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  Jimmy Durante Show, Volume 2 - 5 hours [Download] #RA705
The Jimmy Durante Show, Volume 2

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The Jimmy Durante Show
Volume 2

"My nose isn't big. I just happen to have a very small head..."

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 ten shows in this second 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 the Wizard of Oz himself, Frank Morgan, as well as the World's Greatest Entertainer, Al Jolson. Taken directly from original master recordings and fully restored for sparkling audio fidelity, this second volume of "The Jimmy Durante Show" offers an additional selection of 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 five-hour collection:

Guest Host Frank Morgan
Wednesday, January 14, 1948 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Rexall

Guest Host Al Jolson
Wednesday, January 21, 1948 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Rexall

Wednesday, January 28, 1948
- 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Rexall

Courtin' Corabelle
Wednesday, February 4, 1948
- 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Rexall

The Birthday of Jimmy's Nose
Wednesday, February 11, 1948
- 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Rexall

A Night at Ciro's
Wednesday, February 18, 1948
- 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Rexall

A Visit to the Race Track
Wednesday, February 25, 1948
- 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Rexall

Flying Lessons
Wednesday, March 3, 1948
- 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Rexall

Guest Van Johnson
Wednesday, March 10, 1948
- 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Rexall

Planning a Vacation
Wednesday, March 24, 1948
- 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Rexall

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