Al Jolson Home Page|His Works|Radio|04 Dec 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.


Red Skelton and Al Jolson
Red Skelton and Al Jolson
  
Many of us fondly remember seeing the guest star of this week's show on television, the wonderful clown, Red Skelton, whose characters graced us for many years. Al Jolson opened the show, which was originally broadcast on Thursday, December 4, 1947, with a tale about Christmas presents drawn straight from the writer's mythology. Saying the song did justice to any holiday, Jolson gave out with a spirited rendition of "There's A Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder."

Oscar Levant joined the show next, telling of his upcoming absence from the show next week, when he would go to New York to play a concert. After some verbal oneupmanship, Oscar then played a piece which became a favorite of the Music Hall, the "Sabre Dance."

Our friendly announcer, Ken Carpenter, was next up, with some words about cream cheese.

After noodling around on the piano a bit, accompanied by the banter which was developing between Jolson and Levant, Al sang "By A Waterfall." Jolson next demonstrated his love and skill with opera, fooling around with an operatic bit, short but sweet! He concluded the set with a song that took him back to his youth, "At Sundown." Levant concluded the set with some words about piano playing.

In the spirit of the season, Al then sang the new song, "I'm Doing My Christmas Dreaming A Little Early This Year." Here's a Christmas song you won't hear on the radio these days!

Radio star Red Skelton then joined the program, with all of his characters interacting with Al Jolson. Enjoy Red's portrayal of the spectrum of voices and personalities, along with a few topical and personal jokes between these two great stars. Listen closely, as lines are blown and words mangled as only live radio could do it.

Ken Carpenter was up next with another classic cream cheese recipe. Yummy!

Al closed the show with another song for this season when so many seem concerned with giving gifts and goodies, "The Best Things In Life Are Free."


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 04 Dec 1947 broadcast of the Kraft Music Hall, starring Al Jolson. Red Skelton was the guest star on this broadcast, but to hear his portion you will have to check the program link. Here, enjoy Al Jolson doing some Christmas Dreaming, and reminding us that "The Best Things In Life Are Free." Photos of Al Jolson, Oscar Levant, and the studio chorus help you visualize this broadcast.



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This listing and material Copyright © 1995-2017 Marc I. Leavey, M.D. Baltimore, Maryland
Updated 07 Dec 08
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