PERFORMERS: DANNY KAYE

Born: January 18 1911
Died: March 3 1987

DannyKayeby PETER TATCHELL (reprinted from LAUGH MAGAZINE #8, 1993)

Like the title of his 1955 movie, Danny Kaye was indeed a court jester. A favourite of royalty, to the public at large he was a truly great clown. For twenty years he was a top Hollywood star but perhaps his greatest success was on stage at the London Palladium where his rapport with the audience was legendary.

Throughout his career he maintained an endearing childlike quality which not only appealed to adults, but created an instant rapport with youngsters, with whom he spent a great part of his later years as a goodwill ambassador for U.N.I.C.E.F. Like his friend Jack Benny he made many fundraising appearances with the world’s leading orchestras and his mixture of pantomime and musical mimicry proved a delight to theatregoers everywhere.

Danny was born David Daniel Kaminsky in Brooklyn, New York in 1913, the third son of immigrant Russian parents. From an early age he would launch into a song or rhyme for his family and schoolfriends and it wasn’t difficult to predict that some day the world of show business might provide a career path for the boy.

In his teens he attempted less colourful occupations but his heart was set on performing. Eventually, he and a friend took jobs at a resort in the Catskill Mountains of New York entertaining holidaymakers. Like many another Jewish entertainer, the ‘Borscht Belt’ became a stepping stone towards later success.

Throughout the 1930s he progressed to burlesque and touring shows and at one point travelled to the Far East where his talent for vocal gymnastics and eccentric movement gained enthusiastic response. Back home, times were tough and the theatrical profession no easier than the rest of the country. At one point he worked as assistant to the famed stripteaser Sally Rand and later he and a partner appeared in a show with bandleader Abe Lyman.

Like many other artists, he dreamed that one day he’d be in the movies and in 1937 made his motion picture debut — not in a big budget Hollywood feature, but in a series of two-reeler quickies churned out at the Astoria Studios on Long Island by Educational Pictures.

In front of the cameras during the day, Danny was back entertaining live audiences in the evenings. His renditions of such songs as ‘Dinah’ and ‘Minnie The Moocher’ so captivated a British impresario in the audience that he was offered an engagement at London’s fashionable Dorchester Hotel.

He and partner Nick Long Jr performed before the creme de la creme for six weeks and died every night. In later years, he surmised that he’d come on too strong for the audience, although other appearances outside London went far more successfully. It was during this trip Danny Kaye made his television debut at the studios of the BBC (though the number of sets in use at the time wouldn’t have been all that great).

Back in New York, and working as a single, he was given a part in a show called The Straw Hat Revue which made it to Broadway in late 1939. Though featuring Imogene Coca and Alfred Drake, Danny was the hit of the production with a novelty number called Anatole Of Paris written by a young songwriter called Sylvia Fine. The pair would soon marry.

Broadway beckoned again in January 1941 with a featured role in the Gertrude Lawrence musical Lady In The Dark and the legendary leading lady was forced to share the show’s success with a red-headed scene-stealer who stopped the show with a jawbreaking rendition of Tschaikowsky in which he rattled off the names of fifty Russian composers. A month after the opening Danny Kaye made his first visit to a recording studio and performed four of the show’s numbers for the Columbia label.

Later that year, Danny was given top billing in Cole Porter’s Let’s Face It, a show destined to be a long runner and in which he’d perform his legendary scat song Melody in 4F (later repeated in his first feature film). As America entered the Second World War he was now acclaimed a top star on Broadway and in nightclubs.

The only real goal left for Danny to conquer was Hollywood, and famous moviemaker Samuel Goldwyn was the catalyst to make it happen. In the 1930s Goldwyn had produced a series of comedic moneyspinners starring Eddie Cantor and in 1944 he decided to repeat the process by adapting his first Cantor talkie Whoopee into a vehicle for Kaye. Retitled Up In Arms, and with a topical wartime setting added, it was an enormous success for the producer, not to mention the star.

A follow-up, Wonder Man (the first of several double roles Danny would play on screen), was also a firm favourite with moviegoers and the Kayes could confidently relocate to the west coast.

Beer giant Pabst Blue Ribbon liked what they saw in the popular newcomer and sponsored him in a weekly primetime radio series. Although the program wasn’t a huge rater it did run to a second season and cemented his place as a top name performer. And when he went on a six-week overseas tour to entertain troops in late 1945, top show business names like Sinatra, Garland, Burns and Allen, Benny and Cantor were engaged to host the show during his absence.

Meanwhile Danny was also hard at work at the Goldwyn Studios in a reworking of Harold Lloyd’s The Milky Way now called The Kid From Brooklyn. Then a film many regard as Kaye’s best, The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty which allowed him to portray a gallery of outlandish characterizations as the daydreaming hero created by James Thurber.

In December 1946 Danny and Sylvia adopted a baby girl (named ‘Dena’) but the following year was not destined to be a happy one for the Kayes. Marital problems led to a temporary separation some months later, and his new Goldwyn feature A Song Is Born was far too subdued a venture for his hordes of fans.

It was also a time when the Hollywood community was being put under the microscope by The House Un-American Activities Committee who were convinced the movie industry was riddled with communists. Danny joined Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall and several other film notables who travelled to Washington to protest the committee’s tactics. And like Ed Murrow a decade later, he had to contend with a lot of mud slinging as a result.

Compared to the previous year, 1948 was a revelation. From personal and public tribulations Danny enjoyed the greatest triumph of his career. It took place on the stage of the London Palladium where his spontaneous blend of music and humour captivated British theatregoers for a spectacular season of appearances. It was the stuff of show business legend and no single act received as much public adulation before or since. Some months later he returned to be a special guest at that year’s Royal Command Performance.

