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George Formby

George Formby (May 26, 1904 - March 6, 1961) was a British singer and comedian who became a major star of both cinema and music hall.

Formby was born in Wigan, Lancashire, the son of a famous music hall comedian of the same name. On the death of his father in 1921, Formby started his own music hall career. In 1924 he married dancer Beryl Ingham, who managed his career until her death in 1960.

George Formby endeared himself to his audiences with his cheeky Lancashire humour and folksy Northern persona. In film and on stage, he generally adopted the character of an honest, good-hearted but accident-prone innocent.

What made Formby stand-out, however, was his unique and often mimicked musical style. He sang comic songs, full of double-entendre, to his own accompaniment on the ukulele, for which he developed a catchy syncopated style which became his trademark. Some of his best-known songs were written by Noel Gay.

For six years between 1934 and 1945 Formby was the top box-office attraction in British cinema. He appeared in the 1937 Royal Variety Show, and entertained troops in Europe and North Africa during World War II. He received an O.B.E in 1946.

Formby suffered his first heart attack in 1951. He continued working until his death in 1961, just before his planned second marriage.

Selected Songs