Jimmy "Schnozzola" Durante


I am a very bad, bad, bad squirrel. I saw this picture on the left and it straight away reminded me of someone. I am such a bad, bad squirrel. In actual fact, this is a picture of a Blob fish. Yes, there is actually such a thing.

But I am such a bad, bad, bad squirrel. I am so sorry but it reminded me straight away of Jimmy Durante, Ol’ Schnozzola himself. I am actually a big fan of this actor, singer and comedienne. Jimmy was born in 1893 and died in 1980. His fame and career spanned from the 1920’s to the early 1970’s. Just in case, you are wondering, this squirrel is grey but I ain’t a contemporary of Jimmy’s. No, but somehow I got to hear his gravely voice, saw some old movies of his and I just found him to be special.

Listening to Frank Sinatra sing September Song and listening to Jimmy sing it, I prefer Jimmy’s version. Frank croons the song well as we would expect him to but Jimmy’s voice like his face is just full of character.

Over the years, I have tried to learn more about this funny and yet sad man. For most of his career, he would end his radio and TV shows with the mysteriously cryptic phrase “Good Night Mrs. Calabash……wherever you are.” There are two theories to the meaning of this phrase but I am inclined to believing this one.

He married the love of his life, Jeanne Olson, in June 1921 and they were to be happily married until her death. I am not totally certain but I recall that it was a long and drawn-out illness. She died on Valentine’s Day 1943. During those last years, as she was ill, the couple made their home in Calabasas, Southern California. Hence, Mrs. Calabash was a salute to his wife wherever she was.

It was hard to find videos or recordings of Jimmy’s on the internet so I hope you will enjoy the three that I have handpicked for you.

This first one is of that lovely tune, “Make Someone Happy”. The video features photos of Ann-Margaret. While it was not my intention to showcase her here, nevertheless she is pleasant on the eyes too.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s