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:
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
|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|
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.
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