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'Ukulele Ike' dies broke, alone at 76

HOLLYWOOD - (UPI) - Clifford Edwards - alias Jiminy Cricket and "Ukulele Ike" - who had the sheiks and flappers carrying Ukuleles and swinging to "Jada Jada Jing Jing Jing" in the 1920s, is dead at 76.

Edwards died Saturday broke and forgotten, a welfare patient at the Virgil Convalescent Hospital. His remains were still unclaimed today.

Born in Hannibal, Mo., Edwards began singing as a teen-ager in St. Louis saloons and made the ukulele his trademark.

He rose to star status when he teamed with Bobby Carelton to sing Carelton's tune, "Jada", one of the first big hits of the jazz age. He introduced "Singing in the Rain", had a role in Gershwin's "Lady Be Good" and made hit records of "Sleepy Time Gal", "June Night" and "I Cried for You".

His singing and film roles made Edwards a millionaire, but he wound up bankrupt after two divorces, income-tax troubles and years of gambling.

In 1940 his career revived when he was chosen as the voice of Jiminy Cricket in the Walt Disney movie classic, "Pinocchio", and sang the introductory song, "When You Wish Upon a Star".

A few nightclub engagements followed but interest faded.

Edward remained in the entertainment business until the end, however: His 30-year-old recording of "When You Wish Upon a Star" opens The Wonderful World of Disney on television each week.

Officials did not report his death until yesterday because they had not realized who Cliff Edwards was.

Note: Cliff Edwards died on Saturday, July 17, 1971.

Burial Site
Click to see burial site

Death Certificate
Click to see Cliff Edward's death certificate

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