Al Jolson Home Page|Now Showing|Jolson TV

Although Al Jolson never appeared on commercial television, he was actively looking into a program at the time of his death. To this day, his movies continue to be shown on broadcast and cable TV, making his works available to those who never saw him in life. On this page, find out which movies are on the schedule for broadcast soon, and use the links to request material from media outlets.

Turner Classic Movies Just nine months since its last airing in February, 2017, and for the second time this year, Turner Classic Movies will show this great movie with a wonderful Jolson segment in November, 2017.
    26 Nov 17 | 07:30 AM - Rhapsody in Blue (1945) When young brothers George and Ira Gershwin are growing up on New York City's Lower East Side, their mother Rose saves enough money to buy a piano, so that Ira, the eldest, can take lessons. George becomes the student, however, when he demonstrates his natural musical abilities. Under the instruction of Professor Frank, George becomes progressively better at the piano. He first obtains a job as a pianist in a vaudeville theater and then in a music store, but his dream is to become a composer. One day singer Julie Adams comes into the store looking for music to use in an audition. George plays "Swanee," one of his own compositions, for her, but when his boss hears him, he loses his job. Later, George is offered a two-year contract at Harms, another music publisher, and Max Dreyfus, the company head, sells "Swanee" to Al Jolson, who makes it a hit. Despite Frank's warning against squandering his talents on popular music, George takes a job writing songs for the Broadway show Half Past Eight , starring Julie, but the show fails. After the success of George White's Scandals of 1921 , for which George writes the music, his career takes off, and together with Ira, who now writes lyrics, George composes a series of hit shows. After George writes "Blue Monday Blues," a song derived from Negro spirituals, which is not well received, conductor Paul Whiteman asks him to compose a serious piece based on the blues for a jazz concert he is planning, The result is "Rhapsody in Blue," and upon hearing his prize pupil's composition being performed for a radio broadcast, Professor Frank dies. Later, when Walter Damrosch of the New York Symphony commissions a concerto from him, George goes to Paris to begin a serious study of music. There he meets wealthy painter Christine Gilbert, who introduces him to Maurice Ravel and other composers. The slightly older Christine and George return to the United States, causing a jealous Julie a great deal of pain. Realizing that George is more in love with his music than with her, Christine leaves George and, after composing another Broadway show, George returns to Paris and completes his concerto. George's father dies of leukemia after advising his son that he was wrong to separate from Julie. While living in Los Angeles, George begins to compose frantically. He wins a Pulitzer prize for the musical Of Thee I Sing and writes Porgy and Bess , an opera featuring black performers. Later, George experiences numbness and headaches. After he collapses during a rehearsal, Julie plans to come to California immediately. In New York, George's friend, Oscar Levant, then performs George's Concerto in F to great acclaim, but the occasion is saddened by the announcement of the composer's untimely death.
    Robert Alda, Joan Leslie, Al Jolson, Alexis Smith. D: Irving Rapper. BW 142m. CC


All times and dates given are US Eastern Time. Consult local listings for times and stations.



Several of the Cable networks are worthy of your input to continue or initiate programming of Al Jolson material.

Turner Classic Movies By far, the largest collection of Jolson movies is held by Turner Broadcasting. Many of the early movies have aired on the network, as well as the Plantation Act short. Feel free to drop them a note, thanking them for their past attentions, and requesting future screenings of Jolson movies.

BravoBoth Bravo USA and Bravo Canada have aired the wonderful South Bank Show, the closest thing yet to a television biography of Al Jolson. They have also shown The Jazz Singer! Click on either network's name to request a screening of that show.



When you write any media outlet, network, or station, a copy to webmaster@jolson.org would be appreciated; and let us know if you receive any reply or results!


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Updated 29 Oct 17