Johnny Foodstamp of Nashville, badass banjolele player, is now a fully-fledged member of the GFS, the George Formby Society. Oh how he would have loved the Convention in Blackpool in June!
And I just know they would love him. Go, Johnny!
I don't know how many Formby fans in the US play the banjo-ukulele Formby -style, but I suspect there aren't that many. There's John Bianchi in New York, and ..... anybody else out there?
There's no middle ground with George Formby - you either love him and his music or hate them. George had a huge, cheeky, goofy grin, a broad Lancashire accent and an innocent way with saucy lyrics, brimful of double-entendres. He was a huge star until his untimely death in 1961 - read more about him here.
To this day, his skill as a banjo-ukulele player wins him new fans. The "Formby" strum, or split-stroke, is the one that wins the most admiration, especially delivered in fast, complex syncopated cross-rhythms. No two people play Formby-style the same, and no-one plays it quite like George did - it's like a personal fingerprint. But if you can play it at all..... respect!
So, respect to Johnny - flying that Formby flag across the Pond!