Al Jolson Home Page|His Works|Radio|20 Feb 47 Burns & Allen


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.

Jolson with Burns & Allen
Al Jolson with
George Burns & Gracie Allen
Al Jolson's run on the Kraft Music Hall was yet many months away; after the smash opening of The Jolson Story, Jolie was a popular guest who insured great ratings for any show he visited. Marking the 15th Radio Anniversary for George and Gracie, Al Jolson visited the Burns and Allen Program on February 20, 1947.

Along with George and Gracie, the cast of this Thursday night program included announcer Bill Goodwin. If his voice sounds familiar to you, it should! Bill Goodwin played Tom Barron, the blackface singer in whose place Larry Parks as Jolson stepped in for, in The Jolson Story, to sing "Ma Blushin' Rosie," and who later provided the star his Broadway vehicle.

Burns and Allen celebrated their fifteenth anniversary with a look back at those who helped them on their way up the ladder of success. Jolson made his entrance in a big way, at the top of the show, with a half chorus of "California, Here I Come!"

During the comedy routine, painting an interesting concept of the beginnings of Burns and Allen, Jolie comes out with a full bore rendition of "I'm Sitting On Top Of The World." Just listen to the audience explode after his number.

Burns and Allen then went through one of their bits, which would inspire such later comics as Rowen and Martin, to answer the question of "What ever happened to Al Jolson?" Enjoy this 1947 view of the World's Greatest Entertainer!

Bill Goodwin and conductor Meredith Willson then joined in some witty reparte which degenerated into a Maxwell House coffee commercial.

In the next segment of the program, Jolson conceded to allow Burns help him sing "You Made Me Love You," well, kind of! "You dawg!"

Another integral commercial for Maxwell House coffee followed, which included the factoid that Jolson was the most popular entertainer in the country!

And the last number of the evening, "April Showers," sung as you may never have heard it sung before - and may never again want to!


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 20 Feb 1947 Burns and Allen Show, with guest star Al Jolson. As always, this video treat is illustrated with photographs of the stars, both original and composite, to give a flavor for the broadcast. In this portion of the show, enjoy the comedy of George Burns and Gracie Allen, and Al Jolson singing "I'm Sitting On Top Of The World," and "April Showers." The latter rendition is unlike any other Jolie ever recorded.


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This listing and material Copyright © 1995-2017 Marc I. Leavey, M.D. Baltimore, Maryland
Updated 24 Feb 08
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