Al Jolson Home Page|On Stage|Memorializers|Max Bygraves
Max Bygraves Born in southeast London in 1922, Max Bygraves, originally named Walter William Bygraves, sang as a boy in the school choir, until he left school at age 14, looking for a job. He pursued a variety of careers until enlisting in the RAF during World War II, following his older brother into the service. Impersonating one Max Miller while in the service gave the young man a glimpse of his future, and his new nickname.

After the war he was a carpenter by day, and performer by night, waiting for his big break. That break came with the BBC invited Max to join an ex-servicemen's show called They're Out with other later stars such as Frankie Howerd, Benny Hill, Jimmy Edwards, Harry Secombe and Spike Milligan. One of the radio listeners was the bandleader and impresario Jack Payne who put Max under contract.

Moving to working with Jock Jacobson, Max's career began to take off. He played the London Paladium, performed with Judy Garland, who brought him to New York for a season's performance with her, starred in several motion pictures, and was even awarded the Order of the British Empire, for his service.

Having a special affinity for Jolson songs, Max Bygraves has incorporated many of them, in whole or part, into his performances. Here, for your listening pleasure, is a recording of a 1953 Portway number called:

I Wish I Could Sing Like Al Jolson

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This listing and material Copyright © 2004 Marc I. Leavey, M.D. Baltimore, Maryland
Updated 08 Aug 04