Ukulele Ike in Australia, 1952

The Australian Women’s Weekly’s interview with Cliff Edwards was published on the 16th of January 1952. Mr Edwards confessed that his first uke was a mandolin stripped of four strings. He also let slip that he found performing hard on the nerves, but thought them necessary for show business success. And he has performed for important people in his day. Winston Churchill’s favourite tune by Cliff was “Singing in the Rain”, and ol’ FDR liked “Home on the Range”.

Ukulele Ike with his favourite hat (and uke)

Apparently, Ukulele Ike started his working life as a painter in a ship-yard, which he left for the more difficult work of vaudeville.

As for hobbies (why do they always ask?), the ukulele hotshot said he likes eating, sleeping, and reading Plato, Socrates and Pericles, and biographies — was he pulling her leg, or writing a song? But we’re told he spoke seriously. He’d lost interest in “murder and sex” novels and liked something solid instead.

He reckoned the old songs of the 20s and 30s were superior to the modern tunes, because the old ones had melody and they have legs — citing a few hit songs in 1952 that were written in 1917.

In 1952, Cliff was unmarried and “very, very, very happy”. He hoped to be in show business for many years yet.

For his Sydney trip, he performed at the Celebrity Club.

Published in: on November 26, 2010 at 5:49 pm  Comments (13)  
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