Back in Hollywood, Danny had parted with Sam Goldwyn and made his next feature, The Inspector General, for Warners (for whom he also did a comedy walk-on in the Doris Day film It’s A Great Feeling). His London success caused a great demand for live performances and it was not until a couple of years later that he again appeared before movie cameras, in a 20th Century Fox movie On The Riviera (again playing two roles).

He agreed to return to Goldwyn for Hans Christian Andersen in 1952 which, apart from having an integrated musical score, proved an all time winner with children of all ages. Danny then moved to Paramount where he joined Bing Crosby in the Irving Berlin songfest White Christmas and starred m two motion picture gems.

Knock On Wood saw him cast as a mixed-up ventriloquist caught in a web of espionage and mayhem, while The Court Jester blended comedy, action and melody into box-office gold. They marked the end of his peak years on the movie screen and the Kaye career started to change direction.

He continued to make live appearances and the occasional film but by the end of the decade had turned his attention to television, first with a couple of one-hour specials then, in 1963, a weekly series.

The Danny Kaye Show was a lighthearted mix of songs and comedy with guests like Gene Kelly, Lucille Ball and a swag of familiar names from TV, Broadway and the popular music scene dropping by to join in the fun. Gwen Verdon, Art Carney and Imogene Coca appeared on several occasions as did the Clinger Sisters and John Gary. And in the comedy segments Danny was ably supported by Harvey Korman and Howard Morris. The show lasted four seasons on CBS and ran to over 120 programs.

When it finished in 1967 Danny seemed to step out of the limelight to a degree. He agreed to appear in a supporting role in the Katharine Hepburn movie The Madwoman Of Chaillot which was a box-office disaster, then a year later was back on Broadway in a Richard Rodgers musical Two By Two.

Playing biblical hero Noah, Danny virtually dominated the proceedings, adlibbing and working in bits of business much to the displeasure of the cast and crew, but to the delight of a large number of theatregoers. The production was further disrupted when Kaye tore a ligament in his leg three months into the run, and after a short layoff insisted on continuing his role in a wheelchair.

Now approaching his sixties, Danny saw no point in trying to recapture earlier triumphs, and preferred to spend his time helping U.N.I.C.E.F. or occasionally lending his name and comical conducting talents for the benefit of a symphony orchestra, In 1976 he starred in television versions of two classic children’s stories Peter Pan and Pinocchio and soon after joined the Muppets for a half-hour of colourful silliness.

In 1980, he agreed to return to the stage at the London Palladium as the featured artist at that year’s Royal Variety Performance (specially staged for the Queen Mother’s 80th birthday). Turning the clock back over thirty years he relived memories of that earlier Royal performance when he was at the peak of his career.

Health problems began to appear soon after, and he became more reclusive then ever. He lent his dramatic talents to the telemovie Skokie in 1981 and apart from a straight acting role in a 1985 Twilight Zone revival and a guest spot on Bill Cosby’s TV show, the Kaye career was over.

The jester with the nimble-tongue and playful charm died in 1987 and children around the globe mourned his passing.

 

MOVIES

Dime A Dance (1937 Educational 2 reeler) 18 min

Getting An Eyeful (1937 Educational 2 reeler) 18 min

Money Or Your Life (1938 Educational 2 reeler) 18 min

Cupid Takes A Holiday (1938 Educational 2 reeler) 15 min

Night Shift (1942 short)

Up In Arms (1944 Goldwyn/RKO) 105 min/colour

Wonder Man (1945 Goldwyn/RKO) 98 min/colour

The Kid From Brooklyn (1946 Goldwyn/RKO) 114 min/colour

The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty (1947 Goldwyn/RKO) 110 min/colour

A Song Is Born (1948 Goldwyn/RKO) 113 min/colour

The Inspector General (1949 Warner Bros) 102 min/colour (aka Happy Times)

It’s A Great Feeling (1949 Warner Bros) 85 min/colour (* cameo only)

On The Riviera (1951 20th Century Fox) 90 min/colour

Hans Christian Andersen (1952 Goldwyn/RKO) 120 min/colour

Knock On Wood (1954 Paramount) 103 min/colour

White Christmas (1954 Paramount) 120 min/colour

Assignment Children (1955Paramount short)

Hula From Hollywood (1954 short)

The Court Jester (1955 Paramount) 101 min/colour

Merry Andrew (1958 MGM) 103 min/colour

Me And The Colonel (1958 Columbia) 109 min/b&w

The Five Pennies (1959 Paramount) 117 min/colour

On The Double (1961 Paramount) 92 min/colour

The Man From The Diners’ Club (1963 Columbia) 96 min/b&w

The Madwoman Of Chaillot (1969 Warner Bros/Seven Arts) 132mins/colour

 

RADIO

The Danny Kaye Show
(sponsored by Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer)

Series 1: CBS Saturdays January 6 to April 21 1945 and Fridays April 27 to June 1 1945 (22 editions)
with Lionel Stander, Eve Arden and Harry James Orchestra
recordings of Jan 6 to Mar 24, Apr 7, Apr 27 and May 11 are with collectors

Series 2: CBS Fridays September 28 1945 to May 31 1946 (36 editions)
with Butterfly McQueen, Jim Backus, Goodman Ace, Everett Sloane, Kenny Delmar and Dave Terry’s Orchestra
Kaye was absent entertaining troops from October 5 to November 9 1945*.
He was replaced by Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Burns & Allen, Jack Benny and Ed “Archie” Gardner.
Oct 5*, Oct 26*, Nov 9*, Jan 25, Feb 15, Mar 1, Apr 27 and May 24 are with collectors

Danny also appeared in a number of 1940s AFRS broadcasts …

Command Performance
#134 (August 19 1944)
Christmas 1944 edition (October 1944)(135 min)
#184 (July 19 1945)
Victory Extra edition (August 14 1945)(120 min)
#221 (spring 1946)
#228 (summer 1946)
5th Anniversary edition (aired May 29 1947)(60 min compilation)
#309 (early 1948)
#357 (late 1948)
#362 (early 1949)
#415 (December 20 1949)

