Jimmy Durante - Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Yes, we are still talking about the Great Allentown Fair and the poster here at the American Treasure Tour highlighting the headliners of the 1963 event.  Yesterday, we talked about the man on the main stage for September 13th through 16th.  Today, it is the man for the 17th and the 18th. None other than Jimmy "The Schnozzola" Durante!  Known for his humor and his prominent proboscis, Durante was a consummate professional who entertained the majority of life.

Born in 1893, Jimmy Durante was a tried and true New Yorker.  He grew up on the city's Lower East Side, where his parents had emigrated from Sicily.  They met while living in a boarding house and it was happily ever after from there.  Jimmy was a natural born performer, headlining his own ragtime jazz band - playing piano, singing and telling jokes - first in the city, then on the vaudeville circuit.  He hit it big on radio, then in silent film (starring alongside Buster Keaton in a few comedies), then the talkies and television.  He hit them all!  Durante was also active in politics, most notably filming ads during the 1930s to support FDR's New Deal programs.  Of course, by the 1960s he was doing such things as hitting the concert circuit, visiting a fair here and there.  He passed away in 1980 at the age of 86, having left behind him a legacy of laughter.
QUESTION:  What classic Christmas special did Jimmy Durante narrate in the 1960s?
A)  Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
B)  How the Grinch Stole Christmas
C)  Frosty the Snowman
D)  The Year Without a Santa Claus
ANSWER BELOW

PLYMOUTH WHERE!?  Just a few days ago, we celebrated Christopher Columbus' departure from Spain in 1492.  Well, we have another landmark departure to celebrate today, this one from the year 1620, when a group of ambitious travelers left Southampton, England on a ship called the Mayflower for points west.  Smart move leaving in the Summer, although they may not have anticipated just how long it would take to make landfall!

QUOTE:  I hate music, especially when it's played. - Jimmy Durante

ANSWER:  C)  Frosty the Snowman.  Happy Birthday!