Al Jolson Home Page|His Works|Radio|09 Oct 47 Kraft Music Hall

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. On this page, I will be featuring radio programs, in Real Audio format, for your enjoyment.

Lou Bring and Al Jolson Musical Director Lou Bring and Al Jolson
on the Kraft Music Hall
Lauritz Melchoir
Guest Star Lauritz Melchoir
Al Jolson started The Kraft Music Hall on NBC in 1933. After going through several hosts, including Bing Crosby, Jolson returned to the Kraft Music Hall on October 2, 1947. Along with pianist Oscar Levant, Jolson electrified Thursday nights for two seasons.

This second installment of The Kraft Music Hall starring Al Jolson continued with the ensemble of Al Jolson and Oscar Levant, with the second, and final, appearance of Milena Miller. The guest star on this program was Metropolitan Opera Star Lauritz Melchior.

After a few opening remarks about the new program -- and a few "topical" jokes which seem a bit forced -- Al Jolson delivered a wonderful rendition of "Waiting for the Robert E. Lee."

Following this, Oscar Levant took to the piano with his musical number. Although not named in the program, it is the "Ritual Fire Dance" from Manuel De Falla's El Amor Brujo.

In what would become a standard and running gag between Levant and Jolson, Oscar tried to sing "Liza" after his performance, which Jolson proceeded to sing "the right way."

Following this, Milena Miller sang "I Wish I Didn't Love You So," her swan song on the Music Hall.

Announcer Ken Carpenter gave us a treat, with a a classic Velveeta commercial.

The evening's guest, opera star Lauritz Melchior, then joined the show for the third segment. Of course, there have to be some comparisons with Jolson, but Melchoir demonstrated his operatic voice with "Return To Sorento."

To close the program, Al Jolson reached out to a hit Broadway show of the time, and sang a favorite combination, "Come To Me, Bend To Me" and "Annie Laurie" from "Brigadoon."

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

Click this link to listen to
this week's program in
Real Audio format

Real Audio Link Page
Use this link to get
a player for Real Audio
if you don't have one.
     This is an excerpt of the 09 Oct 1947 broadcast of the Kraft Music Hall, starring Al Jolson with co-host Oscar Levant. This excerpt typifies the comedic interchange made famous by Jolson and Levant on the Music Hall, and is illustrated by pictures of Jolson and Levant from the program.

If you came here from a link or search engine
Click here to return to the main page of this site

This listing and material Copyright © 1995-2017 Marc I. Leavey, M.D. Baltimore, Maryland
Updated 12 Oct 08
Updated 09 Oct 11
Updated 12 Oct 14
Updated 08 Oct 17