Mail Call
#84 (March 29 1944)
#115 (October 25 1944)
#265 (September 24 1947)
#320 (October 13 1948)
#333 (early 1949)

G.I. Journal
#93 (May 8 1945)
#136 (date unknown)

A Salute From The U.S.O.
(aired February 1 1949) (30 min compilation)

Danny hosted The Bob Hope Story
BBC R2 May 17 to June 7 1978 (4 x 50 min)

RADIO TRIBUTES

The Entertainers
BBC R4 December 8 1972 (45 min)

Celebration
BBC R4 April 23 1975 (45 min)

The Secret Life Of Danny Kaye
BBC R2 April 18 1993 (2 hours)
hosted by Michael Freedland

Make ‘Em Laugh
episode about Danny Kaye: BBC R2 September 30 1997 (30 min)

Knock On Wood – The Danny Kaye Story
BBC R2 November 2 1997
hosted by Max Bygraves

 

TELEVISION

An Hour With Danny Kaye (CBS Oct 30 1960) 60 min

The Danny Kaye Show (CBS Nov 6 1961) 60 min

The Danny Kaye Show (CBS) 60 min

Series 1: September 251963 to April 29 1964 (32 editions)
September 25, 1963  Jackie Cooper, Lovelady Powell, Joe And Eddie
October 2 1963  Jose Ferrer, Red Norvo Quintet, The Johnny Mann Singers
October 9, 1963  Carol Lawrence, Joe And Eddie, Don Knotts
October 16, 1963  Mary Tyler Moore, Eddie Way Jr.
October 23,1963  Gene Kelly, Michele Lee, The Clinger Sisters
October 30, 1963  Juliet Prowse, Howard Morris, The Levee Singers
November 6, 1963  Art Carney, Joannie Summers
November I3, 1963  Eilleen Farrell, Louis Jourdan, The Amazing Mr. Ballantine
November 20, 1963  Gwen Verdon, The Clinger Sisters
November 27, 1963  Nancy Walker, Mahalia Jackson, TheClinger Sisters
December 4, 1963  Glynnis Johns, Jo Stafford, The Big Three
December II, 1963  Julie Newmar, The Ruffinos, Howard Morris
December 18, 1963  Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Andy Williams
December 25, 1963  Mary Tyler Moore, Nat King Cole, The Clinger Sisters
January 1, 1964  Esquivel, Jack Weston, Nita Talbot, The Clinger Sisters
January 8, 1964  Terry-Thomas, Marilyn Lovell
January 15,1964  Jackie Cooper, Dorothy Collins, The Clinger Sisters
January 22, 1964  Art Carney, Joe And Eddie, Rod Serling
January 29, 1964  Diahann Carroll
February 5, 1964  Imogene Coca, Joe And Eddie
February 12, 1964  Peter Falk, Michele Lee, Pete Fountain
February 19, 1964  John Mills, Hayley Mills, Joe And Eddie
February 26, 1964  Buddy Ebsen, Marilyn Lovell, Howard Morris
March 4, 1964  Art Carney, The Macri Dancers
March 11, 1964  Diahann Carroll
March 18, 1964  Nancy Walker, Joe And Eddie
March 25, 1964  Tony Bennett, Howard Morris
April 1, 1964  Dorothy Collins, Howard Morris
April 8, 1964  Bea Benaderet, Andy Griffiths, Jim Nabors
April 15, 1964  Mary Tyler Moore, The Young Folk
April 22, 1964  Vincent Price, Shari Lewis, Howard Morris
April 29, 1964  Pat Carroll, Ferrante And Teicher

Series 2: September 23 1964 to April 28 1965 (32 editions)
September 23 1964  Gwen Verdon, The Rhythm Masters
September 30 1964  Phil Silvers, Barbara McNair
October 7 1964  Imogene Coca, Joe And Eddie
October 14 1964  Mary Tyler Moore, Danny Cox
October 21 1964  Angela Lansbury, John Gary
October 28 1964  Jose Ferrer, Dorothy Collins
November 4 1964  Lucille Ball, John Gary
November 11 1964  Howard Morris, Shari Lewis
November 18 1964  Diahann Carroll, The Clinger Sisters
November 25 1964  Gwen Verdon
December 2 1964  Art Carney, Pearl Bailey
December 9 1964  Tony Bennett, Imogene Coca
December 16 1964  Howard Morris, Pat Carroll, Joe And Elidie
December 23 1964  Gwen Verdon, Jo Stafford, Victoria Meyerinck
December 30 1964  Buddy Ebsen, Pat Carroll
January 6 1965  Peter Falk, Dorothy Collins
January 13 1965  Vincent Price, Dyan Cannon
January 20 1965  Imogene Coca, NancyWilson
January 27 1965  Irene Ryan, Bessie Griffin, The Gospel Pearls
February 3 1965  Fred Gwynne, John Gary
February 10 1965  “TOP HAT, WHITE TIE AND GOLF SOCKS” with Gwen Verdon
February 17 1965  Elke Summer, Pat Carroll
February 24 1965  Shirley Bassey, Werner Klemperer
March 3 1965  Imogene Coca, Joe And Eddie
March 10 1965  Jim Nabors, Oscar Peterson
March 17 1965  Imogene Coca, Enzo Stuarti
March 24 1965  Jason Robards, Lauren Bacall, Danny Cox
March 31 1965  Howard Morris, Kit Smythe
April 7 1965  Nanette Fabray, Gary Coster, Astrud Gilberto
April 14 1965  Gwen Verdon
April 21 1965  Tony Randall, Shani Wallis
April 28 1965  Charles Aznavour, Stan Worth

