Al Jolson Home Page|His Works|Radio|01 Oct 46 Jolson Tribute

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
In October, 1946, a new blockbuster motion picture was poised to explode into popularity in theatres across the United States, and then the world. That movie was The Jolson Story, and its subject was the man billed unchallenged throughout his life as "The World's Greatest Entertainer," Al Jolson. On the first day of that month, a nationwide radio tribute was broadcast on the Mutual Broadcasting System where, in an hour long program, celebreties of the day paid homage to this superstar. This is that broadcast.

The stars paying tribute to Al Jolson that night were at the top of the show business spectrum. Hosted by George Jessel and New York's Mayor James J. Walker, the broadcast originated from the Hotel Astor in New York, where an American Veterans Committee Testimonial Dinner for Al Jolson was taking place. Remote broacasts were tied in from Los Angeles, California, and San Francisco, California. Bill Goodwin, who played in The Jolson Story, was the announcer for the broadcast, having some lines as well.

And the talent for the evening? How about Bob Hope, Eddie Cantor, George Burns and Gracie Allen, Frank Sinatra, Martha Raye, Hildegard, Perry Como, and Dinah Shore.

Mr. Jolson, himself, does take to the microphone at the end of the broadcast to express his sentiments, in prose, rather than verse.

Was this a cheap promotional trick made to hype The Jolson Story, or a genuine tribute to Jolson? That discussion can continue. In fact, some weeks later that very question was raised to Jolson during a radio spot. Still, within the program some great Jolson songs are sung by many in tribute to Jolie, making this a unique program to listen to during the month when we recall his passing.

So, snuggle down and hear the songs from The Jolson Story sung as you may never have heard them sung before, on this Salute to Al Jolson, from October 1, 1946.

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 01 Oct 1946 tribute broadcast to Al Jolson. This star-studded program originated from both New York and California, and included George Jessel, Eddie Cantor, Dinah Shore, Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Perry Como, and others, in an hour long tribute to the World's Greatest Entertainer upon the release of The Jolson Story. This podcast includes songs by Eddie Cantor, Dinah Shore, and Frank Sinatra, along with the ending of the program by Mr. Jolson, illustrated with pictures of the stars. If there is any doubt about how those in the business felt about Al Jolson, this should get rid of them for all time.

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