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
Three years after his first appearance on the Burns and Allen program, Al Jolson returned to their show, sponsored by Ammident toothpaste, on March 29, 1950. It would be his last guest appearance on their program, just seven months before his untimely passing following a tour entertaining troops in Korea.

Along with George and Gracie, this Wednesday night program continued the association of Bill Goodwin, who played Tom Barron in The Jolson Story, and Bea Benaderet, who became famous years later on the television programs The Beverly Hillbillies and Petticoat Junction.

The program started off with a look at the role of George Burns as Gracie Allen's straight man. And a great one he was! Enjoy Gracie's peculiar view of the legal system. I know that I did.

About five minutes into the show, for no apparent reason, Al Jolson phoned into the broadcast, delivered an old joke, and prompted George to sing. Of course, jokes about Jolson's money were soon to follow.

The jokes were not confined to Jolson, though, with others directed by members of the cast at both George and Gracie.

Returning to the mike, Jolie fended off comments about his wife, his money, Jack Benny, Sophie Tucker, and other assorted topics. Finally taking to song, Jolie let out with "For Me And My Gal."

After an impassioned pitch for Ammident toothpaste, the program resumed with George and Jolie chatting. Of course, Gracie had to put her two cents in, if that much. Bill Goodwin joined in, prompting a string of witty reparte.

There's plenty of scripted comedy, and another commercial, but what you're waiting for is Al Jolson singing Irving Berlin's "Easter Parade."

It's only a half-hour program, but there's lots to hear. So sit back, relax, and enjoy this great radio 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 29 Mar 1950 Burns and Allen program with guest star Al Jolson. There is no reason to delve into the plot of this program, as the madcap comedy of Burns and Allen would not resurface until "Laugh In" decades later, but suffice it to say that this edited clip of the show includes George and Gracie, along with Al Jolson and "Easter Parade." Enjoy looking at photos of the stars to help you get a feel for the broadcast, as well.


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This listing and material Copyright © 1995-2017 Marc I. Leavey, M.D. Baltimore, Maryland
Updated 23 Mar 08
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