George Formby on screen, stage, record and radio

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Formby entertaining British troops during the Second World War

The English comic singer and actor George Formby (1904 – 1961) performed in many mediums of light entertainment, including film, radio and theatre. His career spanned from 1915 until December 1960. During that time he became synonymous with playing "a shy, innocent, gauche, accident-prone Lancashire lad".[1]

Formby began his working life as a jockey but always held an ambition to become a performer. In 1915, and against the wishes of his father, Formby made his screen debut in 1915 in the film By the Shortest of Heads. Upon his father's death in 1921, he began to build a full-time performing career, and worked predominantly on the variety circuit.[2] In 1926 he began his music career, singing light, comical songs, and playing the ukulele or banjolele. From 1934 he increasingly worked in film, and had become a major star by the 1930s and '40s. He appeared on television for the first time in 1938 in the festive special Christmas Greetings. He became the UK's highest-paid entertainer during those decades.[1] The film historian Brian McFarlane writes that Formby portrayed "essentially gormless incompetents, aspiring to various kinds of professional success ... and even more improbably to a middle-class girlfriend, usually in the clutches of some caddish type with a moustache. Invariably he scored on both counts".[3]

During the Second World War Formby joined the Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA),[4] and entertained civilians and troops; by 1946 it was estimated that he had performed in front of three million service personnel.[1] Formby appeared in his final film role in 1946, the commercially unsuccessful George in Civvy Street.[5] He toured Canada, Australia, South Africa and Sweden and appeared on local and national radio during his travels.[1] He continued to record songs and appear on television into the 1950s; on 16 December 1960 he appeared in The Friday Show: George Formby in a farewell programme looking back at his life. His biographer, David Bret, observes that the show is "generally regarded as George's greatest performance—it was certainly his most sincere".[6]

Formby died of a heart attack in 1961. His biographer, the academic Jeffrey Richards, considers that Formby "had been able to embody simultaneously Lancashire, the working classes, the people, and the nation", also observing that "his passing was genuinely and widely mourned".[1]

Filmography[edit]

George and Beryl Formby in Boots! Boots!, 1934
Film sequence
Title[7][8] Release Director Studio Plot Ref.
By the Shortest of Heads 1915 Bert Haldane Barker Motion Photography A ten-year-old stable hand outwits a gang of villains, and wins a £10,000 prize when he comes first in a horse race.[a] [10][11]
Boots! Boots! 1934 Bert Tracy Blakeley's Productions A boot boy at a prestigious hotel falls in love with a maid who is a niece of a wealthy hotel guest. [12][13]
Off the Dole 1935 Arthur Mertz Mancunian Film Corporation A work-shy young man is struck off the dole and is employed by his uncle's detective agency, tracking down criminals. [14][15]
No Limit 1935 Monty Banks Associated Talking Pictures An amateur racing driver unexpectedly wins the Isle of Man's Tourist Trophy and the heart of a charm-school actress. [16][17]
Keep Your Seats, Please 1936 Monty Banks Associated Talking Pictures A desperate boyfriend pawns his banjo in order to help stop his girlfriend's niece from moving into an orphanage. He then discovers that a late aunt left him a large inheritance which proves to be elusive.[b] [18][19]
Feather Your Nest 1937 William Beaudine Associated Talking Pictures An incompetent apprentice sound engineer passes off an established performer's song as his own and becomes an overnight star. [20][21]
Keep Fit 1937 Anthony Kimmins Associated Talking Pictures A feeble hairdresser takes up boxing and triumphs in the ring over an athletic opponent. [22][23]
I See Ice 1938 Anthony Kimmins Associated Talking Pictures A prop man with a touring ice ballet invents a new mini camera concealed in a bow-tie. He inadvertently takes a compromising photo of a crook at work. [24][24]
It's in the Air 1938 Anthony Kimmins Associated Talking Pictures A bungling recruit begins his R.A.F. training and gets mistaken for a regularly enlisted airman, much to the annoyance of his strict sergeant major. [25][26]
Trouble Brewing 1939 Anthony Kimmins Associated Talking Pictures A young newspaper reporter attempts to expose a gang of counterfeiters. [27][28]
Come On George! 1939 Anthony Kimmins Associated Talking Pictures A stable-hand forms a bond with a nervous horse and encourages the animal to become a success on the racecourse. [29][30]
Let George Do It! 1940 Marcel Varnel Associated Talking Pictures A ukulele player is mistaken for a British spy and unwittingly foils a plot by German intelligence agents. [31][32]
Spare a Copper 1940 John Paddy Carstairs Associated Talking Pictures A policeman during the Second World War foils a plot to destroy a warship. [33][34]
Turned Out Nice Again 1941 Marcel Varnel Associated Talking Pictures An employee at an underwear factory struggles to keep both his modern wife and his battle-axe mother in domestic bliss. [35][36]
South American George 1941 Marcel Varnel Columbia Pictures An eager-to-please show business agent hires a more capable singer in the place of an untalented opera performer. [37]
Much Too Shy 1942 Marcel Varnel Columbia Pictures A group of art students help a reserved odd-job man pursue his interest in painting nude portraits. [38][39]
Get Cracking 1943 Marcel Varnel Columbia Pictures A vehicle mechanic converts a truck into a tank and defeats a neighbouring town's villagers in a friendly Home Guard exercise. [40][41]
Bell-Bottom George 1944 Marcel Varnel Columbia Pictures A rejected serviceman loses the affections of his girlfriend. To win her back he pretends to be a sailor and in doing so, foils a sinister plan by a group of spies. His success leads to a rekindling of his relationship and fame among the local community. [42][43]
He Snoops to Conquer 1945 Marcel Varnel Columbia Pictures Two London reporters investigate an alleged corruption case in a sleepy town. They are unwittingly assisted by a local handyman who has been ordered to destroy the evidence by his bosses at the council. [44][45]
I Didn't Do It 1945 Marcel Varnel Columbia Pictures An amateur performer in London stays with other entertainers in a hotel, and becomes a murder suspect when an Australian acrobat is killed in the next room. [46][47]
George in Civvy Street 1946 Marcel Varnel Columbia Pictures A publican falls in love with a waitress from a rival establishment who is also being romantically pursued by her boss. [48][49]