Series 3: September 15 1965 to April 20 1966 (30 editions)
September 15 1965  Harry Belafonte, Nana Mouskouri
September 22 1965  Herman’s Hermits, Nana Mouskouri, Richard Crenna
September 29 1965  The Righteous Brothers, Shirley Jones
October 6 1965  Fess Parker, Clint Eastwood, Buddy Ebsen
October 13 1965  Caterina Valente, Benny Goodman
October 27 1965  Dinah Shore , Herb Alpert And The Tijuana Brass
November 3 1965  Pat Boone, Carolyn Jones
November 10 1965  Marguerite Piazza, Freddie And The Dreamers
November 17 1965  Vikki Carr, Ray Walston
November 24 1965  Tennessee Ernie Ford, Lainie Kazan
December 1 1965  Gwen Verdon, John Astin, D’Aldo Romano
December 8 1965  Diahann Carroll, George Hamilton
December 15 1965  Vincent Price, Vikki Carr, Scott Carpenter
December 22 1965  Lawrence Harvey, Jean Simmons, John Gary
December 29 1965  Eddie Albert, Wayne Newton
January 5 1966  Alan Young, Liza Minelli, John Gary
January 12 1966  Bill Dana, Caterina Valente, D’Aldo Romano
January 19 1966  Tanmy Grimes, Bob Crane
January 26 1966  Robert Vaughn, Michel LeGrand, Joyce Cuoco
February 2 1966  Eddie Albert , Morgana King
February 9 1966  Eddie Arnold, Cyril Ritchard
February 16 1966  Tim Conway, John Gary
February 23 1966  Inger Stevens, Woody Herman And The Herd, The Clinger Sisters
March 2 1966  Robert Goulet, Joanne Woodward
March 9 1966  Nancy Wilson, John Gary
March 23 1966  Topol, Senta Berger, Herb Alpert And His Tijuana Band
March 30 1966  VikkiCarr, John Gary
April 6 1966  Vincent Price, John Gary
April 13 1966  Fred Gwynne, Edie Adams, Glenn Yarborough
April 20 1966  John Gary, Judy Armstrong

Series 4: September 14 1966 to April 12 1967 (30 editions)
September 14 1966  Ronny Howard, Susan Barrett, Donna Butterworth
September 21 1966  Eddie Albert, Vikki Carr, Sergio Mendez And Brazil 66
September 28 1966  Frankie Randall, The Peanuts
October 5 1966  Ella Fitzgerald, Buddy Greco, Sergio Mendez And Brazil 66
October 12 1966  Tim Conway, Barbara Minkus, The Peanuts
October 19 1966  Leslie Uggums, Steve Sanders, Victoria Meyerinck
October 26 1966  Eddie Albert, Joe Williams, The Peanuts
November 2 1966  Tony Randall, Vikki Carr
November 16 1966  Louis Armstrong, Caterina Valente
November 23 1966  Petula Clark, Stanley Holloway
November 30 1966  Nancy Wilson,Peter Ustinov, Frank Gorshin
December 7 1966  Shirley Jones, Sergio Mendez And Brazil 66
December 14 1966  Sergio Franchi, Sally Blair
December 21 1966  Peggy Lee, Wayne Newton
December 28 1966  Caterina Valente, Gilbert Becaud, Victoria Meyerinok
January 4 1967  Louis Armstrong, Victoria Meyerinck, The Kessler Twins
January 11 1967  Liberace, Vikki Carr, Victoria Meyerinck
January 18 1967  John Gary, Mireille Mathieu
January 25 1967  Peter Falk, Pat Carroll, The Lettermen
February 1 1967  Burl Ives, Barbara Rush
February 8 1967  Fred Gwynne, Vikki Carr
February 15 1967  Eddie Arnold, Millicent Martin
February 22 1967  Tim Conway, Izumi
March 1 1967  George Burns, Mireille Mathieu
March 8 1967  “GIOVANNI’S WEDDING” (five act musical)
March 15 1967  Roddy McDowell, Blossom Dearie
March 22 1967  Sergio Mendez And Brazil 66
March 29 1967  Diahann Carroll, Joyce Jameson, Herbie Faye
April 5 1967  Joanie Sommers, The Brothers Pour
April 12 1967  Robert Morley, The Arbors

with Harvey Korman and Paul Weston’s Orchestra

Pinocchio (CBS Mar 27 1976) 90 min
with Sandy Duncan, Flip Wilson, Liz Tones and Clive Revill

Peter Pan (CBS Dec 12 1976) 90 min
with Mia Farrow, Virginia McKenna, Paula Kelly, Briony McRoberts, Ian Sharrock, Adam Stafford and Jill Gascoine

Skokie (telemovie 1981) (aka Once They Marched Through A Thousand Towns) 150 min

 

DISCOGRAPHY

Tschaikowsky/Jenny
Columbia 78 36025 (Feb 28 1941)

The Princess Of Pure Delight/My Ship
Columbia 78 36042 (Feb 28 1941)

It’s Never Too Late To Mendelssohn/One Life To Live
Columbia 78 36163 (Mar 24 1941)

Dinah/Molly Malone
Columbia 78 36194 (May 5 1941)

Minnie The Moocher/Let’s Not Talk About Love
Columbia 78 36582 (May 5 1941/Jan 9 1942)

Farming/Anatole Of Paris
Columbia 78 36583 (Jan 9 1942/Jan 23 1942)

The Fairy Pipers/The Babbitt And The Bromide
Columbia 78 36584 (Jan 9 1942/Jan 23 1942)

Eileen/Dinah
Columbia 78 36585 (Jan 23 1942/May 5 1941)

Bloop Bleep/I Got A Song
Decca 78 23950 (May 7 1947)

Tubby The Tuba (parts 1 & 2)
Decca 78 90011 (May 13 1947)

What’s The Use Of Dreaming/I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now
Decca 78 24110 (May 14 1947)

Civilization/Bread And Butter Woman (both with the Andrews Sisters)
Decca 78 23940 (Sep 27 1947)

The Little Fiddle (parts 1 & 2)
Decca 78 88006 (Nov 28 1947)

