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Jimmy Durante Show, Volume 1 - 6 hours [Download] #RA690
6 hours - Digital Download
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The Jimmy Durante Show
"There's a million good lookin' guys...but I'm a novelty!"
The first half of the 20th century was a great time for entertainment, with amazingly talented performers dominating the Broadway stage, vaudeville, and nightclubs. But, in the annals of show business, few entertainers achieved the lengthy and enduring career that could be claimed by Jimmy Durante.
Nicknamed "Schnozzola" for his oversized nose, Jimmy Durante first came to prominence as a teenager, playing New York's restaurant and nightclub circuit as Ragtime Jimmy. Bitten by the show-biz bug, he dropped out of school in the eighth grade and soon teamed up with fellow entertainers Lou Clayton and Eddie Jackson to form a musical comedy trio that wowed nightclub audiences with its boisterous unpredictability, Durante's aggressive interaction with the musicians, and his penchant for destroying pianos in mock frustration. Clayton, Jackson, and Durante quickly gained a reputation as one of the most hilarious acts in town - and, by the mid-1920s, the team was being featured in vaudeville, culminating in a lengthy run at New York's Palace Theater. In 1929, Broadway called them for a featured spot in "Show Girl” and, by the time Cole Porter's "The New Yorkers" opened in 1930, Durante was a star.
Jimmy continued his Broadway success in a string of popular shows and revues throughout the 1930s, but it was his role in "Jumbo" that brought him the most acclaim, playing the brash owner of a circus in an extravaganza that brought all of the delights of the Big Top to New York's massive Hippodrome Theater. But he didn't limit himself solely to the Great White Way; thanks to appearances in a series of films for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and a guest star spot on Rudy Vallee's Fleischmann Hour, by 1933, Durante had taken over for Eddie Cantor as the host of radio's "Chase and Sanborn Hour". On the air, Durante's broad delivery, overwhelming personality, and penchant for mangling his words only increased his popularity with laugh-hungry Depression-era audiences and his next radio series - "Jumbo", based partially on the Broadway show - kept him a welcome visitor in American homes.
For a time, aside from an occasional radio guest appearance, Durante devoted himself solely to the stage and nightclubs. But, in 1943, Hollywood beckoned once again with the offer of comedic roles in a series of motion pictures. For this opportunity, Durante relocated to Hollywood, where he was also signed to headline a CBS series titled "The Camel Caravan". The new series found the Schnozz co-starred with a fresh voiced young comedian named Garry Moore in what initially seemed to be an odd and highly unlikely pairing. As so often happens, however, the mismatched duo instantly clicked as a team, ratings went through the roof, and Durante's patented brand of language mangling and outraged interaction with the orchestra introduced him to radio audiences all over again. Durante and Moore enjoyed four successful seasons together until Moore decided to pursue a solo career at the end of the 1946/47 season.
With Moore's departure, in the fall of 1947, Jimmy Durante signed a contract to host a new series on NBC for the Rexall Drug Company, costarring vocalist Peggy Lee and character actor Victor Moore. Loud, boisterous, and wildly entertaining,
"The Jimmy Durante Show"
proved just as popular as its predecessor - so much so, in fact, that the following season found Durante back on CBS and back with Camel Cigarettes for another two years before the Schnozz finally moved full-time to television in the early 1950s.
The twelve shows in this collection from RadioArchives.com showcase Jimmy Durante at his bigger-than-life best, complete with the fractured English, gravel voiced musical numbers, and warmhearted buffoonery that made him a show business legend. As an added bonus, this set includes two shows broadcast while Jimmy was in the hospital recovering from surgery – and it’s a mark of his reputation among show people that the personalities filling in for him include such top names as Red Skelton, Garry Moore, and Bob Hope - the latter an entertainer equally well known for his uniquely shaped proboscis. Taken directly from original master recordings and fully restored for sparkling audio fidelity, "The Jimmy Durante Show” offers a series of top quality shows that are just as fresh, alive, and vibrant as they were when they were first aired over sixty years ago.
Here's the complete content of this six-hour collection:
Guest Eddie Cantor
Wednesday, October 8, 1947 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Rexall
Guests Victor Moore and Jo Stafford
Wednesday, October 22, 1947 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Rexall
Guest Lucille Ball
Wednesday, October 29, 1947 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Rexall
Guest Bing Crosby
Wednesday, November 5, 1947 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Rexall
Guest Dorothy Lamour
Wednesday, November 12, 1947 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Rexall
Guest Victor Moore
Wednesday, November 26, 1947 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Rexall
Guest Charles Boyer
Wednesday, December 3, 1947 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Rexall
Guest Boris Karloff
Wednesday, December 10, 1947 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Rexall
Guest Victor Moore
Wednesday, December 17, 1947 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Rexall
Guest Margaret O'Brien
Wednesday, December 24, 1947 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Rexall
Guest Hosts Garry Moore and Red Skelton
Wednesday, December 31, 1947 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Rexall
Guest Hosts Bob Hope and Victor Moore
Wednesday, January 7, 1948 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Rexall
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