Friday, September 22, 2006

The Great Schnozzola

Watched the classic Jimmy Durante film Joe Palooka last night. Great stuff but it was Durante, of course, that made it worth the watch. What a shame that the majority of his films are not available on DVD or even on VHS.

Durante started his career as a ragtime pianist in New York about 1911 playing in the same circles with musicians like the Original Dixieland Jazz Band. He played in a mess of Jazz bands into the 20's which was when his vaudville career took off.

He smoked cigars. He was a Catholic.

Fr. Peyton had a radio show called the Rosary Hour and he'd get prominent Catholics to come on the air to recite the rosary. Durante was one guest. That would have been a thing to hear...

"Hail Mary fulla greats, da Lord is wit'dee."

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