50 years without George Formby (died on 6 March 1961)
It was 50 years ago that George Formby died from a heart attack (6 March 1961).
During his career, he recorded 189 songs, including ‘Leaning on a lamp post’, ‘Why don’t women like me?’ and ‘When I’m cleaning windows’.
He starred in 20 films between 1934 and 1946, including ‘No limit’ (1935), ‘Come on George’ (1939), ‘Let George do it’ (1940) and ‘Turned out nice again’ (1941). In his 20 films he has sung about 77 songs and at least in 53 of them he plays his ukulele/banjolele; in 41 of them he plays a solo on his uke.
During the 2nd world war he toured places close to the front line and entertained about 3 million service personnel. In 1946 he was appointed OBE.
His trademarks were his toothy grin and his banjolele (a ukulele with a banjo-like body).
Tomorrow, Monday (07 March 2011) at 22:00. there will be a radio documentary about him on BBC Radio 2.
At the end of the month (March) & in early April there will be various events to pay tribute to George Formby in Wigan, UK, his home town.
Jeffrey Richards, ‘Formby, George (1904–1961)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2011 [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/33205, accessed 5 March 2011]
Bret, D. (1999). George Formby: a troubled genius. London: Robson books.
The George Formby Society Website – Home page
Banjo Ukulele Website – Home page