Saturday, March 24, 2012

Danny Kaye's First Album

This weekend I bring you the first album by that wonderful American comedian, Danny Kaye (1913-1987).  Eight songs are presented here (two of them by his wife, Sylvia Fine) which demonstrate his gift for mimicry, affecting Russian, French and British accents.  (I have borrowed Ken Halperin's image of the album cover, pictured above, from his site Collecting Record Covers, as my copy of the cover is in terrible shape, disfigured by coffee stains.  This cover is unsigned and therefore probably not by Steinweiss.)  Here are the details:

Danny Kaye
1.  Let's Not Talk About Love (Cole Porter - "Let's Face It")
2.  Minnie The Moocher
3.  Farming (Cole Porter - "Let's Face It")
4.  Anatole of Paris
5.  The Babbitt and the Bromide (Gershwin - "Funny Face")
6.  The Fairy Pipers
7.  Eileen
8.  Dinah
Orchestras conducted by Johnny Green and Maurice Abravanel
Recorded 1941-42
Columbia set C-91, four 10-inch 78-rpm records
Link (FLAC files, 61.32 MB)
Link (MP3 files, 25.98 MB)

A few words about individual songs: "Eileen" (one of those by his wife) is the only one here to be sung straight.  "The Fairy Pipers" is the oldest song here, published in 1912; a straight version, sung by Sigrid Onegin, can be heard on YouTube here.  "Farming" must surely be the earliest song to use the word "gay" in its modern sense as "homosexual" - and it's used in its original sense as well.


  1. What a treat. Thanks a lot, Bryan.

  2. Unexpected and really appreciated!
    I miss so much this great entertainer...
    And Maurice Abravanel as conductor (?!?!)
    Thanks, a little big treasure.

    1. Yes, I was a bit surprised by Abravanel's participation, too. But then, he was a good friend of Kurt Weill, whose show "Lady in the Dark" starred Danny Kaye, and so I presume that's the connection...

    2. Abravanel did a lot of work on and off Broadway before he took over the Utah Symphony. See

  3. Now i shall have Babbitt and Bromide stuck in my mind for weeks :(

  4. I came across this blog while doing some research for a Bruno Walter set I have. I also have this Danny Kaye set the original Columbia set C-91, four 10-inch 78-rpm records. These I found in the basement of an estate sale. The records themselves are in very good condition. I haven't played them (not a classics buff, sorry) but they look like they're in pristine condition. The original cover is intact (a little dusty) but functional. I was just curious as to what it might be worth, and if anyone is interested can shoot me an email. Thank you.