Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Extreme Excitement: Magazine Cover Edition

From the look of this, probably no one has ever enjoyed being featured on a magazine cover so much - before or since. This animated gentleman is Jerry Colonna, on the cover of Song Hits in February 1942. It featured the music and lyrics of popular songs (of course) and articles on musical celebrities. But I had to go look him up because my first thought was, Jerry who?

Well, Jerry Colonna (1904-1986) was a comedian, singer, musician and songwriter best known as Bob Hope's zany sidekick in movies and on the radio. He started out as a trombone player in the CBS house orchestra, from which he was nearly fired several times because of his penchant for off-stage pranks.

He was famous for his loud, exaggerated method of singing. You can kind of tell that from looking at him, right?

Fun fact: he was the voice of the March Hare in the 1951 Disney movie Alice in Wonderland.

I found this magazine, Song Hits, in a pile of sheet music in the back room of a secondhand bookstore. My favorite kind of bookstore, the kind that are musty and look like an old barn, and with all sorts of odd postcards and magazines and obscure novels from the 1890s. Song Hits was being published at least into the 1980s and there are tons of cover images here. There is plenty more on Jerry Colonna over here at Beware of the Blog. And over at YouTube there are a lot of clips featuring him, too. And here at my Tumblr.

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