Stage credits[edit]

An advertisement from The Burnley News, May 1921 for George Hoy

Formby appeared on stage in numerous variety and music hall performances, although no full record exists. He appeared in variety shows and concerts for troops with the Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA) during the Second World War,[4] as well as in regular winter pantomime in the 1950s, Babes in the Wood at the Liverpool Empire Theatre.[50]

Stage credits of George Formby
Production[51][52] Role Date Theatre Notes
Variety 21 March 1921 – Hippodrome, Earlestown, Lancashire First professional appearance; billed as George Hoy[4]
Babes in the Wood 1932 – Bolton Christmas pantomime[53]
King Cheer June 1937 – Opera House Theatre, Blackpool Summer season[54]
Royal Variety Performance 15 November 1937 London Palladium A 12-minute slot[55]
Dick Whittington Idle Jack 1941 – 42 Opera House Theatre, Blackpool Winter season[56]
Zip Goes a Million Percy Piggott 20 October 1951 – 27 April 1952 Palace Theatre, London Formby was replaced following a heart attack on 28 April 1952[57]
Fun and the Fair 7 October – 19 December 1953 London Palladium 138 performances[58]
Turned Out Nice Again 25 June 1953 – Hippodrome Theatre, Blackpool Six week run[59]
Too Young to Marry 1954 – 1956 Touring
Babes in the Wood Simple Simon 1955 – Liverpool Empire Theatre Christmas pantomime[50]
Dick Whittington and His Cat Idle Jack 19 December 1956 – February 1957 Palace Theatre, London [60]
Beside the Seaside 10 March – May 1958 Palace Theatre, London

Recordings[edit]

