Being in Love with Jimmy Durante
Jude Wanniski
July 25, 2000


To: Young (and Old) Lovers, Wherever You Are
From: Jude Wanniski
Re: ‘As Time Goes By: The Best of Jimmy Durante’

For as long as I can remember, there was always Jimmy Durante, a comedian who played in the MGM musicals I watched at the Boro Park Theatre when I was a little kid growing up in Brooklyn in the 1940s. I always loved “The Schnozz,” as he called himself, because of his trademark outsize nose. What a funny fellow and what a sweet man. His best role was playing a Harpo Marx character in George S. Kaufman’s “The Man Who Came to Dinner” with Monty Wooley, a movie videotape I highly recommend. I met him once in Las Vegas at the Sands in the early 1960s when I was a young reporter for the Review Journal and he was near the end of his life. Thank goodness he was as nice and sweet to me as if I was someone important or it would have spoiled my fondness for him on the screen. The reason he is “on the margin” today is that there is a young couple I know who are recently married and in love, but are having a rocky time figuring out marriage, even wondering if the trouble is worth staying together. Advice from an old guy is the last thing they need, so I am sending them a compact disc of Jimmy Durante singing love songs in a way only a young old guy can sing, with a lifetime behind him. If you are in love or would like to be in love or have friends or parents or grandparents who are in love, or would like to be again, this is the disc for you -- a perfect anniversary gift, which you will realize when you hear it. As Durante once put it: “Sometimes I sing so pretty, I like to break my own heart.”

Here are the tunes.... has it for about 12 bucks and you can even sample some of the tunes on-line before you buy. It is a keeper. My favorite in the bunch is “Make Someone Happy.”

1. As Time Goes By (Herman Hupfeld)
2. If I Had You (Ted Shapiro)
3. Smile (Charlie Chaplin, John Turner, Geoffrey Parsons)
4. Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo (Kaper & Deutch)
5. Make Someone Happy (Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Jule Stein)
6. Young At Heart (Johnny Richards, Carolyn Leigh)
7. Hello, Young Lovers (Rodgers & Hammerstein)
8. Try A Little Tenderness (Harry Woods, Jim Campbell, Reg Connally)
9. The Glory Of Love (Billy Hill)
10. I'll Be Seeing You (Irving Kahal, Sammy Fain)
11. September Song (Kurt Weill, Maxwell Anderson)
12. I'll See You In My Dreams (Isham Jones, Gus Kahn)