 25 Oct 06 - 10:41 AM
Scrump 25 Oct 06 - 12:08 PM
Big Al Whittle 25 Oct 06 - 01:42 PM
GUEST,Penguin Egg 30 Oct 06 - 05:34 AM
Scrump 30 Oct 06 - 07:22 AM
Big Al Whittle 30 Oct 06 - 11:57 AM
GUEST,Penguin Egg 01 Nov 06 - 05:08 AM
Scrump 01 Nov 06 - 05:49 AM
GUEST,Penguin Egg 01 Nov 06 - 08:26 AM
Compton 01 Nov 06 - 08:42 AM
Leadfingers 01 Nov 06 - 08:53 AM
BuckMulligan 01 Nov 06 - 10:30 AM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Nov 06 - 12:48 PM
Dave Roberts 01 Nov 06 - 01:24 PM
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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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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: GUEST,Penguin Egg
Date: 24 Oct 06 - 09:56 AM

Don't get me started on Gracie Fields. I'll never stop. I bet weelittledrummer has all her records.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Oct 06 - 10:10 AM

Blind Blake was an excellent guitarist,George FORMBY Ukelele playing seems of a high standard , but personally given achoice I would go for Blake who had a sporty jazzy style and was held in great respect by other blues musicians.


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

With all due respect, Captain, I think the idea of making a choice between Blind Blake and George Formby is ludicrous. They are like chalk and cheese and trying to compare them is frankly daft, IMO.

Both were excellent in their own field, but there is scarcely any point of commonality between their styles. Some like both (I do!); others like one but hate the other; others may hate both; while yet others have probably never heard them, or even of them.

Why do people have to keep trying to say whether one person, artist, singer, musician, band, song, tune, etc. is "better" than another? There's room for all - it's a big world of music - just enjoy it! :-)

I'll get me coat and prepare to walk the plank...


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Oct 06 - 12:31 PM

No he wasn't a class warrior in the Marxist sense. He was a primitive artist in the Grandma Moses sense. He was despised for his stupidity by his more middle class fellow performers at the time.

If you had trod the boards, Penguin old chap - you would also learn a grudging respect for the artists whose songs enable you to earn a living and put food on the table. As you performed these songs, you would learn something of the love they inspire in your audience - a certain look that illuminates the eyes of your audience. It can't be faked. In some folk clubs - Christy Moore songs have that effect. In every single residential home for the elderly - the sheer mention George Formby's name has that effect.

On the technique question. Throw a stick into a room of guitarists and you will hit half a dozen who can rattle off a fair impression of Blind Blake. George Formy was unique - despite dozens of devoted copyists, no one so far has ever got near that delicacy of touch and wild streak of inventivemness.

having said that, I don't expect you to like him, Penguin - that requires the ability to look beyond the slavish fashions of the day.   I do expect you to understand the sheer dimension of George Formby's achievement. From doing an unpaid gig in a tin hut in Newton le Willows to being the highest paid entertainer in England for close on two decades. Took some talent. Took some doing.

And just because someone stands or stood up in public and tries to entertain you - it doesn't give the right to abuse him or her.


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Subject: RE: George Formby
From: Compton
Date: 24 Oct 06 - 02:10 PM

Two things not mentioned...He was born in Wigan (lancashire)
Beatle George Harrison was president of Gerge Formby Appreciation Society
(sorry, three things) his problem was he did like women!!(too much) his wife Beryl gave him a bad time...and did'nt he leave all his money to a nurse (who was a bit on the side)?


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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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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Big Al Whittle
Date: 24 Oct 06 - 09:03 PM

too weird....


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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 09:49 AM

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


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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: 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 - 10:24 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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: Leadfingers
Date: 01 Nov 06 - 08:53 AM

Ah , BUT -- WHICH Blind Blake !!


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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: 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: Dave Roberts
Date: 01 Nov 06 - 01:24 PM

So would I.


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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: 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: 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: 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,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: 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, 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: 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,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 - 02:32 PM

Great minds, Eliza...!

xxxx


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