David Daniel Kaminsky (January 18, 1911 – March 3, 1987), better known by his screen name Danny Kaye, was an American actor, singer, dancer, comedian, and musician. His performances featured physical comedy, idiosyncratic pantomimes, and rapid-fire novelty songs.   Kaye starred in 17 movies, notably Wonder Man (1945), The Kid from Brooklyn (1946), The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947), The Inspector General (1949), Hans Christian Andersen (1952), White Christmas (1954), and The Court Jester (1956). His films were popular, especially his performances of patter songs and favorites such as "Inchworm" and "The Ugly Duckling". He was the first ambassador-at-large of UNICEF in 1954 and received the French Legion of Honour in 1986 for his years of work with the organization.   Kaye was enamored of music. While he claimed an inability to read music, he was said to have perfect pitch. A flamboyant performer with his own distinctive style, "easily adapting from outrageous novelty songs to tender ballads" (according to critic Jason Ankeny), in 1945 Kaye began hosting his own CBS radio program, launching a number of hit songs, including "Dinah" and "Minnie the Moocher".   In 1947 Kaye teamed with the popular Andrews Sisters (Patty, Maxene, and LaVerne) on Decca Records, producing the number-three Billboard hit "Civilization (Bongo, Bongo, Bongo)". The success of the pairing prompted both acts to record through 1950, producing rhythmically comical fare as "The Woody Woodpecker Song" (based on the bird from the Walter Lantz cartoons, and a Billboard hit for the quartet), "Put 'em in a Box, Tie 'em with a Ribbon (And Throw 'em in the Deep Blue Sea)", "The Big Brass Band from Brazil", "It's a Quiet Town (In Crossbone County)", "Amelia Cordelia McHugh (Mc Who?)", "Ching-a-ra-sa-sa", and a duet by Danny and Patty Andrews of "Orange Colored Sky". The acts teamed for two yuletide favorites: a frantic, harmonic rendition of "A Merry Christmas at Grandmother's House (Over the River and Through the Woods)", and a duet by Danny & Patty, "All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth".   Kaye's debut album Columbia Presents Danny Kaye had been released in 1942 by Columbia Records, with songs performed to the accompaniment of Maurice Abravanel and Johnny Green. The album was reissued as a Columbia LP in 1949 and is described by the critic Bruce Eder as "a bit tamer than some of the stuff that Kaye hit with later in the '40s and in the '50s and, for reasons best understood by the public, doesn't attract nearly the interest of his kids' records and overt comedy routines."   1950 saw the release of a Decca single "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts", his sole big U.S. chart hit. His second Columbia LP album Danny Kaye Entertains (1953, Columbia), included six songs recorded in 1941 from his Broadway musical Lady in the Dark; most notably "Tchaikovsky". Following the success of the film Hans Christian Andersen (1952), two of its songs, written by Frank Loesser and sung by Kaye, "The Ugly Duckling" and "Wonderful Copenhagen", reached the Top Five on the U.K. pop charts.   In 1953, Decca released Danny at the Palace, a live recording made at the New York Palace Theater,followed by Knock On Wood (Decca, 1954) a set of songs from the movie of the same name sung by Kaye, accompanied by Victor Young and His Singing Strings.
  David Daniel Kaminsky (January 18, 1911 – March 3, 1987), better known by his screen name Danny Kaye, was an American actor, singer, dancer, comedian, and musician. His performances featured physical comedy, idiosyncratic pantomimes, and rapid-fire novelty songs.   Kaye starred in 17 movies, notably Wonder Man (1945), The Kid from Brooklyn (1946), The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947), The Inspector General (1949), Hans Christian Andersen (1952), White Christmas (1954), and The Court Jester (1956). His films were popular, especially his performances of patter songs and favorites such as "Inchworm" and "The Ugly Duckling". He was the first ambassador-at-large of UNICEF in 1954 and received the French Legion of Honour in 1986 for his years of work with the organization.   Kaye was enamored of music. While he claimed an inability to read music, he was said to have perfect pitch. A flamboyant performer with his own distinctive style, "easily adapting from outrageous novelty songs to tender ballads" (according to critic Jason Ankeny), in 1945 Kaye began hosting his own CBS radio program, launching a number of hit songs, including "Dinah" and "Minnie the Moocher".   In 1947 Kaye teamed with the popular Andrews Sisters (Patty, Maxene, and LaVerne) on Decca Records, producing the number-three Billboard hit "Civilization (Bongo, Bongo, Bongo)". The success of the pairing prompted both acts to record through 1950, producing rhythmically comical fare as "The Woody Woodpecker Song" (based on the bird from the Walter Lantz cartoons, and a Billboard hit for the quartet), "Put 'em in a Box, Tie 'em with a Ribbon (And Throw 'em in the Deep Blue Sea)", "The Big Brass Band from Brazil", "It's a Quiet Town (In Crossbone County)", "Amelia Cordelia McHugh (Mc Who?)", "Ching-a-ra-sa-sa", and a duet by Danny and Patty Andrews of "Orange Colored Sky". The acts teamed for two yuletide favorites: a frantic, harmonic rendition of "A Merry Christmas at Grandmother's House (Over the River and Through the Woods)", and a duet by Danny & Patty, "All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth".   Kaye's debut album Columbia Presents Danny Kaye had been released in 1942 by Columbia Records, with songs performed to the accompaniment of Maurice Abravanel and Johnny Green. The album was reissued as a Columbia LP in 1949 and is described by the critic Bruce Eder as "a bit tamer than some of the stuff that Kaye hit with later in the '40s and in the '50s and, for reasons best understood by the public, doesn't attract nearly the interest of his kids' records and overt comedy routines."   1950 saw the release of a Decca single "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts", his sole big U.S. chart hit. His second Columbia LP album Danny Kaye Entertains (1953, Columbia), included six songs recorded in 1941 from his Broadway musical Lady in the Dark; most notably "Tchaikovsky". Following the success of the film Hans Christian Andersen (1952), two of its songs, written by Frank Loesser and sung by Kaye, "The Ugly Duckling" and "Wonderful Copenhagen", reached the Top Five on the U.K. pop charts.   In 1953, Decca released Danny at the Palace, a live recording made at the New York Palace Theater,followed by Knock On Wood (Decca, 1954) a set of songs from the movie of the same name sung by Kaye, accompanied by Victor Young and His Singing Strings.
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Danny Kaye
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