Al Jolson Home Page|His Works|Radio|29 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 Walter O'Keefe Al Jolson and Walter O'Keefe

Fellow radio star Walter O'Keefe joined Al Jolson in this week's Kraft Music Hall, originally broadcast on Thursday, January 29, 1948.

Jolie opened this edition of the Music Hall with a "song that's got so much rhythm in it, I may have to dance part of it," "Alabamy Bound." This is the only surviving Jolson version of a great tune.

Ken Carpenter then joined Al in a Kraft Loyalty Test, following which Jolie and Levant verbally fenced a bit.

As an encore to last week's performance, Mr. Levant played a selection from the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto #2.

After a commercial, Jolson gave forth with a few bars of "Sonny Boy" and "Pagliacci", following which he sang Irving Berlin's "Mandy" accompanied by Oscar Levant.

Then with full orchestra, he sang a song from the then new Broadway hit, Oklahoma, "People Will Say We're In Love." Jolie would sing this song in duet with several fine ladies later in the series, this one, he sang alone.

Mr. O'Keefe then joined the boys, with plenty of jokes about Jolson's money and his age. Following that, a calypso number about that other singer, "Crosby, Bank of America's Joy." This was done in retaliation for a number sang on a Crosby show previously. Click to listen to Jolson - The Radio Find Of The Year.

After a second commercial, Al again spoke of his little Asa, Jr., and what his son meant to him, and introduced a song he wrote with Benee Russell, "Nearest Thing To Heaven."

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 29 Jan 1948 broadcast of the Kraft Music Hall, starring Al Jolson. While Walter O'Keefe was the guest on this week's show, you will have to listen to the full show on the page to hear his segment; this except includes Jolson and Oscar Levant from the middle of the show. Jolson and Levant played around with classical music, opera, and Broadway songs in a great performance. And, as always, pictures of Oscar at the piano and and Al at the mike.

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