Recordings by Formby
Title[61][62][63][64] Recording date Label Record number Written by
"John Willie Come On" 11 June 1926 Edison Bell/Winner 4409 George Formby, Sr.
"I was always a Willing Young Lad" 11 June 1926 Edison Bell/Winner 4409 Hargreaves/Damerell
"I Parted my Hair in the Middle" 11 June 1926 Edison Bell/Winner 4418 David/Murphy
"John Willie's Jazz Band" 11 June 1926 Edison Bell/Winner 4418 Hargreaves/Damerell
"The Man was a Stranger to Me" 11 June 1926 Edison Bell/Winner 4437 Connor
"Rolling around Piccadilly" 11 June 1926 Edison Bell/Winner 4437 Hargreaves/Damerell
"In the Congo" 20 October 1929 Dominion C347 Cobb/Lutzen
"All Going Back" 20 October 1929 Dominion C347 Formby
"Do De O Do" 1 July 1932 Decca Records F3079 Hargreaves/Damerell/Formby
"Chinese Laundry Blues" 1 July 1932 Decca Records F3079 Cottrell/Formby
"I Told My Baby with the Ukulele" 13 October 1932 Decca Records F3219 Hargreaves
"If You Don't Want the Goods Don't Maul 'Em" 13 October 1932 Decca Records F3219 Cottrell
"The Old Kitchen Kettle" 13 October 1932 Decca Records F3222 Woods/Campbell/Connelly
"John Willie at the Licence Office" 18 October 1932 Decca Records F3259 Cottrell
"I Could Make a Good Living at That" 9 November 1932 Decca Records F3377 Lawton/Cottrell
"Let's all Go to Reno" 9 November 1932 Decca Records F3377 Cottrell
"Sitting on the Ice in the Ice Rink" 29 January 1933 Decca Records F3458 Cottrell
"Levi's Monkey Mike" 29 January 1933 Decca Records F3458 Rick/Cottrell
"Running Round the Fountains in Trafalgar Square" 29 January 1933 Decca Records F3524 Cottrell
"Why Don't Women Like Me?" 29 January 1933 Decca Records F3524 Cottrell/Bennett
"With my Little Ukulele in my Hand" 1 July 1933 Decca Records F3615 Cottrell/Formby
"As the Hours and the Days and the Weeks..." 1 July 1933 Decca Records F3615 Formby
"Sunbathing in the Park" 27 August 1933 Decca Records F3615 Gifford/Cliff/Kendal
"She's Never Been Seen Since Then" 27 August 1933 Decca Records F3666 Cottrell
"Swimmin with the Wimmin" 27 August 1933 Decca Records F3666 Cottrell
"I Went all Hot and Cold" 12 November 1933 Decca Records F3752 Cottrell, arr Formby
"My Ukulele" 12 November 1933 Decca Records F3752 Cottrell, arr Formby
"The Wedding of Mr Wu" 12 November 1933 Decca Records F3800 Cottrell
"Baby" 12 November 1933 Decca Records F3800 Cottrell
"Believe It Or Not" 21 March 1934 Decca Records F3950 Gifford/Cliffe
"In a Little Wigan Garden" 21 March 1934 Decca Records F3950 Gifford/Cliffe
"You Can't Keep a Growing Lad Down" 12 June 1934 Decca Records F5813 Gifford/Cliffe
"It's No Use Looking at Me" 12 June 1934 Decca Records F5813 Gifford/Cliffe/Cottrell
"John Willie's Jazz Band" 11 October 1934 Decca Records F5232 Hargreaves/Dammerell
"There's Nothing Proud About Me" 11 October 1934 Decca Records F5232 Gifford/Cliffe
"The Best of Schemes" 11 October 1934 Decca Records F5287 Gifford/Cliffe
"Madam Moscovitch" 20 October 1934 Decca Records F5287 Gifford/Cliffe
"John Willie Goes Carolling" 11 November 1934 Decca Records F5303 Gifford/Cliffe
"Fanlight Fanny" 29 May 1935 Decca Records F5569 Gifford/Cliffe
"Share and Share alike" 29 May 1935 Decca Records F5569 Gifford/Cliffe
"The Fiddler Kept on Fiddling" 29 May 1935 Decca Records F5669 Gifford/Cliffe
"I Do Do Things I Do" 29 May 1935 Decca Records F5669 Gibson/Long
"The Isle of Man" 28 November 1935 Regal Zonophone Records MR1932 Gifford/Cliffe
"Riding in the T.T. Races" 28 November 1935 Regal Zonophone Records MR1932 Gifford/Cliffe
"The Pleasure Cruise" 28 November 1935 Regal Zonophone Records MR1952 Gifford/Cliffe
"The Wash-House at the Back" 28 November 1935 Regal Zonophone Records MR1952 Gifford/Cliffe
"A Farmer's Boy" 25 February 1936 Regal Zonophone Records MR2033 Gifford/Cliffe
"Radio Bungalow Town" 25 February 1936 Regal Zonophone Records MR2033 Gifford/Cliffe
"Gallant Dick Turpin" 25 February 1936 Regal Zonophone Records MR2060 Gifford/Cliffe
"George Formby Medley" 8 May 1936 Regal Zonophone Records MR2083 Various
"Ring Your Little Bell" 19 July 1936 Regal Zonophone Records MR2162 Wallace
"Quickfire Medley" 19 July 1936 Regal Zonophone Records MR2162 Various
"When I'm Cleaning Windows" 27 September 1936 Regal Zonophone Records MR2199 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"Keep Your Seats Please" 27 September 1936 Regal Zonophone Records MR2199 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"Sitting on the Sands all Night" 27 September 1936 Regal Zonophone Records MR2232 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"Five and Twenty Years" 27 September 1936 Regal Zonophone Records MR2232 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"I'm a Froggie" 29 October 1936 Regal Zonophone Records MR2270 Hargreaves/Dammerell
"The Ghost" 29 October 1936 Regal Zonophone Records MR2270 Hargreaves/Dammerell
"Dare Devil Dick" 29 October 1936 Regal Zonophone Records MR2295 Gifford/Cliffe
