Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Arthur Askey

"Arthur Bowden Askey was born in Liverpool in 1900. He was very small at 5' 2" (1.6m) and wore distinctive horn rimmed glasses, with a breezy, smiling personality. He served in the forces in World War I and performed in army entertainments. His career began in the music halls, but he rose to stardom in 1938 through his role in the first radio sitcom, Bandwagon on BBC, prior to which radio comedy had consisted of broadcast standup routines. It had begun as a variety show, but had been unsuccessful until Askey and his partner, Richard Murdoch, took on a larger role in the writing. Askey's humour owed much to the playfulness of the characters he portrayed, his improvising and his use of catchphrases, as parodied by the Arthur Atkinson character in The Fast Show.
His catchphrases included "Hello playmates!" "I thank you" (pronounced "Ay-Thang-Yew") and "Move along the bus please."
During World War II, Askey starred in several Gainsborough Pictures comedy films, notably The Ghost Train (1941), "Charlie's Aunt," "I Thank You," "Back Room Boy," "King Arthur Was A Gentleman," "Miss London Ltd.," and "Bees in Paradise." When television arrived, he made the transition well, his first TV series was "Before Your Very Eyes!" (1952) named after another of his catchphrases. In 1957 writers Sid Colin and Talbot Rothwell revived the Bandwagon format for Living It Up, a series that reunited Askey and Murdoch after an absence of 18 years. He also made many stage appearances as a pantomime dame."

This LP on the budget Music For Pleasure label came out in the 60's I think though there is no date on it anywhere. It's mostly songs about animals and birds and one about a pixie.

Arthur Askey - The Death Watch Beetle

Arthur Askey - Chirrup

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