One of the most famous ukulele players on earth was George Formby. Never heard of him? Most Americans never have, but he was a huge celebrity in Britain in the years between 1934 and 1960, and he was a major morale-booster for the UK during the Second World War. His trademark was the banjo ukulele, which he played in 20 films of that time.
If you’re curious to see who he was, and why there are plenty of folks in Britain who still celebrate his comedy and music today, you should watch this BBC documentary about him, hosted by British comic and Formby fan Frank Skinner:
Warning–this is an hour-long program, but well worth your time, unless you’re not a George Formby fan; for many 21st-century folks, he’s the equivalent of Tiny Tim in the USA. But there’s lots of ukulele stuff within. —Walter
I am from Marin County, Calif. and will be accompanying my wife, while she attends Pilates classes, in Austin from 8/11-8/15. I will be bringing my uke. Are there any daytime jams happening during that time period?
Marty– It’s really a shame you won’t be here on Thursday 8/9, when you would have a chance to play with about 40 of us at our monthly meeting. But I’ve checked around, and no uke jams (or even string instrument jams) will be happening while you’re in town. Maybe next time! –Walter