When First My Old Old Love + In Enterprise Of Martial Kind/The Judge’s Song
Decca 78 24473 (Dec 2 1947)

The Policeman’s Song/If You’re Anxious For To Shine
Decca 78 24474 (Dec 2 1947)

Nightmare Song/The Moon And I
Decca 78 24475 (Dec 2 1947/Dec 19 1947)

St. Louis Blues/Ballin’ The Jack
Decca 78 24401 (Dec 10 1947/Dec 18 1947)

Oh, By Jingo!/non-Kaye vocal
Decca 78 24580 (Dec 10 1947)

Beatin’ Bangin’ N Scratchin’/Amelia Cordelia McHugh (both with the Andrews Sisters)
Decca 78 24536(Dec 12 1947)

Mad Dogs And Englishmen/Triplets
Decca 78 24745 (Dec 14 1947)

A Lullaby For Dena/Molly Malone
Decca 78 24445 (Dec 17 1947)

The Moon Is Your Pillow/non-Kaye vocal
Decca 78 24747 (Dec 19 1947)

Big Brass Band From Brazil/It’s A Quiet Town (both with the Andrews Sisters)
Decca 78 24361 (Dec 20 1947)

Lobby Number (Manic Depressive Presents)(parts 1 & 2)
Decca 78 24744 (Dec 20 1947)

Put ‘Em In A Box, Tie ‘Em With A Ribbon/The Woody Woodpecker (both with the Andrews Sisters)
Decca 78 24462 (Jun 4 1948)

Candy Kisses/Thank You (both with the Regalaires)
Decca 78 24623 (Mar 29 1949)

Honey Bun/There Is Nothing Like A Dame
Decca 78 24637 (Apr 18 1949)

A Merry Christmas At Grandmother’s House/All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth
(both with the Andrews Sisters)
Decca 78 24769 (Sep 14 1949)

My Name Is John Wellington Wells/When I Was A Lad
Decca 78 24865(Sep 28 1949)

I’ve Got A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts/The Peony Bush
Decca 78 24784 (Oct 2 1949)

Love Me Or Leave Me/Happy Times (both with the Lee Gordon Singers)
Decca 78 24820 (Nov 11 1949)

The Handout Song/The Wreck Of The Old ‘97
Decca 78 27050 (Dec 14 1949)

Wilhelmina/C’est Si Bon (both with the Lee Gordon Singers)
Decca 78 24932 (Feb 10 1950)

Confidentially/A Paper Full Of Fish And Chips
Decca 78 24965 (Feb 15 1950)

Pigalle/Ladies Ladies
Decca 78 27116 (May 18 1950/Jun 27 1950)

Hula Lou/I’ll Buy The Ring (And Change Your Name To Mine)
Decca 78 28815 (May 18 1950/Feb 27 1953)

Popo The Puppet/Tubby The Tuba Song
Decca 78 27199 (Jun 27 1950)

Tubby The Tuba At The Circus (parts 1 & 2)
Decca 78 88059 (Aug 18 1950)

Ching-Ara-Sa-Sa/Orange Colored Sky (both with the Andrews Sisters)
Decca 78 27261 (Sep 28 1950)

The Little White Duck/The Thing
Decca 78 27350 (Nov 12 1950)

The Liar Song (with Carol Richard)/I Left My Hat In Haiti (with Four Hits And A Miss)
Decca 78 27463 (Jan 16 1951)

I Taut I Taw A Puddy Tat/non-Kaye vocal
Decca 78 27456 (Jan 16 1951)

Rhythm Of A New Romance/Happy Ending
Decca 78 27596 (Mar 8 1951)

On The Riviera/non-Kaye vocal
Decca 78 27597 (Mar 8 1951)

I’m Late/The Walrus And The Carpenter
Decca 78 27564 (Mar 9 1951)

How D’Yo Do And Shake Hands/Black Strap Molasses
(both with Jimmy Durante, Groucho Marx and Jane Wyman)
Decca 78 27748 (Aug 12 1951)

Riley’s Daughter/Tongue Twisters
Decca 78 27822 (Sep 26 1951/Sep 27 1951)

Eat Eat Eat/Santa Claus Looks Like My Daddy
Decca 78 27829 (Sep 26 1951)

You’re For Me Mimi/Mademoiselle De Paree
Decca 78 28043 (Sep 27 1951)

There’s A Hole In The Bottom Of The Sea/Uncle Pockets
Decca 78 27895 (Dec 20 1951)

Wonderful Copenhagen/Anywhere I Wander
Decca 78 28379 (Aug 11 1952)

The King’s New Clothes/The Ugly Duckling
Decca 78 28382 (Aug 11 1952/Aug 12 1952)

Thumbelina/No Two People (with Jane Wyman)
Decca 78 28380 (Aug 12 1952/Aug 13 1952)

Inchworm/I’m Hans Christian Andersen
Decca 78 28381 (Aug 12 1952/Aug 13 1952)

In My Neck O’ The Woods/Manhattan Mambo
Decca 78 29396 (Oct 29 1952/Sep 2 1954)

What More Do You Want/I Love You That’s One Thing I Know
Decca 78 28665 (Oct 29 1952/Feb 27 1953)

I Belong To Glasgow + Good Old 149 + Tschaikowsky/Anatole Of Paris
Decca 78 28562 (Dec 20 1952)

Night Of My Nights/Not Since Ninevah
Decca 78 28953 (Oct 27 1953)

Knock On Wood/All About You
Decca 78 29079 (Feb 26 1954)
(Monahan O’Han, also recorded at this session, was not issued as a single)

Stories Of The Ballet’s Magic Toyshop (parts 1 & 2)
Decca 78 88164 (Mar 9 1954)

White Christmas (with Bing Crosby, Peggy Lee and Trudy Stevens)/Snow (with Bing Crosby)
Decca 78 29342 (Apr 10 1954)

