in the news

The George Formby Society (and our hero) made the national news again on Tuesday 7th June when it was disclosed that our beloved Queen Elizabeth II is a big George Formby fan. This is not really news to most of the knowledgeable legion of Society members as of course it is a well known fact that George and Beryl visited our Queen when she was a young princess to entertain the Royal Family in private.

radio two

The BBC is to broadcast a program on Sunday 12th June 2016 on Radio Two at 19:00 in presenter Eve Pollard (no relation!) introduces contributions from a select band of people who are familiar with our Queen. The subject will be the gracious lady’s favourite music and of course George Formby was the artist that the media leapt upon to highlight the Queen’s musical tastes.
Even the George Formby Society website was contacted in the hope that we might have a photo of Princess Elizabeth with George Formby but if there is one, I can only assume that the Queen has it in a private collection.

The best contribution by the media (in my opinion), was the article in the Telegraph by Ivan Hewitt.

the telegraph article

The news that the Queen once wanted to be a patron of the George Formby Society seems entirely apt. 
Like her, Formby had the common touch. When he sang his naughty songs, posh ladies laughed just as loudly as the crowds in the music hall where he made his fortune (just look at the YouTube video of his rendition of The Window Cleaner for the evidence). Humbly born he may have been, but in terms of popular entertainment he was royalty. 
In the years leading up to the Second World War he was Britain’s highest-paid entertainer, and during his wartime tours, it is reckoned he entertained over 3 million troops.
What I love about Formby is the complete lack of sentimentality. He had a tough life, with its fair share of tragedy, but the idea that he would bare his soul in song would have been anathema to him. Which isn’t to say he can’t be gentle. Leaning on a Lamp-post is funny, but it touches the heart, in a way the thousands of songs about “lerv” that came in the decades after him never do.
Then there’s that ukulele, which in his hands capers and dances with gleeful, eye-rolling energy. And there’s the verbal wit, which often comes out of a pretended gormlessness about language, his own or “them funny foreign ones”. In The Lancashire Toreador he rhymes “I met a” with “charming senorita”, and in another song laments, “Now if women like that like men like those, why don’t women like me?” Self-deprecation was the keynote to his persona, even in songs where he’s indulging a grand fantasy. 
Best of all is the constant double-entendre. There are examples by the score, but my favourite has to be the famous one about Blackpool Rock, which caused much anxiety at the BBC. “With my little stick of Blackpool rock; Along the promenade I stroll; In my pocket it got stuck I could tell, ’Cos when I pulled it out I pulled my shirt off as well.” We should treasure Formby; he’s such a refreshing counterblast to our puritanical age.


by royal appointment

Maybe the Queen might fancy visiting our convention in Blackpool? Perhaps the George Formby Society website should apply for permission to display a ‘By Royal Appointment’ logo? Whatever you may think, this just has to be great publicity for George Formby and of course for the George Formby Society which has kept George's name alive and the flame burning brightly for the last fifty years since he passed away.

bbc radio two

bbc iplayer

the telegraph