This page is dedicated to information regarding his musical abilities and career.
For information on Danny's voice, ability, and songs...keep reading.
Danny had a beautiful baritone voice and an incredible ability to rattle off fast-
Danny had many talents; one of those was singing. He came out with a good number of albums and sang many songs at his live performances. Just take a look below at the and you might be surprised just how many songs Danny sang throughout his career.
Time Magazine has a wonderful article from which describes the variety
of songs that Danny had sung up until that point in time. After explaining the various
songs, the journalist proceeded to describe Danny's voice: "These vocal varieties
call for a versatile voice. Danny has it. It is a high baritone, with a two-
Max Liebman, a writer, producer, and director, partnered with Danny and Sylvia for
4 years. He explained that "in those days Danny seriously believed he was a great
singer. Today he is, but not then." But Liebman said he saw the potential in Danny.
"Since Danny insisted he wanted to be a singer and had a voice range that was rare
for a comedian, I let him sing Irish and Yiddish folk songs at first, but we soon
changed the pace into comedy. [...] I was amazed at this vocal variety of speech
Interviewers must have asked him frequently about his ability to scat sing. "He gave
us a demonstration of scat-
This song, written by Sylvia Fine Kaye, was originally first performed at Camp Tamiment in Bushkill, PA in 1939. It was also used later that year in Danny's first Broadway production, Straw Hat Revue, which ran for 10 weeks that year. A revised version was written and added into The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947). [Koenig, David. Danny Kaye: King of Jesters. Pg 43, 45]
Written by Sylvia Fine Kaye, this song was first performed at the nightclub, La Martinique, in the early '40s before Danny made his second Broadway appearance in Lady in the Dark.
This was one of the first songs that left audience members awestruck and gave Danny
his first taste at immense popularity. A song written by Ira Gershwin (lyrics) and
Kurt Weill (music), it contained a list of fifty-
From the Biography Part 1
Danny's part within Lady in the Dark was a small one, but after he finished singing "Tschaikowsky," the audience went wild! Columnist Billy Rose describes it like this: "The lyrics of 'Tschaikowsky' were too hot to be cooled off, and Kaye had too much of what it takes not to give. When he finished the funny tongue-
"Tschaikovsky" was indeed a showstopper and to hear it for the first time is truly amazing. Though it was usually sung in 40 seconds, Danny said that he could sing it faster. () In fact, he did this during his appearance on his wife's Musical Comedy Tonight II where he sung it in an amazing 31 seconds!
It is also interesting to note that, according to a article, Sylvia Fine's song "Pavlova" was a possible inspiration for Ira Gershwin in digging up the song "Tschaikovsky" for Danny: "One of her numbers, 'Pavlova,' which consisted of a series of complex Russian ballet dancers’ names sung rapidly, inspired Ira Gershwin to dig his Russian composers’ number out of his trunk for Danny to sing in 'Lady in the Dark.'”
"Farming" was written by Cole Porter and included in his musical Let's Face It starring Danny Kaye and Eve Arden. It is described in a article as a song that "catalogued the top Who’s Who of America who were indulging in “Farming” as part of the newly declared war effort." Sylvia recalled that she approached Cole Porter and told him that she wasn't sure her husband would be willing to sing some of the lyrics because they "were too dirty." A couple of those lines included: "Dear Mae West is at her best in the hay" and "Don't inquire of Georgie Raft, why his cow has never calved, Georgie's bull is beautiful but he's gay." (Not necessarily dirty by 21st century standards, but certainly a bit bolder for the early 1940s!) In the article, Sylvia explained that Cole Porter asked her to rewrite any lyrics that she felt Danny would not sing. He was so impressed with her rewrites that he asked her to write some additional songs for Danny for the musical.
While I am not sure if or what Sylvia rewrote in this particular song, you can hear Danny sing Cole Porter's original version (including the above italicized lyrics) by doing a search on the internet. To read the entire lyrics of Cole Porter's song, visit this . And for more information on Let's Face It, this particular is an excellent one.
