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Cliff Edwards

Clifton A. Edwards
Ukelele Ike

Singer, Ukeleleist, Radio/TV Host

(1895 - 1971)

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Cliff Edwards began playing ukelele to accompany his singing in St. Louis bars where there were no pianos. He had a beautiful three-octave range and invented an early version of scat singing which he called “effin,” imitating a trumpet or kazoo and inserting that “instrumental” solo into his singing.

He took “Ukelele Ike” as his stage name after moving to Chicago. There he met pianist Bob Carlton whose “Ja Da” was a big hit for Edwards. He worked vaudeville and appeared in one of Ziegfeld’s Follies. But his big break came in the Gershwins’ Lady Be Good on Broadway (1924) where he stole the show with “Fascinating Rhythm.” He appeared in Jerome Kern’s Sunny (1925) and crooned “Singin’ in the Rain” in Hollywood Revue of 1929, the first of over 100 films he would make. That same year Edwards appeared in the film Marianne; his cover of “Just You, Just Me” (from that film) was on the pop charts for two weeks, peaking at number 13. He sang “It’s Only a Paper Moon” in 1933’s Take a Chance and “I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now” in Red Salute (1935). He made several recordings with artists such as Red Nichols and Tony Mottola.

His was the voice of Jiminy Cricket in a dozen cartoons including Pinocchio where he sang “When You Wish Upon a Star” which won the 1940 Oscar and became Disney’s theme song. He made a number of westerns with Tim Holt and had his own radio shows in the late ‘40s. But his excesses took a toll on his career and he died broke.

- Sandra Burlingame


Singin' in the Rain

Cliff Edwards



Dumbo: Classic Soundtrack Series (1941 Film)

Cliff Edwards as the voice of Jiminy Cricket



Pinocchio

Cliff Edwards as the voice of Jiminy Cricket



The Vintage Recordings of Cliff Edwards (Ukulele Ike)

Cliff Edwards



Sunny: The Musical Comedy

Jerome Kern, George Olsen, Percival Mackey, George Olsen Orchestra, Abner Barnhart, Binnie Hale, Charles Angelo, Claude Hulbert, Cliff Edwards, Clifton Webb, Don Rowsen, Dorothy Francis, Elmer Brown, Elsie Randolph, Esther Hope, Helene Gardner



The Ultimate George Gershwin, Vol. 2

Various Artists



1930's Radio Transcriptions

Cliff Edwards



Ukulele Ike

Cliff Edwards
Reading and Viewing

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Marion Darlington, Cliff Edwards, Walter Catlett, Don Brodie, Charles Judels

Pinocchio (Disney Gold Classic Collection)

Walt Disney Video

DVD


Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell

His Girl Friday (1940)

DVD (Includes Cliff Edwards)


Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Young

Red Salute (1935)

VHS (Includes Cliff Edwards)


Jean Harlow, Clark Gable

Saratoga (1937)

VHS (Includes Cliff Edwards)


Jeanette MacDonald, Nelson Eddy, Walter Pidgeon, Leo Carrillo, Buddy Ebsen, Leonard Penn, Priscilla Lawson, Bob Murphy, Olin Howland, Cliff Edwards

Girl of the Golden West

MGM (Warner)

VHS

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