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CD REVIEW: George Formby - Let George Do It
By Ben Ohmart - 09/19/2001 - 05:04 PM EDT

Artist: George Formby
Album: Let George Do It
CD Review: Wanna hear what rap sounded like in the 30s? The closest you may get to it is George Formby's music hall recitation-singing. 18 tracks, 53 minutes.

I must say I was pleased to have a listen to George's original singles from 1932-42, having first been introduced to the singing ukulele player through Peter Sellers interviews, and the long-running British radio improv show, I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue. Formby’s infamous ‘The Window Cleaner’ and ‘Leaning on a Lamp Post’ are still performed today on such comedy shows, just the way George did it.

These classic recordings follow a formula of small orchestra plus patter plus ukulele break. George’s breath control and smiling, giggling words are timeless, and priceless. He was the top movie draw of the Depression era in the UK, having starred in 20 films at a time when the country desperately needed a laugh and a happy British ending. Many of his songs were introduced in these films. This collection, shinned up nicely (yes, very, very clean recordings for their age; for Any mono age), and is a rare treat into the life and times of this living legend. There are many more songs out there. Let’s hope this 1st reissue sponsors a resurgence in the Formby force.

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