The Old Man + Gee I Wish I Was Back In The Army (with Bing Crosby)/Mandy (with Bing Crosby)
Decca 78 29341 (Apr 10 1954/Oct 19 1954)

(Kaye/Crosby duets Blue Skies + I’d Rather See A Minstrel Show were recorded on Sep 9 1954 but not issued as singles)

The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing/Choreography
Decca 78 29290 (Sep 2 1954)

Yon-U-Ary/I Love You Fair Dinkum (Dinky Di I Do)
Decca 78 29685 (Aug 30 1955)

Life Could Not Better Be/Outfox The Fox
Decca 78 29726 (Sep 7 1955/Sep 17 1955)

Where Walks My True Love/My Heart Knows A Lovely Song
Decca 78 29719 (Sep 12 1955)
(other Court Jester vocals recorded on Sep 7, 15 and 27 1955 were not issued as singles)

Madam, I Love Your Crepe Suzette/My Darling Jenny Macoo
Decca 78 29874 (Sep 17 1955)

The Court Jester (parts 1 & 2)
Decca 78 88210 (Sep 21 1955/Sep 22 1955)

Little Child/Laugh It Off Upsy Daisy (both with Dena Kaye)
Decca 78 29806 (Dec 20 1955)

Delilah Jones/Molly-O
Decca 78 29904 (Mar 22 1956)

Love Me Do/Ciu Ciu Bella
Capitol 45 3603

D-O-D-G-E-R-S Song/Myti Kaysi At The Bat
Reprise 45 R20 105

Knock On Wood
Decca 10” LP DL 5527
Knock On Wood
All About You
End Of Spring (instrumental)
Monahan O’Han
Tongue Twisters
I’m Late
C’est Si Bon

White Christmas
Decca LP DL 8083 (studio recordings, not soundtrack)
includes two Kaye solo vocals:
The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing
Choreography
plus three duets with Bing Crosby:
The Old Man + Gee I Wish I Was Back In The Army
Blue Skies + I’d Rather See A Minstrel Show
Mandy
plus two vocals with Bing Crosby, Peggy Lee and Trudy Stevens:
Snow
White Christmas

The Court Jester
Decca LP DL 8212 (studio recordings, not soundtrack)
Overture (instrumental)
Life Could Not Better Be
Outfox The Fox
I’ll Take You Dreaming
My Heart Knows A Lovely Song
I Live To Love
Willow, Willow, Waley
Pass The Basket
The Maladjusted Jester
Where Walks My True Love?
Life Could Not Better Be

Merry Andrew
Capitol LP T 1016 (vocals taken from soundtrack)
The Pipes Of Pan
Chin Up, Stout Fellow (with Robert Coote and Rex Evans)
Everything Is Ticketty Boo
You Can’t Always Have What You Want (with Pier Angeli)
The Square Of The Hypotenuse
Salud

The Five Pennies
Dot LP (2)9500(vocals taken from soundtrack)
includes five solo Kaye vocals:
The Five Pennies
Indiana Radio montage
College Montage + Follow The Leader
Carnival Of Venice
Jingle Bells
plus three duets with Louis Armstrong:
Bill Bailey, Won’t You Please Come Home
Lullaby In Ragtime
The Five Pennies Saints
plus duet with Susan Gordon:
The Music Goes Round And Round
plus vocal with Louis Armstrong and Susan Gordon:
Good Night, Sleep Tight

Mommy, Gimme A Drinka Water
Capitol LP T 937 (reissued as SM 937 minus track: The New Baby)
Mommy, Gimme A Drinka Water
I’m Five
Bathtub Admiral
Playing On The See-Saw
The Thank-You Letter
The New Baby
Crazy Barbara
Colored Kisses
I’m Hiding
Just Imagine
Don’t Tickle Me
I Like Old People, Don’t You?
The Puddle

Danny Kaye
Dena Label LP (no number)
vocals take from The Danny Kaye Show television series:
The Great Come And Get It Day
C’est Si Bon
Oh, Baby Mine (I Get So Lonely)
Ciu Ciu Bella
Down By The Riverside
South Rampart Street Parade
Ballin’ The Jack
I’ve Got A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts
The Story Of Alice
Turn Around

Two By Two
Columbia LP S 30338, Sony CD SK 30338
original cast album from the Broadway musical features Kaye vocals

Six Stories From Faraway Places
Golden Records LP 62
The Farmer Of Babbia
The Big Oven
Master Of All Masters
The Most Remarkable Cat
Nail Broth
The Tale Of The Name Of The Tree

Fairy Tales From Hans Christian Andersen
Golden Records LP 74
The Princess And The Pea
Perfectly True
The Tinder Box
The Match Girl
The Ugly Duckling
The Steadfast Tin Soldier

Grimm’s Fairy Tales
Golden Records LP 92
Clever Gretel
Water Nixie
The Bean, The Straw And The Coal
Snow White And Rose Red
The Musicians Of Bremen
The Fox And The Geese
Rumpelstiltskin
Sweet Porridge

Up In Arms
Sountrak LP STK 113
unofficial release featuring four Kaye soundtrack vocals:
Lobby Number
Melody in 4F
Jive Number (with Dinah Shore)
All Out For Freedom

Danny Kaye
E.M.I. CD EMI 590504 2
Extracts from Danny Kaye broadcasts of the 1940s …
Pre-Show Jitters (with Eve Arden and Lionel Stander)
Brave Elevator Operator
Danovitch Kayoff – The Great Russian Impresario
Uncle Daniel’s Cabin
Cupid On Valentine’s Day
Stanislavsky
Financial Expert
The Case Of The Murdered Meatball

 

The following releases feature previously issued vocals …

Danny Kaye Collection
Columbia 10” LP CL 6023
Let’s Not Talk About Love
Farming
The Babbitt And The Bromide
Eileen
Minnie The Moocher
Anatole Of Paris
The Fairy Pipers
Dinah

