AL DUFFY (1906-2006)

Courtesy of AB Fable Archive

I don’t print the obituary of every worthy jazz musician, singer, writer, record producer . . . simply because I want to celebrate as well as mourn in this blog.  But jazz violin scholar Anthony Barnett’s notice (from the New York musicians’ union, Local 802) of the death of violinist Al Duffy deserves all the attention it can get, I think:

Adolph Daidone – professionally known as Al Duffy – died on Dec. 22. The violinist was 100 years old and had been a member of 802 since 1924.  He was born in Brooklyn and was a resident of Freehold, New Jersey, since 1978.  Mr. Daidone was a nationally renowned violin virtuoso whose career spanned several decades of entertainment in radio, recording, and stage.  He was awarded the Philco Radio Hall of Fame Citation for outstanding artistry.  He played for the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, Bell Telephone Orchestra with such luminaries as the Dorsey Brothers, Bobby Hackett, Dinah Shore, JimmyDurante, and many others.  He is survived by four children: Vincent and his wife Barbara, Theresa Kimmel and her husband Monroe, John and his wife Elna, and Louis and his wife Teri; eight grandchildren; and eleven great grandchildren.

Anthony Barnett adds: According to my files he was born Gandolfo Daidone 20 September 1906 which would make him older than 100.

Courtesy of AB Fable Archive

The moral has to be that jazz taps in to the Fountain of Youth for a few lucky people!  Also that originality is a saving grace: Duffy was an accomplished player who took his own route rather than attempting to imitate Joe Venuti.

6 responses to “AL DUFFY (1906-2006)

  1. Al Duffy died on Dec 22, but not 2009, it was in 2006. So he was 100 years old. We discussed this in the Bix forum, at the time. Here is the SSDI listing

    ADOLPH DAIDONE Born 20 Sep 1906 Died 22 Dec 2006 (P) 07728 (Freehold, Monmouth, NJ)


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  3. Duffy was my violin teacher. What a great person and artist he was. Rest in peace Al. All my best to you.

  4. You forgot that he was pit boss for funny girl (striesand) for 25 years. Gave buddy rich his first professional job with “The Rhythm Masters”. Taught henny youngman his 3 notes on rthe violin. Gave frank Sinatra his audition for the Dorsey brothers band. I built al’s home and remained friends for many years. I would hang out with him in the kitchen and do song challenges with him. At 90 he still had perfect pitch and was never without a joke for all. I noticed a slowness coming over him after the death of his beloved rose. Thanks al for the drumsticks and practice pad! I’ll still miss you.

  5. where can I download some of al’s music? I had 2 songs he recorded with Django Reinhart but lost them in pc crash.

  6. Hi Bill,
    My name is Rose Daidone and I am Al Duffy’s granddaughter. What lovely things you remembered about my grandfather! I have quite a few of those records (all 78s) and play them too!! He always walked around the house in Brooklyn fiddleling! He gave me my first violin and taught me to play when I was in 2nd grade (I don’t play half as well as him!). Yes, he always had a joke!!! Would you happen to have a picture of the house you built him? Yes, when my Nana died I( was named after her), he was never the same. She was a wonderful woman and made the best stuff artichokes. My dad (Vinnie Daidone) will be thrilled to know what you wrote. He will be 85 in July, still going strong and my mom, Babs, will be 80 in May. All of his children are alive….Vinnie, Terry (“Cookie”), John and Louie (unfortunately in prison for life). Email me anytime, at



    P.S. – This is one that I loved and would ask him to play:

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