If you were to ask me who my favourite ukulele player is , I would have to say Cliff Edwards, AKA ‘Ukulele Ike’. During the 1920’s Cliff was one of the biggest stars in the US, he sold millions of records and appeared in many films. He was the first to sing many famous songs, indeed his biggest hit was ‘Singing in the Rain’ which he recorded in 1929 long before the film of the same name. He sang the Disney theme song ‘When You Wish Upon A Star’ and was the voice of Jiminy Cricket in the film adaptation of Pinocchio. Sadly he died a penniless alcoholic in 1971 forgotten by all but a small band of ukulele aficionados. Today I got rather excited when I found a picture of him riding a bicycle on the MGM lot and carrying Buster Keaton on the handlebars.
(Picture from http://www.acertaincinema.com/)
And so from my 78rpm collection here is Cliff at the height of his career with the song ‘You’re My Weakness Now’ recorded on the 7th December 1928.