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.
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.