Despite his popularity in vaudeville, on Broadway, on records, and in the movies from the 1920s to the '40s, Cliff Edwards, the ukulele player with the warm manner and the conversational tenor, lapsed into obscurity long before he died destitute in 1972. 1997 saw the release of two Edwards albums, however -- Sony Music Special Products' ten-track Ukulele Ike, and this album of radio performances. Despite its title, more than half of the album comes from June 1947. The 1947 material finds Edwards in a friendly, bantering mood, while the 1930s performances are isolated tracks. Edwards sings some of the songs most closely associated with him, including his biggest hit, "I Can't Give You Anything But Love," and "Fascinating Rhythm," which he sang in the Gershwin musical Lady, Be Good! There are also '20s hits such as "Ain't He Got Fun?" and "If You Knew Susie," while Edwards' rendition of "Sweet Leilani" demonstrates his influence on Bing Crosby, who had the hit with it. If Edwards' music was more generally available, this release would be nonessential, though enjoyable. Under the circumstances, it's a vital portrait of an unjustly forgotten singer.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann