PERFORMERS: JIMMY DURANTE

Born: February 10 1893
Died: January 29 1980

jimmyduranteby PETER TATCHELL (reprinted from LAUGH MAGAZINE #6, 1993)

The early decades of the twentieth century produced a remarkable array of comic talents. Most of them came from Vaudeville, the Music Hall and later from the infant world of motion pictures. One performer though, made his way up the show business ladder as a ragtime piano player, but as the years went by, his exuberant personality and knockabout humour took over.

Jimmy Durante was born to Italian-American parents in the Lower East Side of New York City on February 10, 1893. Like most immigrant families living in the famed ‘melting pot’ times were tough. By the age of six he was helping out in his father’s barber shop, and later sold newspapers to the mayor. Forced to leave school after the eighth grade, he worked as a coal-wagon driver, an errand boy and a window washer; anything to help support his parents, two brothers and a sister.

Piano playing soon became his passion, and by the time he was seventeen he got a job providing accompaniment for the singing waiters at a Coney Island saloon (one of them was a young Eddie Cantor). By 1915 he’d moved uptown to a Harlem cabaret where he became the leader of a five-piece band. It was there he met a cakewalking baritone, Eddie Jackson, who would soon become his partner and lifelong friend.

In 1918, Jimmy made his first recording, playing piano with The Original New Orleans Jazz Band for the Okeh label. A year later the group did two numbers for Gennett, and Jimmy also played on releases by The Whiteway Jazz Band, Ladd’s Black Aces, Bailey’s Lucky Seven and Lanin’s Southern Serenaders in the early 1920s. One of Gennett’s titles even had a piece by Jimmy Durante’s Jazz Band.

Jimmy married the former Jeanne Olson in June 1921 and later that year began playing piano at the Nightingale Club in the heart of Manhattan. By now, prohibition was in force, and thousands of speakeasies had responded to the public’s want for liquor. Jimmy and a co-worker at the Nightingale decided to open one of their own and the Club Durant opened its doors at the end of 1923. The misspelling was caused by a donated electric sign.

Soon after, a popular soft-shoe dancer named Lou Clayton was enticed to join the venture, and keep things running smoothly. His business acumen and show biz ‘savvy’ were a major influence on the Durante career for the next thirty years. It was Clayton who first coaxed Jimmy away from his piano and into centre stage to sing and joke with the customers.

Lou and Eddie Jackson joined him in the performance, and the Three Sawdust Bums (as the editor of Variety called them) were becoming a Broadway sensation. Jimmy was also dubbed Schnozzola and the nickname stuck with him for the rest of his life.

For two years Club Durant was the place to be seen but in late 1925 it was closed down when a prohibition agent was served liquor. The trio weren’t idle for long and moved to the Dover Club and later the Parody Club. In 1927 they were booked to play the Palace Theatre, and were so successful they were invited back again and again (breaking the house records). The great Florenz Ziegfeld signed them for his production Show Girl in 1929 and with the coming of the talkies, Clayton, Jackson and Durante made their movie debuts in the Paramount feature Roadhouse Nights.

The roaring twenties had ended with a bang with the Wall Street crash, but months later Jimmy and his partners were back on Broadway in a show called The New Yorkers (with a Cole Porter score). It was another huge success for them, but soon after Jimmy received an offer from MGM to sign a film contract. But the deal was for him alone and he didn’t want to desert his partners. Clayton however, insisted he accept the offer, agreeing to become his manager, with Eddie Jackson to work behind the scenes.

Over the next four years, MGM featured Jimmy in a dozen movies, but none of them did much to enhance his career and the whiz-kids of Hollywood couldn’t come up with an appropriate vehicle to utilise his unusual talents. He also worked for all the other major studios, but with a similar lack of success.

In early 1933, Durante was back on Broadway, but this time without his two partners for the first time. The show was Strike Me Pink but like many productions staged during the depths of the depression it could manage only a relatively short run.

Later that year Jimmy turned his attention to radio, and filled in for Eddie Cantor for ten weeks during Eddie’s holiday break. For the 1934 break, Durante hosted the program for twenty-four weeks.

Billy Rose signed Jimmy for his spectacular Broadway extravaganza Jumbo at the end of 1935, and NBC broadcast an hour-long radio version for over four months. When it closed, Jimmy headed for England to make a movie with Richard Tauber called Land Without Music (or Forbidden Musicas it was released in the US) and play the Palladium.

Cole Porter provided the score for the next Durante stage venture Red, Hot And Blue and also came up with a novel way of billing Jimmy and his co-star, Ethel Merman, to ensure both appeared on equal terms. Bob Hope had to be content with third place on the posters.

The rest of the decade, Durante alternated between Hollywood movies (in supporting roles), a Broadway show Stars In Your Eyes, and a short NBC radio series with Robert Benchley titled Melody And Madness. On the eve of the Second World War he’d been reduced to playing a minor role in a Gene Autry western and taking part in a failed musical Keep Off The Grass which, despite also featuring Ray Bolger, Jane Froman and Larry Adler, closed after only forty-four performances.

The early 1940s were the worst of his career. And to add to his professional woes, his private life was to suffer the tragic deaths of his father, sister and finally his wife Jeanne all in a brief period of time.

It took another health problem to get things rolling again. This time it was a bout of rheumatic fever suffered by Lou Costello in March 1943 that jump-started the Durante career. With Costello unable to continue with his radio show (and Bud Abbott unwilling to go on without him) Jimmy was teamed with a young Garry Moore to fill the vacated N.B.C. timeslot. Overnight, radio had found a sensational double act.

The nimble-tongued Moore and the word-mangling Durante were in fine contrast. Though a generation apart, the ragtime pianist from the lower end of Manhattan worked well with the newcomer he’d call “Junior”.

As a result of his newfound success, Jimmy was back in pictures at MGM where he appeared in supporting roles singing his favourite numbers (Inka Dinka Doo, Umbriago, I’m The Guy Who Found The Lost Chord and I’ll Do The Strut-Away In My Cutaway among others). They also got him to record studio versions of nearly two dozen songs for their newly set up record label. Even so, Billy Rose wasn’t so sure they were using him properly. He wrote in one of his columns … “If they cool him off again, strong men will come down from the mountains and up from the valleys and turn your studio into a bowling alley”!

Durante and Moore stayed together for four seasons on radio, before Jimmy continued on separately for three more years (with straight men like Alan Young or Don Ameche). He also worked with regulars Victor Moore and Vera Vague (the man-chasing character played by Barbara Jo Allen).

1950 saw another turning point in Durante’s personal and public life. His manager and ex-partner Lou Clayton was stricken with cancer but before he died he made sure Jimmy was signed for the entertainment medium that was just coming into its own … television.

On November 1 1950 Jimmy Durante made his debut on Four Star Revue (alternating with Ed Wynn, Danny Thomas and Jack Carson). To use one of his own words, he was “collossial”. For the next six seasons he was one of television’s hottest properties, winning award after award as comedy personality of the year. It was Jimmy’s finest hour.

Like nearly all of the other big names of show business, Jimmy’s appearances were rationed to once a month and his encounters with Helen Traubel, Carmen Miranda, Ethel Barrymore and Sophie Tucker produced a magic rarely equalled since. He was also host to such star surnames as Sinatra, Pinza, Merman and Bankhead.

After a season with Four Star Revue, Durante moved to Saturday nights with the All Star Revue and then a year on The Colgate Comedy Hour. In late 1954, he switched to a half-hour format (initially on a fortnightly basis, then a year later appearing every week).

Now in his sixties, Jimmy was a top headliner on the cabaret circuit, playing the Copacabana in New York and Las Vegas casinos for season after season. In 1960, he decided to marry his longtime ladyfriend Margie Little, and the couple adopted a baby girl (they named Cecilia Alicia) soon after.

The 67-year-old papa Durante may have been in his September years, but his 1963 recording of September Song proved an enormous hit with music lovers of all ages, and led to a series of popular LP releases.

A year later he hosted his first Hollywood Palace television show and appeared on the programme a dozen times before it ended. Response by the viewing audience was enough to convince ABC to give the 76-year-old a weekly one-hour series Jimmy Durante Presents The Lennon Sisters Hour. It was to be Jimmy’s last major television venture and a career of sixty years in show business was coming to an end.

In 1974 he suffered the first of several strokes and was confined to a wheelchair. When he died, on January 29 1980, Bob Hope eulogised “Success can be measured by the friends one has. And believe me, Jimmy Durante was the most successful man I know”.

Broadway Shows

Show Girl
July 2 1929 at the Ziegfeld Theatre … 111 performances

The New Yorkers
December 8 1930 at the Broadway Theatre … 168 performances

Strike Me Pink
March 4 1933 at the Majestic Theatre … 105 performances

Jumbo
November 16 1935 at the Hippodrome … 233 performances

Red Hot And Blue!
October 29 1936 at the Alvin Theatre … 183 performances

Stars In Your Eyes
February 9 1939 at the Majestic Theatre … 127 performances

Keep Off The Grass
May 23 1940 at the Broadhurst Theatre … 44 performances

Films

Roadhouse Nights
(1929 Paramount 80 min)

The New Adventures Of Get-Rich-Quick Wallingford
(1931 MGM 96 min)

The Cuban Love Song
(1931 MGM 91 min)

The Passionate Plumber
(1932 MGM 73 min)

The Wet Parade
(1932 MGM 120 min)

Speak Easily
(1932 MGM 82 min)

The Phantom President
(1932 Paramount 80 min)

Blondie Of The Follies
(1932 MGM 90 min)

What! No Beer?
(1933 MGM 66 min)

Hell Below
(1933 MGM 105 min)

Broadway To Hollywood
(1933 MGM 85 min)

Meet The Baron
(1933 MGM 67 min)

Palooka
(1934 United Artists 86 min)

George White’s Scandals Of 1934
(1934 20th Century Fox 80 min)

Hollywood Party
(1934 MGM 68 min)

Strictly Dynamite
(1934 R.K.O. 71 min)

Student Tour
(1934 MGM 85 min)

Carnival
(1934 Columbia 76 min)

Land Without Music (aka Forbidden Music)
(1936 Capitol/G.F.D. 80 min)

Start Cheering
1938 Columbia 78 min)

Sally, Irene And Mary
(1938 20th Century Fox 72 min)

Little Miss Broadway
(1938 20th Century Fox 70 min)

Melody Ranch
(1940 Republic 84 min)

You’re In The Army Now
(1941 Warner Bros. 79 min)

The Man Who Came To Dinner
(1941 Warner Bros. 112 min)

Two Girls And A Sailor
(1944 MGM 124 min)

Music For Millions
(1944 MGM 120 min)

Two Sisters From Boston
(1946 MGM 112 min)

It Happened In Brooklyn
(1947 MGM 105 min)

This Time For Keeps
(1947 MGM 105 min colour)

On An Island With You
(1948 MGM 107 min colour)

The Great Rupert
(1950 Eagle Lion 86 min)

The Milkman
(1950 Universal 87 min)

Beau James
(1957 Paramount 105 min colour)

Pepe
(1960 Columbia 195 min)

Billy Rose’s Jumbo
(1962 MGM 125 min colour)

It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
(1963 United Artists 162 min colour)

Jimmy also appeared in two sketches filmed for MGM’s Ziegfeld Follies (1946) but cut before release, a 1961 Italian-made Giudizio Universale which was never released, and can be heard singing the title song in the 1969 Those Daring Young Men In Their Jaunty Jalopies (aka Monte Carlo Or Bust).

 

Radio

The Chase And Sanborn Hour
(sponsored by Chase And Sanborn Coffee)
Series #1: NBC Sundays 8-00pm (60 min) September 10 to November 12 1933 (10 editions)
Series #2: NBC Sundays 8-00pm (60 min) Apri1 22 to September 30 1934 (24 editions)

Billy Rose’s Jumbo
(sponsored by Texaco Gasoline)
NBC Tuesdays 9-30pm (60 min) October 29 1935 to March 3 1936 (19 editions)
Oct 29 is with collectors

Melody And Madness
(sponsored by Old Gold Cigarettes)
NBC BLUE Tuesdays 9-00pm (30 min) October 3 to November 14 1939 (7 editions)

The Jimmy Durante And Garry Moore Show
(sponsored by Camel Cigarettes)
Series #1: NBC Thursdays 10-00pm (30 min) March 25 to October 28 1943 (32 editions)
May 21, June 11 and June 23 are with collectors
Series #2: CBS Fridays 10-00pm (30 min) October 8 1943 to June 29 1945 (90 editions)
Jan 9, Jan 26, Feb 11, Feb 25, Mar 31, Apr 23, July 7, Aug 11, Oct 6, Oct 13, Oct 27, Nov 10, Dec 22 1944 and Feb 9, Mar 30, Apr 6, Apr 20 to May 11, May 25 and June 15 1945 are with collectors  
(Rexall Drug Products took over sponsorship from April 6 1945)
Series #3: CBS Fridays 10-00pm (30 min) September 14 1945 to June 7 1946 (39 editions)
Nov 9 1945 and Mar 1 1946 are with collectors
Series #4: CBS Fridays 10-00pm (30min) September 13 1946 to June 27 1947 (42 editions)
Nov 15 to 29 1946 and May 23, June 13 and 20 1947 are with collectors

The Jimmy Durante Show
(sponsored by Rexall Drug Products)
Series #1: NBC Wednesdays 10-30pm (30 min) October 1 1947 to June 23 1948 (38 editions)
whole season with collectors (except Oct 1 and 15, Nov 19 1947, March 17, June 2 and 9 1948)
(Camel Cigarettes took over sponsorship for the 2nd and 3rd seasons)
Series #2: NBC Fridays 8-30pm (30 min) October 8 1948 to July 1 1949 (39 editions)
Dec 17 and 24 1948 and March 4 1949 are with collectors
Series #3: NBC Fridays 9-30pm (30 min) October 7 1949 to June 30 1950 (39 editions)
Mar 3 and Apr 21 1950 are with collectors

The Big Show
NBC Sundays (90 min)
Jimmy appeared (on a semi-regular basis) on the broadcasts of
:
Nov 5 and 19, Dec 10 and 24, 1950,  Jan 14, Feb 4, Mar 11 and 25, Apr 8 and 29 1951
all 10 shows are with collectors 

Jimmy also appeared on a number of AFRS programmes during (or after) World War 2

Command Performance
#81  August 28 1943
sp Christmas 1943 November 6 1943 (60 min)
#92  November 13 1943

#120  May 20 1944
#124  June 10 1944
#128  July 8 1944
#132  August 5 1944
#148  November 1 1944
#157  January 11 1945
#162  February 15 1945  Dick Tracy in B Flat (60 min)
#166  March 15 1945
#172  April 26 1945
#178  June 7 1945
#183  July 12 1945
sp Victory Extra  August 14 1945 (120 min)
sp Christmas 1945  early September 1945 (120 min)
#198  November 1 1945
#202  December 13 1945
#219  spring 1946
#222  summer 1946
#250  late 1946
#251  late 1946
#254  December 26 1946
#268  spring 1947
sp 5th Anniversary broadcast May 29 1947 (60 min compilation)
sp 6th Anniversary broadcast May 29 1948 (60 min compilation)
#333  summer 1948
#361  early 1949
#365  early 1949 
#374  spring 1949
shows 81, 92, 120, 124, 128, 132, 148, 157, 162, 166, 172, 178, 183, 198, 202, 219, 222, 250, 251, 254 and the Chrsitmas 1943 and 1945 and Victory Extra specials are with collectors

Mail Call
#91   May 17 1944
#105  August 16 1944
#125  December 27 1944
#134  February 28 1945
#150  June 20 1945
#280  winter 1947
#283  January 28 1948
#297  May 5 1948
#301  June 2 1948
shows 91, 105, 125, 134, 150 and 283 are with collectors

G.I. Journal
#9  September 10 1943
#10  September 17 1943
#14  October 22 1943
#45  May 26 1944
#51  July 7 1944
#54  July 28 1944
#58  August 25 1944
#69  November 17 1944
#106  August 3 1945
shows 9, 14, 58, 69 and 106 are with collectors

(a collection of Durante radio scripts exists at the University of Southern California’s Department of Special Collections)

 

Television

Four Star Revue
NBC Wednesdays 8-00pm (60 min)
November 1 1950  Donald O’Connor
November 29 1950  Helen Traubel
December 27 1950  Luba Malina
January 24 1951  Helen Traubel
February 21 1951  Don Ameche
March 21 1951  Carmen Miranda
April 18 1951  Sophie Tucker
May 16 1951  Fred Allen and Eddie Cantor

All Star Revue
NBC Saturdays 8-00pm (60 min)
October 6 1951  Helen Traubel
November 3 1951  Margaret Truman
December 1 1951  Ethel Barrymore
December 29 1951  Helen Traubel
January 26 1952  Mickey Rooney
February 23 1952  Gloria Swanson
March 22 1952  Margaret Truman
April 19 1952  Bette Davis

September 20 1952  Margaret Truman and Phil Harris
October 18 1952  Frank Sinatra
November 15 1952  Lily Pons
December 13 1952  Sophie Tucker
January 3 1953  Linda Darnell
January 31 1953  Ezio Pinza
March 7 1953  Carmen Miranda and Cesar Romero
April 11 1953  Helen Traubel

The Colgate Comedy Hour
NBC Sundays 8-00pm (60 min)
October 11 1953  guest unknown
November 8 1953  Frank Sinatra
December 6 1953  Ethel Merman
January 3 1954  Paul Douglas and Eartha Kitt
February 7 1954  Tallulah Bankhead and Carol Channing
March 14 1954  Eddie Cantor and Robert Montgomery
April 11 1954  Liberace
May 9 1954  Shelley Winters

Texaco Star Theatre
NBC Saturdays 9-30pm (30 min)
October 2 1954  Donald O’Connor
October 16 1954  Rusty Hamer and Jean Hagen
November 6 1954  Vivian Blaine
November 27 1954  Margaret Truman
December 11 1954  Lauritz Melchior
January 1 1955  George Raft
January 22 1955  Vivian Blaine
February 5 1955  Marilyn Maxwell
February 26 1955  Lisa Kirk and Bob Hope
March 19 1955  Pat Carroll
April 2 1955  Peter Lawford
April 23 1955  Patty Andrews
May 14 1955  George Jessel
May 28 1955  Dorothy Lamour
June 18 1955  Janet Blair
July 9 1955  Barbara Whiting
July 23 1955  Cass Daley
August 13 1955  Jimmy Ames
September 3 1955  Dave Barry
September 17 1955  Pat Carroll
September 24 1955  Toni Arden and Max Baer
October 8 1955  Jose and Ampora Iturbi
October 15 1955  Carmen Miranda
October 22 1955  Marguerite Piazza
October 29 1955  Peter Lawford
November 12 1955  Jeannie Carson and Peter Lawford
November 19 1955  Celeste Holm
December 3 1955  Janet Blair
December 10 1955  Polly Bergen
December 17 1955  Vivian Blaine and Stubby Kaye
December 31 1955  Jane Froman
January 7 1956  George Raft
January 14 1956  Jeanie Carson and Tab Hunter
January 28 1956  Liberace
February 4 1956  Milton Berle
February 11 1956  Robert Mitchum
February 25 1956  Esther Williams
March 3 1956  Charles Laughton
March 10 1956  Liberace
March 24 1956 Gordon MacRae
March 31 1956  Charles Boyer
April 7 1956  Ernest Borgnine
April 21 1956  George Jessel
April 28 1956  Johnny Ray, Liberace, George Raft and Peter Lawford
May 5 1956  Peter Lawford
May 19 1956  Connie Russell
May 26 1956  Marilyn Maxwell
June 2 1956  Lisa Kirk
June 16 1956  George Sanders
June 23 1956  Anna Marie Alberghetti and Peter Lawford

The Hollywood Palace
ABC Saturdays 9-30pm (60 min)
April 18 1964  Silvio Francesco and Piccola Pupo
May 1 1965  Edward G. Robinson and Louis Armstrong
December 10 1966  Peter Lawford, George Carlin and Mrs. Mills
December 51967  Ethel Merman, Noel Harrison and the Lennon Sisters
December 26 1967  Anissa Jones and circus performers
February 17 1968  Van Johnson, Vikki Carr, Jimmy Dean and The Temptations
March 30 1968  Liza Minelli and Tim Conway
October 51968  Joey Heatherton, Frank Gorshin and the Lennon Sisters
December 14 1968  Ethel Merman, Vikki Carr, Bill Dana and Sugar Ray Robinson
January 11 1969  Ella Fitzgerald, Sergio Franchi and Marvin Gaye

Jinuny Durante Presents The Lennon Sisters Hour
(pilot edition aired May 6 1969 with guest Bobby Goldsboro)
ABC Fridays 10-00pm (60 min)
September 26 1969  Jack Benny, Jimmy Dean and Noel Harrison
October 3 1969  Glen Campbell, Arte Johnson and The Lettermen
October 10 1969  Joey Bishop, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans
October 17 1969  Martha Raye, Buddy Ebsen and Bobby Goldsboro
October 24 1969  Bob Hope, Andy Williams and The Osmond Brothers
October 31 1969  Danny Thomas and Jimmy Rodgers
November 7 1969  Fess Parker and John Byner
November 14 1969  George Burns and John Gary
November 21 1969  Kate Smith and Louis Nye
November 28 1969  Don Ho, Merle Haggard and Corbett Monica
December 51969  Milton Berle and John Stewart
December 12 1969  Mike Douglas and Norm Crosby
December 19 1969  Lorne Greene
December 26 1969  Raymond Burr, Al Martino, Eddie Jackson and Sonny King
January 9 1970  Mel Torme and Kaye Ballard
January 16 1970  Ed Ames, David Frye and Ferrante And Teicher
(now Saturdays 9-30pm)
February 14 1970  Jack Benny and Sammy Davis Jr.
February 21 1970  Dinah Shore and Walter Brennan
February 28 1970  Wayne Newton, Tony Randall and Senor Wences
March 7 1970  Leslie Uggums, Vic Damone and Arte Johnson
March 14 1970  Jack Jones and Jerry Lewis
March 21 1970  Bobby Goldsboro and Desi Arnaz
March 28 1970  Perry Como and Charlie Callas
April 4 1970  Jimmy Dean and Rich Little

Recordings

Between 1918 and 1922, Jimmy played piano on a number of jazz band 78s
issued by Okeh, Gennett, Paramount, Arto, Pathe Actuelle and Emerson.
(A list of some three dozen of these may be found in Brian Rust’s Jazz Records 1897-1942,
later reprinted, with corrections, in David Bakish’s Jimmy Durante – His Show Business Career)

Listed below are his vocal recordings (many of which also feature his piano playing)

Can Broadway Do Without Me?/So I Ups To Him (both with Lou Clayton and Eddie Jackson)
Columbia 1860 (May 9 1929)

Inka Dinka Doo/Hot Patatta
Brunswick 6774 (February 13 1934)

Inka Dinka Doo/Umbriago
Decca 23351 (July 26 1944)

Durante – Patron Of The Arts/Start Off Each Day With A Song (with Eddie Jackson)
Decca 23566 (September 26 1944) 

Who Will Be With You When I’m Far Away?/So I Ups To Him (with Eddie Jackson)
Decca 23567 (October 3 and 18 1944)

Joe Goes Up – I Comes Down/Jimmy The Well Dressed Man (with Eddie Jackson)
Decca 23568 (October 18 1944)

(Jimmy also recorded Broadway My Street at the October 3 1944 session, but it was not issued)

There Are Two Sides To Every Girl/G’Wan Home, Your Mudder’s Callin’
Majestic 1059 (August 1946)

I’m Feeling Mighty Low/I’ll Do The Strut Away In My Cutaway
MGM 30015 (May 1947)

I’m The Guy Who Found The Lost Chord/Little Bit This, Little Bit That
MGM 30035 (May 1947)

Chidabee-Ch-Ch/The Day I Read A Book
MGM 30084 (November 28 and December 5 1947)

The State Of Arkansas/Dollar A Year Man
MGM 30169 (November 28 1947)

Fugitive From Esquire/lt’s My Nose’s Birthday
MGM 30207 (December 5 1947)

Any State In The Forty-Eight Is Great/The Pussy Cat Song (both with Betty Garrett)
MGM 30176 (December 1949)

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo/Take An “L”
MGM 30226 (December 1949)

I’m A Vulture For Horticulture/A-Raz-A-Ma-Tazz
MGM 30238 (May 1950)

Bill Bailey, Won’t You Please Come Home/What You Goin’ To Do When The Rent Comes Round (both with Eddie Jackson)
MGM 30255 (May 1950) 

Frosty The Snowman/Christmas Comes But Once A Year
MGM 30257 (June 1950)

The Song’s Gotta Come From The Heart/A Real Piano Player (both with Helen Traubel)
RCA./Victor 12-3229 (January 26 1951)

How D’Yo Do And Shake Hands/Black Strap Molasses (both with Danny Kaye, Groucho Marx and Jane Wyman)
Decca 27748 (August 12 1951)

You Say The Nicest Things/If You Catch A Little Cold (both with Ethel Merman)
Decca 27865 (November 26 and 29 1951)

A Husband, A Wife (with Ethel Merman)/flip side unknown
Decca 29248 (November 26 1951)

I Like People/Yankee Doodle Bunny
Golden BR-9 (early 1952)

Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer/Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town
Golden BR-13 (early 1952)

Pupalina/Little People
Decca 29354(November 4 1954)

It’s Bigger Than Both Of Us (with Patty Andrews)/When The Circus Leaves Town
Decca 29537(April 21 1955)

Swingin’ With Rhythm And Blues (with Peter Lawford)/I Love You, I Do (with Eddie Jackson)
Decca 29581 (April 21 1955)

Jimmy Durante (In Person) At The Piano
Decca DL LP (7)8884 (tracks recorded January 30, February 2 and 3 1959)
Start Off Each Day With A Song
Mad Bird Melody
I Want A Girl
Inka Dinka Doo
You Made Me Love You
Carolina In The Morning
By The Light Of The Silvery Moon
Take An “L”
Shine On Harvest Moon
The Best Things In Life Are Free
Ida, Sweet As Apple Cider
Goodnight

Jimmy Durante At The Copacabana
Roulette LP 25123, CD  (1961 live cabaret performance)
I Could Have Danced All Night + It’s My Nose’s Birthday
Everywhere You Go It’s Still The Same Old Broadway + Ev’ry Street’s A Boulevard In Old New York + Bill Bailey, Won’t You Please Come Home + And They Became Good Friends
My Loving Melody Man + Ragtime Daddy + I Love You, I Do
Introduction
She’s A Little Bit This, A Little Bit That + Take Away The Beret
We’re Goin’ Home + Who Will Be With You When I’m Far Away?
Please Don’t Talk About Us When We’re Gone
You Made Me Love You
Say It With Flowers
Inka Dinka Doo + Goodnight, Goodnight

September Song
Warner Bros. LP W(S) 1506 (1963)
September Song
Look Ahead, Little Girl
Count Your Blessings Instead Of Sheep
When The Circus Leaves Town
I Believe
Young At Heart
Don’t Lose Your Sense Of Humor
You’ll Never Walk Alone
One Room Home
Bluebird Of Happiness

Hello Young Lovers
Warner Bros. LP W(S) 1531 (1964)
Hello Young Lovers
Try A Little Tenderness
Smile
Hi-Lili, Hi- Lo
Love In A Home
This Is All I Ask
The Glory Of Love
You Can’t Have Everything
In The Other Fellow’s Yard
The Time Is Now

Jimmy Durante’s Way Of Life
Warner Bros. LP W(S) 1577 (1965)
A Way Of Life
My Wish
As Time Goes By
Make Someone Happy
I’ll Be Seeing You
When Day Is Done
When I Lost You
If I Had You
Once To Every Heart
I’ll See You In My Dreams

One Of Those Songs
Warner Bros. LP W(S) 1655 (1966)
One Of Those Songs
You’re Nobody Till Somebody Loves You
Bill Bailey, Won’t You Please Come Home
(I Wonder) What Became Of Life
Margie
Old Man Time
We’re Going UFO’ing
Daddy
This Train
Mame

Songs For Sunday
Warner Bros. LP W(S) 1713 (1967)
Down By The Riverside
Precious Lord
He Touched Me
In The Garden
Somebody’s Keeping Score
Amen
Beyond The Sunset
Peace In The Valley
His Eye
One Of These Days

Hellzapoppin’/M.F. O’Brien
Warner Bros. single 7024 (c. 1967)

Jimmy Durante on Comedy
Laugh.com CD LGH 2235 (2008)
Jimmy is interviewed by Larry Wilde
Training on the Piano
Internationally Known
How Old
Clayton, Jackson and Durante
Off Color Material
Developing Taste
Smoking a Cigar
A Good Song
Which Title Belongs to You
Magic with the Audience
Emotional Scars
Exercise and Quality

Recordings of Jimmy’s radio and television performances may be found on the following releases

Club Durant
Decca LP DL 9049, MCA CD MCAD 20889
(radio and TV duets from 1948 – 1955)
A Real Piano Player (with Al Jolson)
I’m As Ready As I’ll Ever Be (with Sophie Tucker)
There’s A Place In The Theatre For You + Who Will Be With You When I’m Far Away (with Ethel
Barrymore)
Start Off Each Day With A Song + Bill Bailey, Will You Please Come Home + I Can Do Without Broadway + Jimmy The Well-Dressed Man + So I Ups To Him + Because They All Love You (with Lou Clayton and Eddie Jackson)
Sing Soft, Sing Sweet, Sing Gentle (with Bing Crosby)
Our Voices Were Made For Each Other + Put On Your Old Gray Bonnet + Waiting For The Robert E. Lee (with Helen Traubel)
The Boys With The Proboskis (with Bob Hope)
The World Needs New Faces + Start Off Each Day With A Song + If You Knew Susie (with
Eddie Cantor)
Wingin’ With Rhythm And Blues (with Peter Lawford)

Jimmy Durante On Radio
Radiola LP MR-1080
features the complete Durante broadcast of December 3 1947 (with guest Charles Boyer)
plus a selection of extracts

Jimmy Durante And Garry Moore Show
Memorabilia LP MLP 721
features the complete broadcast of May 23 1947

The Great Radio Comedians
Murray Hill 5-LP set 931699
features the complete Durante broadcast of November 22 1946

Songs By Sinatra
PJ Records LP PJ 003, Castle/Pulse CD PLSCD 550
features two complete Songs By Sinatra broadcasts with guest Jimmy Durante …
February 27 1946 and November 26 1946

Jimmy Durante And Carmen Miranda
Amalgamated/Maracaibo LP M-809
features a 1955 Durante television soundtrack with guest Carmen Miranda

The Legend Of Jimmy Durante
Show-Biz Records SB-1002
a tribute to Jimmy narrated by Walter Winchell which features a selection of radio and TV extracts:
I Could Have Danced All Night
What A Day, What A Day, What A Day
You Gotta Start Off Each Day With A Song
Razz-A-Ma-Tazz
It’s Kinda Hard To Put It In Words
State Of Arkansas
Pike’s Peak Or Bust
I Love Ya, Love Ya, Love Ya
The Boys With The Proboskis (with Bob Hope)
If You Knew Susie (with Eddie Cantor)
I’m As Ready As I’ll Ever Be (with Sophie Tucker)
Inka Dinka Doo
I’ll Do The Strut-Away In My Cutaway
September Song
Young At Heart
Goodnight

Dick Tracy In B Flat
Curtain Calls 100/1, Pro Arte CD CDD 505
Jimmy is featured in this all-star AFRS Command Performance broadcast of February 15 1945

Mail Call
Tandem LP 1903, LaserLight CD 15 413
Jimmy is featured on an all-star AFRS Mail Call broadcast number 91

Command Performance Victory Extra
Radiola LP MR 1100
Jimmy is featured in this all-star AFRS Command Performance broadcast of August 15 1945

Christmas Command Performance
Nostalgia 2LP 003/004
Jimmy is featured in this all-star AFRS  Command Performance broadcast of December 1944

Alice Through The Looking Glass
R.C.A. LP LOC/LSO 1130
Jimmy is featured in the soundtrack of the television special screened on NBC on November 6 1966

Frosty The Snowman
MGM LP SE 4733
Jimmy is featured in the soundtrack of the television special screened on CBS on December 5 1971

Start Off Each Day With A Song
JSP CD 701 (1990)
Jimmy is heard in excerpts from Bing Crosby’s Philco Radio Time broadcasts of
December 4 1946, April 16 1947, October 8 1947, February 4 1948 and February 2 1949

September Song
Natasha Imports CD NI 4026 (1993)
Songs and comedy spots from …
Command Performance (#81, #198, #183, #251, #268, #172)
Stars For Defense (#24)
The Jimmy Durante Rexall Show (1947/8 season)
Songs By Sinatra (1946)
The Jimmy Durante TV Show (1954)
Summer Playhouse (1954)

Durante: Patron Of The Arts
Viper’s Nest CD VN 151 (1994)
songs and comedy spots from NBC Rexall Jimmy Durante Show broadcasts in the 1947/8 season

I Say It With Music
Viper’s Nest CD VN 169 (1995)
songs and comedy spots from NBC Rexall Jimmy Durante Show broadcasts in the 1947/8 season

The Golden Age Of Comedy – Jimmy Durante
Castle/Pulse CD PLSCD 442 (2000)
Move The State Of Arkansas …
Happy Sam The Record Man
Cyrano
Pirates
Blind Dates
Making Don Ameche’s Wife Jealous

Radio Stars Of America – Jimmy Durante
Living Era CD AJA 5591 (2005)
Whatever Happened To Vaudeville? (with Bing Crosby and Dick Haymes)
Three Musketeers (with Alan Young)
Boys With The Proboscis (with Bob Hope)
Bill Bailey, Won’t You Please Come Home (with Tallulah Bankhead and Eddie Jackson)
Lady Durante Impersonator/Mad For That Man (with Rose Marie and Alan Young)
Broadway Melodies (with Eddie Cantor)
British Take Over The Show (with Arthur Treacher)
Date With Lucille Ball (with Lucille Ball and Arthur Treacher)
Any State In The 48 Is Great (with Alan Young)
I’ll Do The Strutaway In My Cutaway + Who Will Be With You When I’m Far Away? (with Frank Sinatra)

Jimmy Durante
EMI./Gold CD 2272592 (2008)

Madman for a Massage
Bill Bailey, Won’t You Please Come Home
Mad for That Man
Make the Best of It
Reforming the Greatest Act in Show Biz (with Clayton and Jackson)
Durante, Patron of the Arts
Duet with Crosby (with Bing Crosby)
The Day I Read a Book
Take a W
Pike’s Peak or Bust
Duet with Cantor (with Eddie Cantor)
Reforming the Greatest Act in Show Biz (with Clayton and Jackson)
I’m the Guy Who Found the Lost Chord
I’m a Vulture for Horticulture
Little Bit This, Little Bit That
Durante the Candidate (with Victor Moore)
Election Song (with Bing Crosby)
The State of Arkansas

Soundtrack recordings of Jimmy’s movie appearances may be found on the following releases

Beau James
Imperial LP 9041, London LP HA-P 2056 (1957)
His Honour, The Mayor Of New York
The Sidewalks Of New York (duet with Bob Hope)

Jumbo
Columbia LP OL 5860/OS 2260 (1963)
The Circus On Parade (duet with Doris Day and Martha Raye)
The Most Beautiful Girl In The World
Sawdust, Spangles And Dreams (duet with Doris Day, Martha Raye and Stephen Boyd)

Those Daring Young Men In Their Jaunty Jalopies
Paramount LP PAS 5006 (also released as Monte Carlo Or Bust Paramount LP SPFL 255) (1969)
Jimmy sings Monte Carlo Or Bust

reissues of Jimmy’s studio recordings may be found on the following releases

Jimmy Durante
Decca 10”LP DL 5116
Inka Dinka Doo
Umbriago
Start Off Each Day With A Song (with Eddie Jackson)
I’m Durante – The Patron Of The Arts
Who Will Be With You When I’m Far Away?
So I Ups To Him (with Eddie Jackson)
Jimmy, The Well-Dressed Man (with Eddie Jackson)
Joe Goes Up – I Come Down

Jimmy Durante Sings/Eddie Cantor Sings
British Decca/Ace Of Hearts LP AH 25
Inka Dinka Doo
Umbriago
I’m Durante – The Patron Of The Arts
So I Ups To Him (with Eddie Jackson)
Jimmy, The Well-Dressed Man (with Eddie Jackson)
Joe Goes Up – I Comes Down
plus seven Eddie Cantor vocals

Jimmy Durante In Person
MGM 10”LP E 542
I’ll Do The Strut Away In My Cutaway
Fugitive From Esquire
Chidabee-Ch-Ch
The Day I Read A Book
I’m The Guy Who Found The Lost Chord
It’s My Nose’s Birthday
Dollar A ­Year Man
The State Of Arkansas

Jimmy Durante In Person
MGM LP 3256
(re-reissued as The Very Best Of Jimmy Durante and The Special Magic Of Jimmy Durante)
Bill Bailey, Won’t You Please Come Home (with Eddie Jackson)
What You Gonna Do When The Rent Comes ‘Round (with Eddie Jackson)
A-Razz-A-Ma-Tazz
I’m A Vulture For Horticulture
It’s My Nose’s Birthday
I’ll Do The Strut Away In My Cutaway
I’m The Guy Who Found The Lost Chord
The Day I Read A Book
Fugitive From Esquire
Chidabee-Ch-Ch
The State Of Arkansas
Dollar-A-Year Man

As Time Goes By
Harmony LP HS 11287
a collection of 1960s Warner Bros. recordings:
As Time Goes By
When Day Is Done
I’ll See You In My Dreams
Try A Little Tenderness
If I Had You
Smile
Make Someone Happy
Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo
The Glory Of Love

As Time Goes By: The Best Of Jimmy Durante
Warner Archives CD 45456-2 (1993)
As Time Goes By
If I Had You
Smile
Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo
Make Someone Happy
Young At Heart
Hello Young Lovers
Try A Little Tenderness
The Glory Of Love
I’ll Be Seeing You
September Song
I’ll See You In My Dreams

Hello Young Lovers + One of Those Songs
Collectables CD COL CD 7683
reissues all the tracks included  on the two 1960s Warner Bros. LPs

The Great Schnozzle
ASV/Living Era CD AJA 5271 (1998)
Inka Dinka Do (1934 version)
Can Broadway Do Without Me? (with Lou Clayton and Eddie Jackson)
Hot Patatta
Umbiago
Durante – The Patron Of The Arts
Start Off Each Day With A Song (with Eddie Jackson)
Who Will Be With You When I’m Far Away?
So I Ups To Him (with Eddie Jackson)
Joe Goes Up – I Come Down
Jimmy, The Well-Dressed Man (with Eddie Jackson)
There Are Two Sides To Every Girl (with Eddie Jackson)
G’wan Home, Your Mudder’s Callin’ (with Eddie Jackson)
I’m Feeling Mighty Low (with Candy Candido)
I’ll Do The Strut Away In My Cutaway
I’m The Guy Who Found The Lost Chord
Little Bit This, Little Bit That
Chidabee-Ch-Ch
It’s My Nose’s Birthday (with Eddie Jackson)
The Day I Read A Book
Fugitive From Esquire
The Song’s Gotta Come From The Heart (1949 radio duet with Al Jolson)
A Real Piano Player (1949 radio duet with Al Jolson)
Inka Dinka Do (1944 version)

 

Books

Night Clubs
by Jimmy Durante and Jack Kofoed (Alfred A. Knopf, New York 1931)

Schnozzola – The Story Of Jimmy Durante
by Gene Fowler (Viking Press, New York 1951)

Goodnight Mrs. Calabash
by William Cahn (Duell, Sloan And Pearce, New York, 1963)

I Remember Jimmy – The Life And Times Of Jimmy Durante
by Irene Adler (Arlington House, New York 1980)

Inka Dinka Doo – The Life Of Jimmy Durante
by Jhan Robbins (Paragon House, New York. 1991)

Jimmy Durante – His Show Business Career
by David Bakish (McFarland, 1995)

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