Danny Kaye and Satchmo and the NY Philharmonic (OH my!)
I’ve been watching Danny Kaye on Youtube for the last couple of hours, and thought this would be a great thing to post on here (where the postings have come few and far between, I’m afraid.)
He is such a wonderful performer. There’s something so effortless about everything he does, even though it’s clear he’s got so much virtuosity.
Below is a great video of Danny Kaye and Satchmo playing and singing “When The Saints Come Marching In.” An example of two great performers who when together are better than the sum of their parts.
I love watching Danny Kaye work– it’s a lot like watching Robin Williams. He simply sparkles effortlessly.
(Except it turns out a lot of what Danny Kaye did was scripted and painstakingly rehearsed, and a lot of what Robin Williams did was unleashing his inner mind. But they have the same kind of twinkle.)
And that led me to find this 1981 concert with the NY Philharmonic with Danny Kaye as the conductor. Once again, he shines.
There’s a wonderful biography of Danny called Nobody’s Fool which goes through a lot of his trials and tribulations. Highly recommend it.
And finally, Danny did a bunch of fantastic records for kids. Or rather, they are family comedy/jazz albums. Novelty songs, I guess, but many of them are hilarious, and form the musical soundtrack of my son’s naptimes when he was a baby. I especially love the song “Civilization (Bongo Bongo Bongo) which has the classic lyrics:
“Bongo Bongo Bongo I don’t want to leave the Congo”
As I mentioned above Nobody’s Fool is a great read.