Al Jolson Home Page|His Works|Radio|16 Sep 33 Belmont Park

Al Jolson's experience with radio began in the dawn of the medium, and continued until the birth of television, and his death. He started the Kraft Music Hall, along with programs for Lifebuoy Soap, Colgate Tooth Powder, and Chevrolet, and died while waiting to go on to Bing Crosby's Chesterfield program. Here is another full length radio programs, in Real Audio format, for your enjoyment.

As anyone even marginally aware of the private side of Al Jolson knows, he loved the horses. From appearing in the film short A Day At Santa Anita with child star Sybil Jason, to countless cameos in newsreels, Jolson at the track was a staple.

In what may be the earliest radio appearance to be featured on the Al Jolson Website, here is Al Jolson calling a race at Belmont Park from September 16, 1933.

To put this half hour broadcast into the perspective of the Jolson career, he had just wrapped Hallelujah, I'm A Bum, and was ready to start shooting Wonder Bar, and had also returned to the radio to start a little show called the Kraft Music Hall. Jolson was at the top of show business.

While he sings only a bar or two during this broadcast, it is great to hear him clown around, ad lib, and even flub a bit. He even got in a bit of ethnic humor, discussing bringing his father, Rabbi Moshe Yoelson, to the track. Jolson said that when the announcement "They're off" was made, his father understood it as "Ha Rav," the Hebrew term acknowledging the presence of a Rabbi, and thought the crowd was calling to him. Just a word of explanation in case Jolson's quick comment is not enough to understand the joke.

So sit back for a half hour and enjoy a young Al Jolson, doing something he loved to do. And we love hearing it!

Listen to this radio program and watch a Video Podcast with an excerpt of the show illustrated with photos of the stars.

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     This is an excerpt of the 16 Sep 1933 broadcast from Belmont Park with Al Jolson. Having wrapped one movie, starting another, and headlining on the radio, Al Jolson took time to go to Belmont Park in New York, and appear on the radio to joke and call a race at the track. This is just a race and a little humor, augmented by photos of Al Jolson, his father, and vintage pictures of Belmont Park.

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This listing and material Copyright © 1995-2017 Marc I. Leavey, M.D. Baltimore, Maryland
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