"Bunkum's Travelling Show" 29 October 1936 Regal Zonophone Records MR2295 Gifford/Cliffe
"You're a Li-a-ty" 24 January 1937 Regal Zonophone Records MR2430 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"When we Feather our Nest" 24 January 1937 Regal Zonophone Records MR2430 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"Oh Dear Mother" 24 January 1937 Regal Zonophone Records MR2431 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"With My Little Stick of Blackpool Rock" 24 January 1937 Regal Zonophone Records MR2431 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"Keep Your Seats Please"[c] 14 February 1937 Regal Zonophone Records IR51
"Hindoo Man" 14 February 1937 Regal Zonophone Records MR2368 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"My Little Goat and Me" 14 February 1937 Regal Zonophone Records MR2368 Gifford/Cliffe
"Trailing Around in a Trailer" 14 February 1937 Regal Zonophone Records MR2469 Gifford/Cliffe
"Said the Little Brown Hen" 14 February 1937 Regal Zonophone Records MR2469 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"The Lancashire Toreador" 21 March 1937 Regal Zonophone Records MR2399 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"The Window Cleaner" 21 March 1937 Regal Zonophone Records MR2399 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"Easy Going Chap" 21 March 1937 Regal Zonophone Records MR2506 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"My Plus Fours" 21 March 1937 Regal Zonophone Records MR2571 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"Somebody's Wedding Day" 11 July 1937 Regal Zonophone Records MR2506 Formby/Cliffe
"Keep Fit" 11 July 1937 Regal Zonophone Records MR2570 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"Biceps, Muscle and Brawn" 11 July 1937 Regal Zonophone Records MR2570 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"I Don't Like" 11 July 1937 Regal Zonophone Records MR2571 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"Keep Fit"[d] 5 September 1937 Regal Zonophone Records IR52
"Leaning on a Lamp-post" 5 September 1937 Regal Zonophone Records MR2490 Gay
"Hi-Tiddley Hi-Ti Island" 5 September 1937 Regal Zonophone Records MR2490 Stanley/Alleyn
"Remember Me" 28 November 1937 Regal Zonophone Records MR2616 Dubin/Warren
"You Can't Stop Me from Dreaming" 28 November 1937 Regal Zonophone Records MR2628 Friend/Franklyn
"She Can't Say No" 28 November 1937 Regal Zonophone Records MR2628 Bryan/Meyer
"Does Your Dreambook Tell You That" 6 February 1938 Regal Zonophone Records MR2684 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"Like the Big Pots Do" 6 February 1938 Regal Zonophone Records MR2684 Long
"Wunga Bunga Boo" 4 March 1938 Regal Zonophone Records MR2709 Stanley/Alleyn
"Have You Ever Heard This One?" 4 March 1938 Regal Zonophone Records MR2709 Gilbert
"Springtime's Here Again" 4 March 1938 Regal Zonophone Records MR2735 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"The Joo Jah Tree" 4 March 1938 Regal Zonophone Records MR2735 Box/Cox/Butler
"I Blew a Little Blast on my Whistle" 4 March 1938 Regal Zonophone Records MR2753 Formby
"Noughts and Crosses" 3 April 1938 Regal Zonophone Records MR2752 Campbell/Hunter/Parr-Davies
"Mother what'll I Do Now?" 3 April 1938 Regal Zonophone Records MR2752 Cliffe/Formby
"In My Little Snapshot Album" 3 April 1938 Regal Zonophone Records MR2753 Harper/Haines/Parr-Davies
"They Can't Fool Me" 17 July 1938 Regal Zonophone Records MR2891 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"It's in the Air" 17 July 1938 Regal Zonophone Records MR2891 Parr-Davies
"Sitting Pretty With my Fingers Crossed" 17 July 1938 Regal Zonophone Records MR2947 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"Our Sergeant Major" 17 July 1938 Regal Zonophone Records MR2890 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"Rhythm in the Alphabet" 22 October 1938 Regal Zonophone Records MR2890 Lisbona/Steller
"Tan-Tan Tivvy Tally-Ho" 22 October 1938 Regal Zonophone Records MR2925 LeClerq
"I Wonder Who's Under Her Balcony Now" 22 October 1938 Regal Zonophone Records MR2925 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"Kiss Your Mansy Pansy" 22 October 1938 Regal Zonophone Records MR2947 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"Frigid Air Fanny" 11 December 1938 Regal Zonophone Records MR2969 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"Little Wooden Toolshed in the Garden" 11 December 1938 Regal Zonophone Records MR2969 Stevens/Steele/Wilmott
