Monday, July 16, 2007

78s fRom HeLL: Clayton, Jackson and Durante - So I Ups To Him! (1929)

⬅ (left to right: Eddie Jackson, Jimmy Durante, Lou Clayton. Looks like this photo might possibly be a still from their cameo appearance in the 1930 film, 'Roadhouse Nights'.)

Jimmy Durante (1893 - 1980) became a vaudeville comedian in the mid-1920's, after having worked as a jazz musician for several years, beginning in his early teens.

The team of of Clayton, Jackson and Durante had become a very popular act by the end of the twenties, and clearly it was the frenetic Durante who was in the spotlight.

In the early 1930's, it seems his comedy partners may not have been too surprised or dismayed when Columbia Pictures wanted to put Durante in movies, but not them. Clayton became Durante's manager, and Jackson continued to write material for him.

To all of their credit, the three remained life-long friends as Durante went on to a huge career in film, radio and television.

- Here's a link to a nice Durante career bio by Cub Koda over at All Music.

- And there's some good info on his early jazz years and some sound files available over at the
Red Hot Jazz Archive.

Jimmy Durante would continue to perform this number later in his career.

Though not too terribly disparaging given the era, I'll guess that eventually his un-P.C. references to 'pansies' fell by the wayside.

As to defining an 'Ups':
It's basically the confrontational gesture of bumping chests, or 'getting up in someone's face'. Like in the display that might occur in an argument between a baseball player and the umpire.

Listen to:
Clayton, Jackson and Durante - So I Ups To Him!
(Columbia Records, May, 1929)
(click for audio)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Loved hearing jimmy at the earlier part of his career. Also fascinating to listen to the act that I always wondered about whe jimmy referenced it in his show in the early sixties . Nice to now that these 3 performers remained loyal to each other and remained life-long friends.

Freshly-stirred links