Danny Kaye Entertains
Columbia 10” LP CL 6249
The Princess Of Pure Delight
One Life To Live
Molly Malone
It’s Never Too Late To Mendelssohn
Jenny
My Ship
Tschaikowsky

Pure Delight
Harmony LP HL 7012
Anatole Of Paris
Dinah
The Babbitt And The Bromide
Minnie The Moocher
The Fairy Pipers
Jenny
Tschaikowsky
It’s Never To Late To Mendelssohn
The Princess Of Pure Delight
Molly Malone

The Best Of Danny Kaye
Harmony LP HL 7314
same tracks as Pure Delight

Danny Kaye Album
Decca 10” LP DL 5033
Lobby Number (parts 1 & 2)
Triplets
Mad Dogs And Englishmen
A Lullaby For Dena
The Moon Is Your Pillow
The Little Fiddle (parts 1 & 2)

Gilbert And Sullivan And Danny Kaye
Decca 10” LP DL 5094
The Judge’s Song
When First My Old, Old Love I Knew + In Enterprise Of Martial Kind
The Policeman’s Song
If You’re Anxious For To Shine
Nightmare Song
The Moon And I
My Name Is John Wellington Wells
When I Was A Lad

Danny At The Palace
Decca 10” LP DL 6024
Anatole Of Paris
The Peony Bush
Ballin’ The Jack
I’ve Got A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts
I Belong To Glasgow + Good Old 149 + Tschaikowsky
Lobby Number (parts 1 & 2)
Triplets

Danny At The Palace
Decca 12” LP DL 8461
Anatole Of Paris
The Peony Bush
Ballin’ The Jack
Madam, I Love Your Crepe Suzette
Mad Dogs And Englishmen
I’ve Got A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts
I Belong To Glasgow + Good Old 149 + Tschaikowsky
Lobby Number (parts 1 & 2)
Hula Lou
Triplets
Not Since Ninevah

The Best Of Danny Kaye
Decca 2LP set DX(S) (7)175
Ballin’ The Jack
Anatole Of Paris
Anywhere I Wander
Madam, I Love Your Crepe Suzette
The Policeman’s Song
I’m Late
Pigalle
Molly Malone
I’ve Got A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts
The Peony Bush
The Handout Song
Lobby Number (parts 1 & 2)
St. Louis Blues
I Got A Song
I Belong To Glasgow + Good Old 149 + Tschaikowsky
Where Walks My True Love
C’est Si Bon
Not Since Ninevah
Mad Dogs And Englishmen
Bloop Bleep
Triplets
I Love You Fair Dinkum
When I Was A Lad
Tongue Twisters

The Best Of Danny Kaye
British M.C.A. LP MCL 1704
Ballin’ The Jack
Molly Malone
Bloop Bleep
Civilization (with the Andrews Sisters)
Oh By Jingo
Candy Kisses
Lobby Number (parts 1 & 2)
Anatole Of Paris
St. Louis Blues
Bread And Butter Woman (with the Andrews Sisters)
The Woody Woodpecker (with the Andrews Sisters)
Big Brass Band From Brazil (with the Andrews Sisters)
Triplets
Tschaikowsky
I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now

Danny Kaye’s TV Favourites
Festival/Calendar LP R66 14
My Heart Knows A Lovely Song
Honey Bun
C’est Si Bon
Thumbelina
l Love You Fair Dinkum
Ballin’ The Jack
Life Could Not Better Be
There Is Nothin’ Like A Dame
Wonderful Copenhagen
St. Louis Blues
No Two People
The Moon And I

Hans Christian Andersen
Decca 10” LP DL 5433
I’m Hans Christian Andersen
Anywhere I Wander
The Ugly Duckling
Inchworm
Thumbelina
No Two People (with Jane Wyman)
The King’s New Clothes
Wonderful Copenhagen

Hans Christian Andersen And Tubby The Tuba
Decca 12” LP DL (7)8479, M.C.A. LP MCA 148
reissue of the above 10” LP, plus:
Tubby The Tuba (parts 1 & 2)
Tubby The Tuba At The Circus (parts 1 & 2)
Uncle Pockets
There’s A Hole In The Bottom Of The Sea

Danny Kaye For Children
Decca LP DL 8726, M.C.A. MCA LP 525,CD MCAD 31079
The Little Fiddle (parts 1 & 2)
I’m Late
Popo The Puppet
The Walrus And The Carpenter
Laugh It Off Upsey Daisey (with Dena Kaye)
The Little White Duck
Tubby The Tuba Song
The Woody Woodpecker (with the Andrews Sisters)
I Taut I Taw A Puddy Tat
Outfox The Fox

The Best Of Danny Kaye
M.C.A. CD MCAD 31058
Ballin’ The Jack
Madam, I Love Your Crepe Suzette
The Policeman’s Song
I’m Late
Molly Malone
I’ve Got A Lovely Bunch Of Cocoanuts
Lobby Number (parts 1 & 2)
St. Louis Blues
Civilization (with the Andrews Sisters)
Tongue Twisters

The Best Of Danny Kaye
Music Club CD MCCD 233
Ballin’ The Jack
Bloop Bleep
It’s A Quiet Town (with The Andrews Sisters)
Happy Times
The Ugly Duckling
Anywhere I Wander
No Two People (with Jane Wyman)
Inchworm
The King’s New Clothes
I Belong To Glasgow + Good Old 149 + Tschaikowsky
The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing
Tongue Twisters
Life Could Not Better Be
The Maladjusted Jester
Outfox The Fox
Little White Duck
Triplets
Tubby The Tuba

