Thursday, 7 June 2012

"The Dumber They Come" on Banjo Ukulele - John Bianchi

First thing tomorrow morning, LSH (Long-Suffering-Husband) and I are off to the seaside - to Blackpool, to be precise. I don't actually like Blackpool, and we haven't been for years, not since the children were small - so why are we going? We are going to the June meeting of the GFS - the George Formby Society, at the Imperial Hotel, and just like a little kid, I am SO excited!

The strumming skills displayed by John in the little number above, should show you just why I'm packing up my little 1920's Slingerland model 18 and going to join the other banjo-uke nuts for the weekend. Because I want to play like him.

John uses three Formby-type strums in this funny but naughty little song - (this is from 1920; remember - "the past is another country, they do things differently there".....) the split stroke, the fan and the triple. And thumb strums. Please, please, look at John's own blog, "The Ukaholic" read all about the song, the Gibson vintage banjolele he's playing, and be educated in the wonders of the banjo-uke, on earlier posts. It's a great blog and I've learned a helluva lot from it.

I learned a sneaking regard for skilled banjolele players when I was a weekly attendee at the best folk club in the midlands in the late 60's, the Jug O'Punch, in Digbeth, Birmingham. I've already done a post about the chap who used to take the floor from time to time and wow the earnest folkies with George Formby numbers on his banjo ukulele. "A hero who shall remain nameless" - because I can't remember his name. He was just an ordinary Joe who would happily do a spot, and show a hall full of young people who wanted to hear traditional folk and protest songs why George Formby had been such a great star.

Well, John Bianchi of New York, in my humble opinion, is no ordinary Joe. I have to nail my colours to the mast here; I am a fan. Boy, can he play. And he has a good voice. And he knows how to put a song across.

He should be A STAR!

Watch the video again -

I rest my case.

Now if you'll excuse me I have a little case to pack... "With my little ukulele in my hand", Blackpool here I come!


  1. this is one of my favourites..John has promised to send me the chords

    1. It's a hoot, isn't it, this song! Nothing wrong with a little bit of non-pc! Thanks for dropping in, Simon!


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