This post was originally an episode of The Old Time Review Daily Podcast. In each edition, Jamie Dyer spoke off the cuff about a famous person, film or song for up to three minutes. The following is a transcription, which has been cleaned up to remove any hesitation and some repetition. Where possible, the subject has been expanded on from the original broadcast.
This is the Old Time Review Daily Podcast for the 26th of May, 2021, and this is Jamie Dyer speaking to you from the UK. On this day, in 1904, George Formby, the English actor, singer, songwriter, and comedian, was born. Born George Hoy Booth, his father, George Formby Sr., had been an entertainer during the late part of the 19th century.
Originally George Jr wasn’t going to be in entertainment after his father died. He decided to give it a go and stepped out of the shadow of his father to become his own act. He started to play the ukulele and the banjolele, becoming the UK’s highest-paid entertainer. He was a huge entertainer during the 1930s all the way up to the 1950s. He made movies with people like Ealing Studios, which are absolutely marvellous. If you’ve seen any of Norman Wisdom’s films, you might have an idea of the kind of thing. Having musical numbers in the middle, though, on a more regular basis. He played a naive character on many occasions.
He was cheeky. His songs were suggestive, but not too suggestive. Now they’re actually quite tame by comparison, but his skill as a performer on the banjolele cannot be understated. He is still very much fondly remembered for those wonderful solos that he would do in the middle of songs. His most famous song is arguably When I’m Cleaning Windows, which is still a very catchy tune after all this time
What a performer George was! I really do recommend going to check out his music on Spotify and looking for the best-quality prints of his movies that you can find. That was the Old Time Review Daily Podcast For the 26th of May 2021 Remembering George Formby, who was born on this day in 1904.