"Hill Billy Willie" 2 April 1939 Regal Zonophone Records MR3022 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"It's Turned Out Nice Again" 2 April 1939 Regal Zonophone Records MR3022 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"I Can Tell It by My Horoscope" 2 April 1939 Regal Zonophone Records MR3039 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"Hitting the High Spots Now" 2 April 1939 Regal Zonophone Records MR3039 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"I'm the Husband of the Wife of Mr Wu" 18 June 1939 Regal Zonophone Records MR3081 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"It's a Grand and Healthy Life" 18 June 1939 Regal Zonophone Records MR3081 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"Swing It George – Medley" 18 June 1939 Regal Zonophone Records MR3103 Various
"Goodnight Little Fellow, Goodnight" 27 June 1939 Regal Zonophone Records MR3160 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"Pardon Me" 27 June 1939 Regal Zonophone Records MR3160 Formby/Frame/ Nicholson
"I'm Making Headway Now" 27 June 1939 Regal Zonophone Records MR3161 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"I Couldn't Let the Stable Down" 27 June 1939 Regal Zonophone Records MR3161 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"Dan the Dairy Man" 20 August 1939 Regal Zonophone Records MR3121 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"The Blue-Eyed Blonde Next Door" 20 August 1939 Regal Zonophone Records MR3121 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"The Lancashire Hot-Pot Swingers" 20 August 1939 Regal Zonophone Records MR3147 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"Low Down Lazy Turk"[e] 20 August 1939 Regal Zonophone Records G-21917 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"Swinging Along" 12 October 1939 Regal Zonophone Records MR3206 Formby
"A Lad from Lancashire" 12 October 1939 Regal Zonophone Records MR3206 Formby
"The Lancashire Romeo" 17 December 1939 Regal Zonophone Records MR3233 Formby/Godfrey
"Imagine Me on the Maginot Line" 17 December 1939 Regal Zonophone Records MR3233 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"Grandad's Flannelette Nightshirt" 17 December 1939 Regal Zonophone Records MR3301 Formby/Latta
"Mr Wu's a Window Cleaner Now" 17 December 1939 Regal Zonophone Records MR3301 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"Count Your Blessings and Smile" 31 May 1940 Regal Zonophone Records MR3316 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"Oh! Don't the Wind Blow Cold" 31 May 1940 Regal Zonophone Records MR3316 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"You've got Something There" 31 May 1940 Regal Zonophone Records MR3324 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"I Always Get To Bed By Half-Past-Nine" 31 May 1940 Regal Zonophone Records MR3324 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"On the Wigan Boat Express" 4 August 1940 Regal Zonophone Records MR3325 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"Down the Old Coal Hole" 4 August 1940 Regal Zonophone Records MR3325 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"I'm the Ukulele Man" 4 August 1940 Regal Zonophone Records MR3358 MacDougal
"On the Beat" 4 August 1940 Regal Zonophone Records MR3358 MacDougal
"Letting the New Year In" 10 November 1940 Regal Zonophone Records MR3394 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"Bless 'Em All" 10 November 1940 Regal Zonophone Records MR3394 Hughes/Lake
"Guarding the Home of the Home Guard" 10 November 1940 Regal Zonophone Records MR3411 Latta/Formby
"I Wish I Was Back on the Farm" 10 November 1940 Regal Zonophone Records MR3411 MacDougal
"Thanks Mr Roosevelt" 21 February 1941 Regal Zonophone Records MR3441 Connor
"Bless 'Em All" 21 February 1941 Regal Zonophone Records MR3441 Hughes/Lake
"Formby Favourites for the Forces – Pt 1" 21 February 1941 Regal Zonophone Records MR3482 Various
"Formby Favourites for the Forces – Pt 2" 21 February 1941 Regal Zonophone Records MR3482 Various
"You'd be Far Better off in a Home" 8 April 1941 Regal Zonophone Records MR3463 Box/Cox/Osborne/Javaloyes
"I Did What I Could with my Gas Mask" 8 April 1941 Regal Zonophone Records MR3463 Leslye/Isaacs
"It Might Have Been a Great Deal Worse" 8 April 1941 Regal Zonophone Records MR3472 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"Delivering the Morning Milk" 28 July 1941 Regal Zonophone Records MR3472 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"The Emperor of Lancashire" 28 July 1941 Regal Zonophone Records MR3512 MacDougal
"You're Everything to Me" 28 July 1941 Regal Zonophone Records MR3512 MacDougal
"You Can't Go Wrong in These" 28 July 1941 Regal Zonophone Records MR3520 MacDougal
"Auntie Maggie's Remedy" 28 July 1941 Regal Zonophone Records MR3520 Formby/Latta
"The Left Hand Side of Egypt" 24 August 1941 Regal Zonophone Records MR3521 Bennett/Gay
"Who are you a-Shovin of?" 24 August 1941 Regal Zonophone Records MR3521 Raymond/Gay
"I'd do it with a Smile" 24 August 1941 Regal Zonophone Records MR3567 MacDougal
"The Barmaid at the Rose and Crown" 24 August 1941 Regal Zonophone Records MR3567 Formby