Civilization
Golden Options CD GO 3827
The Woodpecker Song (with The Andrews Sisters)
Minnie The Moocher
Tschaikowsky
My Ship
It’s Never Too Late To Mendelssohn
Bloop Bleep
The Princess Of Pure Delight
The Babbitt And The Bromide
Anatole Of Paris
Oh, By Jingo!
Dinah
Jenny
Civilization (with The Andrews Sisters)
Lobby Number (parts 1 and 2)
Molly Malone
Tubby The Tuba
Ballin’ The Jack
Beatin’, Bangin’ N’ Scratchin’ (with The Andrews Sisters)
Triplets
Mad Dogs And Englishmen

Danny Kaye Sings Your Favourite Songs
The Entertainers CD 340
Wonderful Copenhagen
Ballin’ The Jack
Triplets
I Belong To Glasgow + Good Old 149 + Tschaikowsky
I’m Hans Christian Andersen
Uncle Pockets
There’s A Hole In The Bottom Of The Sea
Anywhere I Wander
Ugly Duckling
Inchworm
Thumbelina
No Two People (with Jane Wyman)
The King’s New Clothes
Hula Lou
I’ve Got A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts
Lobby Number
Mad Dogs And Englishmen
The Peony Bush
Not Since Ninevah
Anatole Of Paris
Madam, I Love Your Crepe Suzette

The Very Best Of Danny Kaye
MCA CD MCLD 19049
Ballin’ The Jack
Tschaikowsky
Anatole Of Paris
Civilization (with The Andrews Sisters)
Molly Malone
Oh, By Jingo!
Candy Kisses
St. Louis Blues
Lobby Number
I’m Hans Christian Andersen
Inchworm
The King’s New Clothes
Thumbelina
The Ugly Duckling
Wonderful Copenhagen
Tubby The Tuba
The Woody Woodpecker Song (with The Andrews Sisters)
Popo The Puppet
I Taut I Taw A Puddy Tat

The Best Of Danny Kaye
Prism/Leisure CD PLATCD 421
Minnie The Moocher
Civilization (with The Andrews Sisters)
Molly Malone
The Babbitt And The Bromide
Jenny
Tschaikowsky
The Princess Of Pure Delight
Farming
My Ship
Anatole Of Paris
It’s Never To Late To Mendelssohn
The Fairy Pipers
Bloop Bleep
One Life To Live
Let’s Not Talk About Love
Oh, By Jingo!
Dinah
Beatin’, Bangin’ N’ Scratchin’ (with The Andrews Sisters)
Mad Dogs And Englishmen
Lobby Number
Tubby The Tuba
Triplets
Ballin’ The Jack

Entertainer Extraordinary
ASV/Living Era CD AJA 5270
Minnie The Moocher
Tschaikowsky
Jenny
Dinah
Farming
Let’s Not Talk About Love
The Fairy Pipers
The Babbitt And The Bromide
Anatole Of Paris
The Frim Fram Sauce
Bloop Bleep
Tubby The Tuba
Civilization (with The Andrews Sisters)
The Little Fiddle
The Policeman’s Song
If You’re Anxious For To Shine
Oh, By Jingo!
Beatin’, Bangin’ N’ Scratchin’ (with The Andrews Sisters)
Mad Dogs And Englishmen
Triplets
Ballin’ The Jack
Lobby Number

Danny Kaye
Columbia River/Cocktail Hour 2CD CRG 218023
Minnie The Moocher
Anatole Of Paris
Dinah
Molly Malone
The Princess Of Pure Delight
One Life To Live
It’s Never Too Late To Mendelssohn
Jenny
My Ship
Tschaikowsky
The Fairy Pipers
The Babbitt And The Bromide
Eileen
Bloop Bleep
Coca Roca
Civilization (with The Andrews Sisters)
Farming
The Peony Bush
Let’s Not Talk About Love
The Woody Woodpecker
Triplets
Honey Bun
There Is Nothing Like A Dame
Ballin’ The Jack
I’ve Got A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts
The Little Fiddle
Oh, By Jingo!
The Big Brass Band From Brazil (with The Andrews Sisters)

Universal Legends – Danny Kaye
MCA CD MCA 112
The Moon And I
A Lullaby For Dena
Bread And Butter Woman (with The Andrews Sisters)
I’m Hans Christian Andersen
Thumbelina
The King’s New Clothes
Molly Malone
Tschaikowsky
Anatole Of Paris
Wonderful Copenhagen
The Ugly Duckling
Popo The Puppet
Oh, By Jingo!
St. Louis Blues
Tubby The Tuba
Civilization (with The Andrews Sisters)
Candy Kisses
I Tait I Taw A Puddy Tat
Lobby Number
The Woody Woodpecker (with The Andrews Sisters)

Ballin’ The Jack
Memoir CD CDMOIR 559
Big Brass Band From Brazil (with The Andrews Sisters)
Civilization (with The Andrews Sisters)
The Woody Woodpecker (with The Andrews Sisters)
Minnie The Moocher
The Tubby The Tuba Song
Confidentially
C’est Si Bon
Wilhelmina
I’ve Got A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts
Triplets
Candy Kisses
Mad Dogs And Englishmen
Oh, By Jingo!
Lobby Number
I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now
Bloop Bleep
Ballin’ The Jack
Pigalle
Love Me Or Leave Me
The Thing
Anatole Of Paris
Tschaikowsky
Put ‘Em In A Box. Tie ‘Em With A Ribbon (with The Andrews Sisters)

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

The Life Story Of Danny Kaye
by Dick Richards (Convoy Publications 1949)

The Danny Kaye Saga
by Kurt Singer (Robert Hale Limited 1957)

Around The World Story Book
edited by Danny Kaye (Random House 1960)

Danny Kaye’s Stories From Many Lands
compiled by Danny Kaye (Random House 1960)

Stories From Far Away Places
edited by Danny Kaye (Random House 1960)

The Secret Life Of Danny Kaye
by Michael Freedland (W. H. Allen 1985)

Nobody’s Fool – The Lives Of Danny Kaye
By Martin Gottfried (Simon & Schuster 1994)

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