Jimmy Durante: Club Durant

James Francis "Jimmy" Durante (February 10, 1893 – January 29, 1980) was an American singer and movie icon, pianist, comedian and actor, whose distinctive gravel delivery, comic language butchery, jazz-influenced songs, and large nose – his frequent jokes about it included a frequent self-reference that became his nickname: "Schnozzola" – helped make him one of America's most familiar and popular personalities of the 1920s through the 1970s. Durante was born in Brooklyn, New York, the third of four children born to Italian-Americans Bartolomeo Durante (1849-1942) and Rosa (Lentino) Durante (1858-1921). Durante dropped out of school in the eighth grade to become a full-time ragtime pianist. He first played with his cousin, who was also "Jimmy Durante." It was a family act, but he was too professional for his cousin. He continued working the city circuit and earned the nickname "Ragtime Jimmy," before he joined one of the first recognizable jazz bands in New York, the Original New...

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