"George Formby's Crazy Record" 5 October 1941 Regal Zonophone Records MR3550 Various
"I Played On My Spanish Guitar" 5 October 1941 Regal Zonophone Records MR3553 Lyons
"Swing Mama" 5 October 1941 Regal Zonophone Records MR3553 MacDougal
"Formby Film Favourites – Pt 1" 6 January 1942 Regal Zonophone Records MR3599 Various
"Formby Film Favourites – Pt 2" 6 January 1942 Regal Zonophone Records MR3599 Various
"Frank on His Tank" 12 March 1942 Regal Zonophone Records MR3619 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"Katy Did, Katy Didn't" 12 March 1942 Regal Zonophone Records MR3619 Loesser/Carmichael
"Smile all the Time" 12 March 1942 Regal Zonophone Records MR3624 Coady/Formby
"Out in the Middle East" 12 March 1942 Regal Zonophone Records MR3624 Godfrey
"Got to Get Your Photo in the Press" 31 May 1942 Regal Zonophone Records MR3640 Latta
"Mister Wu's an Air-Raid Warden Now" 31 May 1942 Regal Zonophone Records MR3640 Latta
"Talking to the Moon about You" 31 May 1942 Regal Zonophone Records MR3645 Day
"Andy the Handy Man" 31 May 1942 Regal Zonophone Records MR3648 Latta
"They Laughed When I Started to Play" 31 May 1942 Regal Zonophone Records MR3648 Formby/Cliffe
"Thirty Thirsty Sailors" 24 August 1942 Regal Zonophone Records MR3654 Box/Cox/Leslie
"Hold Your Hats on" 24 August 1942 Regal Zonophone Records MR3654 Miller/Addinsell
"The Cookhouse Serenade" 11 October 1942 Regal Zonophone Records MR3663 Goodhart/Twomy
"You Can't Love Two Girls at the Same Time" 11 October 1942 Regal Zonophone Records MR3663 Formby/Godfrey
"Get Cracking" 11 October 1942 Regal Zonophone Records MR3689 Formby/Latta
"Under the Blasted Oak" 11 October 1942 Regal Zonophone Records MR3694 Formby/Cliffe
"When the Waterworks Caught Fire" 17 December 1942 Regal Zonophone Records MR3672 Formby/Cliffe
"The Baby Show" 17 December 1942 Regal Zonophone Records MR3672 Wise/Malcolm/Sanford
"Home Guard Blues" 17 December 1942 Regal Zonophone Records MR3689 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"Oh You Have No Idea" 17 December 1942 Regal Zonophone Records MR3694 Godfrey
"Spotting on the Top of Blackpool Tower" 7 February 1942 Regal Zonophone Records MR3682 Formby/Windsor/Latta
"Sentimental Lou" 7 February 1942 Regal Zonophone Records MR3682 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"Under the Blasted Oak" 8 July 1943 Regal Zonophone Records MR3694 Cliffe/Formby
"British Isles Medley" 14 July 1943 Regal Zonophone Records MR3705 Various
"American Medley" 14 July 1943 Regal Zonophone Records MR3705 Various
"On the H.M.S. Cowheel" 14 July 1943 Regal Zonophone Records MR3710 Cliffe/Formby
"Bunty's Such a Big Girl Now" 14 July 1943 Regal Zonophone Records MR3710 Cliffe/Formby
"If I Had a Girl Like You" 7 November 1943 Regal Zonophone Records MR3720 Park/Parr-Davies
"Bell Bottom George" 7 November 1943 Regal Zonophone Records MR3720 Park/Parr-Davies
"It Serves You Right" 7 November 1943 Regal Zonophone Records MR3723 Box/Cox/Formby
"Swim Little Fish" 10 January 1944 Regal Zonophone Records MR3723 Park/Parr-Davies
"The 'V' Sign Song" 14 May 1944 Regal Zonophone Records MR3736 Sievier
"The Old Cane Bottom Chair" 14 May 1944 Regal Zonophone Records MR3736 Formby/Cliffe
"Our Fanny's Gone all Yankee" 11 November 1944 Regal Zonophone Records MR3745 Van Dusen
"Unconditional Surrender" 11 November 1944 Regal Zonophone Records MR3745 Cunningham/Towers
"Blackpool Prom" 11 November 1944 Regal Zonophone Records MR3750 Sievier
"Mister Wu's in the Airforce" 11 November 1944 Regal Zonophone Records MR3750 Formby/Latta
"The Daring Young Man" 10 June 1945 Regal Zonophone Records MR3760 Formby/Cliffe
"I'd Like a Dream Like That" 10 June 1945 Regal Zonophone Records MR3760 Formby/Cliffe
"She's Got Two of Everything" 10 June 1945 Regal Zonophone Records MR3761 Cunningham/Towers
"Get Cracking" 16 April 1946 Columbia Records DX1241 Formby/Latta
"You Don't Need a Licence for That" 23 April 1946 Columbia Records FB3251 Formby/Cliffe
"The Mad March Hare" 23 April 1946 Columbia Records FB3251 Formby/Cliffe
"It Could Be" 23 April 1946 Columbia Records FB3262 Cunningham
"We've Been a Long Time Gone" 23 April 1946 Columbia Records FB3262 Formby/Cliffe
"Come Hither With Your Zither" 12 January 1950 Decca Records F9356 Miller/Noel/Donnelly
"Auntie Maggie's Remedy" 21 January 1950 Decca Records F9356 Formby/Latta
"Leaning on a Lamp-post" 21 January 1950 Decca Records F9444 Gay
"When I'm Cleaning Windows" 21 January 1950 Decca Records F9444 Formby/Gifford/Cliffe
"I'm Saving Up For Sally" November5 1951 HMV B10179 Posford/Maschwitz/Littler
"The Pleasure Cruise" 5 November 1951 HMV B10179 Gifford/Cliffe
"Ordinary People" 5 November 1951 HMV B10180 Posford/Maschwitz/Littler
"Zip Goes a Million" 5 November 1951 HMV B10180 Posford/Maschwitz/Littler
"Happy Go Lucky Me" 11 May 1960 Pye 7N-15269 Evans/Byron
"Banjo Boy" 11 May 1960 Pye 7N-15269 Niessen/Kay