Written by Sylvia Fine Kaye and Max Liebman, "Melody in 4-
In The Danny Kaye Story Sylvia explained how she came up with the idea for "Melody
Sylvia had been trying to come up with a song but was having little success. ""I was progressing very slowly,' Sylvia recalls, 'when one night I remembered a silly bit of improvisation Danny had once done at a dinner party. Our host, a doctor, was called away to perform a very delicate emergency operation. My medicine-
"'This memory started an idea. It was the first year after our entrance into the war. Every man-
"'In approved movie style, I woke Danny up with a loud, "I've got it!" and scrambled out of bed to wake up poor Max with a phone call.'" (pg 97)
Sylvia continued: "'[...] If you think I know what all that gibberish is in between, you are wrong. I can't even say it, much less write it. That is where the cooperation of Danny himself is invaluable to the creation of a number."' (pg 98)
On opening night, Danny was afraid he hadn't done the song justice. "Still perturbed
after the curtain, he ran backstage and, amidst all the cheering and applause, blurted
out, 'Syl, I loused up your song-
This song became one of Danny's standards at performances and was used as an audience
participation number. Danny would sing a small verse then rattle off various sounds
and allow the audience to echo him. An amusing story was related by Danny to a journalist
regarding one of his performances at the Walter Reed hospital in the early '40s.
He had gone through most of his performance without being able to solicit a reaction
from the general. None of the other officers dared react if their general wasn't.
"He was two-
In the mid-
In 1965, the album Great Songs of Christmas, Volume 5 was released. It contained songs by a variety of artists, including Danny. He contributed the 2 carols "O Come All Ye Faithful" and "The First Noel." Check out this for images and info. These two songs can by found on the Internet for download if one does a detailed search. Danny also sung another Christmas song, "Deck the Halls," and was released at some point in his career. This song is also available for download.
I'm quite sure this list is by no means comprehensive!
If you're wanting to hear or purchase some of Danny's music, search the Internet for MP3 downloads. Amazon, for instance, offers a lot of MP3s.
Accentuate the Positive
All About You
Anatole of Paris
Anywhere I Wander
The Babbitt and the Bromide
Ballin’ the Jack
Beatin’ Bangin’ ‘n Scratchin’
Begin the Beguine
The Best Things Happen When You’re Dancing
Civilization (Bongo Bongo Bongo)
Don’t Tickle Me
The Fairy Pipers
The First Noel
The Five Pennies
The Frim Fram Sauce
Good Old 149
The Gypsy Drinking Song
I’m Hans Christian Andersen
I Belong to Glasgow
I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts
I Taut I Taw a Putty-
Jenny (aka The Saga of Jenny)
The Kings New Clothes
Knock on Wood
Laugh It Off Upsy Daisy
Let’s Not Talk About Love
Life Could Not Better Be
Little Child (aka Daddy Dearest) (with Dena Kaye)
The Little Fiddle
The Little White Duck
Lobby Number (aka Manic-
Mad Dogs and Englishmen
Madam I Love Your Crepe Suzette
The Maladjusted Jester
Melody in 4F
Minnie the Moocher
Mommy Gimme a Drink of Water
The Music Goes Round and Round
The New Baby
No Two People
Not Since Nineveh
O Come All Ye Faithful
Oh by Jingo!
Outfox the Fox
Pass the Basket
Playing on the Seesaw
The Peony Bush
The Policeman’s Song
Popo the Puppet
St. Louis Blues
Soliloquy For Three Heads
Symphony for Unstrung Tongue
Tschaikovsky and Other Russians
The Thank You Letter
There’s a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea
Tubby the Tuba
The Ugly Duckling
When the Saints Go Marching In
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Willow Willow Walley
Yakov’s Golden Elixir
The Woody Woodpecker