Sunday, February 1, 2009

Cliff Edwards - Forgotten superstar

While strolling around YouTube the other day I found this disturbing clip concerning one of the most prolific entertainers of the early talkies.
No need for an introduction, it's all in the clip:

The saddest thing is that Cliff Edwards isn't the only one who has been erased from public memory. There are so many of these fine entertainers that simply didn't make it to our times. I don't blame all these seemingly ignorant people in the clip. How should they know who Cliff Edwards was when no one is no longer mentioning "their own" Ukulele Ike in the medias.

Mark Twain may be a fine writer but he did certainly not know how to strum a ukelele the way Cliff Edwards did! I think it would be suitable to proclaim a Cliff Edwards Day in Hannibal, Missouri after seeing this clip. A nice ukelele parade could be a fine thing to start it off.


Anonymous said...

The one glimmer of immortality of course that Cliff Edwards has is his voicing of Jiminey Cricket in Disney's PINOCCHIO, but I agree on your assessment. I don't even try to mention names of yesteryear among most people unless I figure I have a fighting chance that I won't be looked at as some time traveling dropout. At least here we can be comfortable in bantering about the gloriously overlooked, forgotten and underappreciated from decades back. YouTube is doing a nice service in at least putting clips out there, however battered some of the clips. I wish I could find myself in 2050 and see what alleged superstars of today barely rate a footnote of recognition!

Raquel Stecher said...

People who don't appreciate the past are idiots. Total idiots!

But as King of Jazz said, at least this clip is informing the uninformed, so it's a good thing.

Anonymous said...

I second your proclamation of idiots, Raquelle! There is so much wonderful stuff to discover in our history of pop culture. I think it isn't an exaggeration that sometimes a certain past decade is more familiar to us than the present. I have an endless interest in the 1920s in particular, and the fact we can actually revisit it in music, film etc. is something I never take for granted.

One of my big thrills was in 1999 when I got Doris Eaton's autograph. If you don't know who Doris Eaton is, you don't belong here! Hint: she's nearly 105 and the last surviving performer from the 1919 Ziegfeld Follies! See her dancing at age 101 (google Doris Eaton Travis/dancing). :D

Elizabeth said...

I'm so glad you posted this! I've been a fan of Cliff Edwards for a couple of years now, and feel that he is criminally unappreciated!

Unknown said...

Great post... I've been a fan of Cliff Edwards for years now it hurts my heart to see that those people in the video don't even know his name.

Jonas Nordin said...

King Of Jazz,
I mention names of yesteryear as often as possible, I try my best to inspire people to discover gems from the past.
At a dinner party not very long ago I played Annette Hanshaw throughout. It was a success, my guests loved it! None of them had ever heard of her before but now wanted to buy her records.

Yep! I say as one of my history teachers. If you don't know anything about the past, you don't know much about the present either.

King Of Jazz, again...
The revisiting is indeed a fantastic thing. So you met Doris Eaton, fantastic! I guess Doris Eaton and Miriam Seegar are the only ones left...

Elisabeth & Kate Gabrielle,
You're welcome! Yes! Let's join forces and push Cliff away from the criminally unappreciated!

Lolita of the Classics said...

Hans Singin' in the Rain är med på extramaterialet till den Gene Kelly-musikalen med samma namn. Så jag hade minsann ett liten hum om vem Cliff Edwards var! Men bara lite. Det är verkligen lustigt hur vissa höjs till skyarna medan andra glöms bort.

theduckthief said...

Thank you so much for this clip. Edwards now has one more person who'll remember his name.

It's sad really to think that those people in his hometown had absolutely no idea who he was. I hate how history like this just seems to fade away unless someone cares enough to pass it on.

Anonymous said...

What a sad story this is..... I'm glad I found it, and thank you so much for posting! Lovely blog!

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