Sunday, November 10, 2013

Durante at Cross (Blogophilia 38.3)

This transcript fragment is  from the case of  James F Durante vs. Kidsongs Inc (A Limited Liability Company) in Superior Court in and for the County of Los Angeles, CA., Santa Monica Division. It was supposedly found while doing a routine archive check of the Court's file room in advance of some plumbing renovations. 

In the case files, it is stated Mr. Durante is suing Kidssongs over copyright violations of his signature song "Inka Dinka Do".   The fragment picks up with Mr. Durante, having finished his testimony stating the song "Skidamarink" (A.K.A. Rinka a dink a doo)  borrowed, nay stole the tune from his song and that the lyrics were similar enough to cause confusion.  Greg Bautzer, representing Kidsongs, is beginning his cross examination. 

Mr. Bautzer: "Now, Mr. Durante, you stated you became aware of this supposed infringement in 1956, is that correct?"

Mr. Durante: "Yes, and it was shockin', I tell ya.  I mean, to have da song run down to a nursery rhyme.  Not even dat."

Bautzer: "And your first action was to contact your attorney, Mr. Giesler? (nodding to the Plaiintiff's table)"

Durante; "Yes. Dey thought I was all washed up.  But I needed to prove to myself I wasn't.  So, I pertectin' dis song. You can call it my baby."

Bautzer: : "Mr. Durante, exactly how does my client's work infringe upon yours?"

Durante: "If Your Honor don' mind..."

(A piano is wheeled into the courtroom and Mr. Durante steps down from the stand and seats himself on the bench.) 

Durante:  "Your Honor and Ladies and Gentlemen of the court, when I wrote this song in 1924, I was eating some good Vermont cheddar Cheese. Somethin' with the cheese just made it sweet. When I sang it for Mrs.Calabash,  I had no idea it would be so enduring.  Anyway, mine goes like this:

"A little sophisticated, maybe?  But nothing like this other piece"

"The melody use is obvious." (Mr Durante steps away from the piano and resumes his testimony on the stand)

Bautzer: "Somehow, Sir.  I don't see it. My client's song is strictly a children's nonsense song."

Durante: "And mine is adult nonsense. Same concept. And the melody is almost a copy."

Bautzer: "How can you compare the squeaking of little children to a melody, Sir?  I mean, you have many years experience in entertainment.  These kids are babies..."

Durante: "...whose folks want to take my very livelihood.  I worked hard for it, and I at least want money for it"

Judge: "Mr Bautzer, you are badgering the witness with unfair comparisons. This whole matter is like an Olympic event.

Durante:  "Your Honor, I can blow the Olympic rings with my cigar."

Judge:  "That, too, irrelevant Mr. Durante.  Everybody is wasting my time with this muddle. I am going declare a mistrial with prejudice on this whole matter.  Case dismissed..."

Durante: "Everybody wants ta get into the act."


  1. Sometime the law and justice don't have much to do with each other


  2. Oh you are creative! I smiled throughout

  3. Brilliant twist on the circles... very enjoyable piece altogether.


  4. I sentence you to 8 points Earthling! :)
    Interesting write!


  5. Thanks so much for the wonderful memories. The Jimmy Durante Show was one of my favs when I was a child. I love where the topic and prompts took you.

  6. I remember seeing Durante often, when I was a kid. He was a favorite on the television variety programs. It seemed he never performed the same routine twice, which makes sense in retrospect. He used to say, "I got a million of 'em."

  7. I liked this. I adored Jimmy Durante nose and all. Inka dinka doo to you!