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Jerry Colonna

Gerardo Luigi "Jerry" Colonna (September 17, 1904 – November 22, 1986) was an American musician, actor, comedian, singer, songwriter and trombonist best remembered as the zaniest of Bob Hope's sidekicks in Hope's popular radio shows and films of the 1940s and 1950s.

With his pop-eyed facial expressions and walrus-sized handlebar moustache, Colonna was known for singing loudly "in a comic caterwaul," according to Raised on Radio author Gerald Nachman, and for his catchphrase, "Who's Yehudi?", uttered after many an old joke, although it usually had nothing to do with the joke. The line was believed to be named for violin virtuoso Yehudi Menuhin, and the search for Yehudi became a running gag on the Hope show.

Colonna played a range of nitwitted characters, the best-remembered of which was a moronic professor. Nachman wrote:

Colonna brought a whacked-out touch to Hope's show. In a typical exchange, Hope asks, "Professor, did you plant the bomb in the embassy like I told you?", to which Colonna replied, in that whooping five-alarm voice, "Embassy? Great Scott, I thought you said NBC!"

Birth and Death Data: Born September 17th, 1904 (Boston), Died November 21st, 1986 (Woodland Hills)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1931 - 1954

Roles Represented in DAHR: vocalist, songwriter

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Columbia W151422 10-in. 3/13/1931 At dusk Kate Smith Female vocal solo songwriter  
Decca L 7032 1/29/1953 Down by the old mill stream Jerry Colonna vocalist  
Decca L 7033 1/29/1953 You're the flower of my heart, Sweet Adeline Jerry Colonna vocalist  
Decca L 7295 7/24/1953 I'm a-love you Jerry Colonna vocalist  
Decca L 7296 7/24/1953 Hey, barmaid! Jerry Colonna vocalist  
Decca L 7338 8/29/1953 Sleigh bells in the sky Jerry Colonna vocalist  
Decca L 7339 8/29/1953 Too fat for the chimney Jerry Colonna vocalist  
Decca L 7456 11/6/1953 The velvet glove Jerry Colonna vocalist  
Decca L 7457 11/6/1953 Ebb tide Jerry Colonna vocalist  
Decca L 7458 11/6/1953 Porn-porn-porn-a-diddle Jerry Colonna vocalist  
Decca L 7533 1/18/1954 You're my everything Jerry Colonna vocalist  
Decca L 7534 1/18/1954 Apple on a pear tree Jerry Colonna vocalist  
Decca L 7535 1/18/1954 Waltz me around once again Jerry Colonna vocalist  
Decca L 7536 1/18/1954 Snerling through the flowers Jerry Colonna vocalist  
Decca L 7537 1/18/1954 Ja-da Jerry Colonna vocalist  
Decca L 7644 4/26/1954 On the road to Mandalay Jerry Colonna vocalist  
Decca L 7645 4/26/1954 Can't you hear me callin', Caroline Jerry Colonna vocalist  
Decca L 7646 4/26/1954 It might as well be Spring Jerry Colonna vocalist  
Decca L 7647 4/26/1954 Ja-da-1 Jerry Colonna vocalist  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Colonna, Jerry," accessed October 20, 2020, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108969.

Colonna, Jerry. (2020). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved October 20, 2020, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108969.

"Colonna, Jerry." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2020. Web. 20 October 2020.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108969

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