Radio[edit]

Radio broadcasts of Formby
Broadcast[67] Date Channel Notes
King Fun August 1936 BBC Radio
A Lancashire Lad January 1938 BBC Radio Ran for several months
Formby Do 19 May 1938 BBC Radio Three programmes
Troop Concert 26 March 1940 BBC Radio Recorded in France
Ack-Ack, Beer-Beer 24 July 1940 BBC Radio Interview only
Let the People Sing 27 November 1940 BBC Radio Recorded for ENSA at Aldwych tube station
What is the Stuff to give the Troops 10 May 1942 BBC Radio Recorded for ENSA
The RAF takes the Air 22 July 1942 BBC Radio Recorded for ENSA
unknown 24 January 1944 BBC Radio Formby described his experiences touring for ENSA in Europe and the Middle East.[68]
Interview 17 September 1947 Radio IZB, Auckland, New Zealand
Interview 24 September 1947 BBC Radio
Interview 26 September 1947 2GB, Sydney Recorded at Rosebay Flying Boat Base, Sydney
Stage Door January 1948 3AW, Melbourne, Australia Interview
Interview 3 October 1949 CKOC, Hamilton, ON, Canada
Interview 2 November 1949 CHUB-FM, Vancouver, DC, Canada
Bill Ward's Dog House 3 November 1949 CKWX, Vancouver, DC, Canada Interview
Midnite Merry-Go-Round 3 November 1949 CKXL, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Desert Island Discs 20 November 1951 BBC Radio
In Town Tonight 5 October 1953 BBC Light Programme
Pied Piper 12 March 1955 BBC Light Programme Interviewed by Eamonn Andrews
In Town Tonight 16 April 1955 BBC Light Programme
Winnipeg Flood Relief Charity Show May 1955 CBC Radio

