In 1939, it was reported, George Formby deliberately threw his ukulele into the sea. The Sunday Times of Perth (9 April) reveals the George had collapsed during a performance at the Palace Theatre, and his Doctor told him that he had to stop playing the uke, not sing even for a child’s birthday party, and cut down his smoking to 6 cigarettes a day. Complete rest is what was needed or he’d lose his voice. So he hopped a boat to the West Indies, and, with a quick “Sorry old pal, but t’s got to be done”, threw the uke over the side.
On a happier note, in December 1947, — obviously after a good rest — the Agrus of Melbourne reports that George received a standing ovation from the crowd at the Tivoli as few other performers ever had. “Sing us another one” was the constant call from the stamping and whistling crowd. He also led the crowd in some community singing in a way few other performers would attempt. The show was entitled, “It turned out nice again”.