Danny Kaye’s career as a conductor started during his summers working at resorts in the Catskills. He began adding bits of humorous conducting of the band into his comedy routine, an act that continued throughout his stage career. In 1954, Philadelphia Orchestra music director Eugene Ormandy (1899–1985) asked Kaye to conduct a few pieces with the orchestra for a pension benefit concert. The event was a huge success, and Kaye quickly received similar requests from other orchestras. Although Kaye was unable to read music, he spent his later career conducting many of the world’s professional ensembles in benefit concerts.