Al Jolson Home Page|His Works|Radio|15 Jan 48 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 full length radio programs, in Real Audio format, for your enjoyment.

Al Jolson and Bing Crosby Al Jolson and Bing Crosby

The Kraft Music Hall was so popular that it was edited into a non-commercial version for broadcast over the Armed Forces Radio System. The recording of this week's program, with guest star Bing Crosby, has been so modified. What that means is that all references to Kraft, including the program's name and commercials, have been cut out, as was the NBC chime, and anything else considered inappropriate for broadcast to the troops. In the time thus freed up, an additional song or bit from another program was spliced in. The editing was not always perfect, but it was effective. At any rate, this is the only version we have of this program. If anyone has a good copy of the original show, we would appreciate hearing from you!

Al's opening number is a song he said he had sung "two million times," "Toot, Toot, Tootsie!" After the usual discussion with Oscar, and a continuation of the Dubussy joke from last time, Oscar said that he was going to play "Malagueña," to which Jolson said, "Nu, go ahead and play it!" Following that is an interpolated "Waiting For The Robert E. Lee."

Starting the song "Sleepy Time Gal," Jolson is then joined by Crosby, who give him a "Mazel Tov" on the new baby. Jolson's reply, "If I'd said it they wouldn't have allowed it!" Between the Yiddish and the dialects, Jolson and Crosby make quite a pair, especially when they discuss fatherhood.

Eventually, Al and Bing join voices in "Carolina In The Morning." Following that, Crosby solos with "But Beautiful."

With a tip to Steven Foster, Jolson and Crosby perform "Beautiful Dreamer" as no one else could do it, to close the program.


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 15 Jan 1948 broadcast of the Kraft Music Hall, starring Al Jolson. While Bing Crosby was the guest on this week's show, this excerpt includes Jolson and Oscar Levant from the middle of the show. Jolson and Levant kibbitzed with classics and opera, and Al Jolson sang a song he had featured years ago on a Shell Chateau, "Mightly Lak A Rose." The pictures from the Kraft Music Hall complete the experience.


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This listing and material Copyright © 1995-2018 Marc I. Leavey, M.D. Baltimore, Maryland
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