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Jerry Colonna

Gerardo Luigi Colonna (September 17, 1904 – November 21, 1986), better known as Jerry Colonna, was an American musician, actor, comedian, singer, songwriter and trombonist who played the zaniest of Bob Hope's sidekicks in Hope's popular radio shows and films of the 1940s and 1950s. He also voiced the March Hare in Disney's 1951 animated film Alice in Wonderland.

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

Colonna played a range of nitwitted characters, the best-remembered of which was a moronic professor, of which 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 17, 1904 (Boston), Died November 21, 1986 (Woodland Hills)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1931 - 1954

Roles Represented in DAHR: vocalist, speaker, songwriter

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

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 April 24, 2024, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108969.

Colonna, Jerry. (2024). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved April 24, 2024, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108969.

"Colonna, Jerry." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2024. Web. 24 April 2024.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

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

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