Television[edit]

Television appearances of George Formby
Programme[7][71] Date Channel Role Notes
Christmas Greetings 1938 On-screen participant
Ask Pickles 1954 BBC Television On-screen participant
Top of the Town 9 January 1955 BBC Television On-screen participant Included a duet of "Leaning on a Lamp-post" with Terry-Thomas
Dick Whittington January 1957 BBC Television On-screen participant
Val Parnell's Saturday Spectacular 15 June 1957 ITV On-screen participant
Top of the Bill 5 October 1957 ITV On-screen participant
The Frankie Vaughan Show 18 January 1958 BBC Television On-screen participant
Many Happy Returns 15 February 1958 ITV On-screen participant
George Formby Presents: Formby Favourites 6 September 1958 BBC Television Host
Val Parnell's Spectacular: The Atlantic Showboat 10 January 1959 ITV On-screen participant
Steppin' Out With Formby 25 April 1959 BBC Television On-screen participant
Showtime 29 November 1959 BBC Television On-screen participant
The Time of your Life 14 July 1960 BBC Television On-screen participant Excerpts from Formby's last summer show at the Queen's Theatre, Blackpool
The Friday Show: George Formby 16 December 1960 BBC Television On-screen participant

Notes and references[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ Considered a lost film, with the last-known copy destroyed in 1940.[9]
  2. ^ Formby performed "When I'm Cleaning Windows" on screen for the first time.[18]
  3. ^ Film trailer recording[65]
  4. ^ Film trailer recording[65]
  5. ^ "Low Down Lazy Turk" was suppressed in the UK, and released only in Australia.[66]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Richards 2004.
  2. ^ Fisher 1975, p. 16.
  3. ^ McFarlane, Brian. "Formby, George (1904-1961)". Screenonline. British Film Institute. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c Smart & Bothway Howard 2011, p. 75.
  5. ^ Smart & Bothway Howard 2011, p. 198.
  6. ^ Bret 1999, p. 221.
  7. ^ a b "Filmography: Formby, George". British Film Institute. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  8. ^ Bret 1999, pp. 272–81.
  9. ^ Smart & Bothway Howard 2011, p. 51.
  10. ^ "By the Shortest of Heads (1915)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  11. ^ Fisher 1975, p. 49.
  12. ^ "Boots! Boots! (1934)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  13. ^ "Boots! Boots! (1934)". Screenonline. British Film Institute. Retrieved 26 May 2014. 
  14. ^ "Off the Dole (1935)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  15. ^ Bret 1999, pp. 102–03.
  16. ^ "No Limit (1935)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  17. ^ Kelner, Martin (13 June 2011). "Isle of Man's TT sure turned out nice again". The Guardian (London). 
  18. ^ a b Bret 1999, pp. 50–52.
  19. ^ "Keep Your Seats Please (1936)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  20. ^ "Feather Your Nest (1936)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  21. ^ Richards 2010, p. 201.
  22. ^ "Keep Fit (1937)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  23. ^ Pratt, Vic. "Keep Fit (1937)". Screenonline. British Film Institute. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  24. ^ a b "I See Ice!". British Film Institute. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  25. ^ "It's in the Air (1938)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  26. ^ Crowther, Bosley (10 December 1940). "Movie Review: The Lady in Question (1940)". The New York Times (New York). 
  27. ^ "Trouble Brewing (1939)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  28. ^ Bret 1999, pp. 80–81.
  29. ^ "Come On George! (1939)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  30. ^ Pratt, Vic. "Come On George! (1939)". Screenonline. British Film Institute. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  31. ^ "Let George Do It (1949)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  32. ^ Pratt, Vic. "Let George Do It! (1940)". Screenonline. British Film Institute. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  33. ^ "Spare a Copper (1940)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  34. ^ Pratt, Vic. "Spare a Copper (1940)". Screenonline. British Film Institute. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  35. ^ "Turned Out Nice Again (1941)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  36. ^ Pratt, Vic. "Turned Out Nice Again (1941)". Screenonline. British Film Institute. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  37. ^ "South American George (1941)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  38. ^ "Much Too Shy (1942)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  39. ^ Bret 1999, pp. 123–24.
  40. ^ "Get Cracking (1943)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  41. ^ Bret 1999, pp. 128–29.
  42. ^ "Bell Bottom George (1944)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  43. ^ Bret 1999, pp. 130–31.
  44. ^ "He Snoops to Conquer (1944)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  45. ^ Bret 1999, pp. 141–42.
  46. ^ "I Didn't Do It! (1945)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  47. ^ Bret 1999, pp. 148–49.
  48. ^ "George in Civvy Street (1946)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 10 March 2014. 
  49. ^ Bret 1999, pp. 156–57.
  50. ^ a b Bret 1999, p. 207.
  51. ^ Ryan 1986, pp. 20–21.
  52. ^ Bret 1999, pp. 282–83.
  53. ^ Smart & Bothway Howard 2011, p. 97.
  54. ^ Bret 1999, pp. 72–73.
  55. ^ Bret 1999, pp. 73–74.
  56. ^ Bret 1999, p. 110.
  57. ^ Smart & Bothway Howard 2011, p. 237.
  58. ^ McCann 2009, p. 196.
  59. ^ Bret 1999, p. 201.
  60. ^ Randall & Seaton 1974, p. 166.
  61. ^ "George Formby Discography". The George Formby Society. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  62. ^ Bret 1999, pp. 245–59.
  63. ^ Ryan 1986, pp. 22–97.
  64. ^ Smart & Bothway Howard 2011, pp. 311–18.
  65. ^ a b Bret 1999, p. 250.
  66. ^ Bret 1999, p. 252.
  67. ^ Ryan 1986, pp. 16–18.
  68. ^ Bret 1999, p. 140.
  69. ^ "Desert Island Discs: George Formby". BBC. Retrieved 28 May 2014. 
  70. ^ Magee 2012, p. 60.
  71. ^ Ryan 1986, pp. 14–15.

Sources[edit]

  • Ryan, Brendan (1986). George Formby: A Catalogue of his Work. Dublin: The George Formby Society. OCLC 40991236. 
  • Smart, Sue; Bothway Howard, Richard (2011). It's Turned Out Nice Again!: The Authorized Biography of the Two George Formbys, Father and Son. Ely, Cambridgeshire: Melrose Books. ISBN 978-1-907732-59-1. 

External links[edit]