Al Jolson Home Page|His Works|Radio|13 Aug 41 Treasury Hour

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.

Al Jolson
Al Jolson
It was August 13, 1941, and the United States had not yet entered World War II. But the rumblings of a world at war were on the horizon, and the move was on for the purchase of Treasury Bonds to help in the coming fight.

This show was seventh in a series of Treasury Hours, starring Al Jolson. Jolie had just closed his final Broadway show Hold On To Your Hats some months previously, and set out on tour with the show in Atlantic City two weeks after this broadcast.

The opening number of the show was "Any Bonds Today," written by Irving Berlin and performed by many at this time. In fact, you can even hear Bugs Bunny perform the song here on the Jolson website! Al Jolson was the master of ceremonies of the show, and did not, himself, perform until the end of the broadcast.

The performers in this program include a young Henry Fonda, who was joined by Martha Scott in a dramatic sketch by Arch Oboler, whose Lights Out remains a classic of radio to this time. Al Goodman's orchestra and Ray Bloch's chorus helped provide the musical background to a variety of entertainers, and a reading of Rudyard Kipling's "The Islander" helped complete the program.

Although a running joke about Davey Lee appearing on the program is just that, a running joke, the last segment of the broadcast is just what you are waiting for. In what may be considered a brief outline of The Jolson Story, Al Jolson sang to a brief narration of his life's story. His story was held as architypical of the American dream. And perhaps it was.

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 13 Aug 1941 Treasury Hour Program, featuring Al Jolson, and illustrated with images of the star and environment to get a feeling for the broadcast. Having just closed his last Broadway show, Al Jolson joined in this effort to sell Defense Bonds before World War II erupted. Here is an edited version of his closing segment, which suggests the plot of his life story, The Jolson Story, to be made five years later.

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