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  Jolson on the Radio - 20 hours [Download] #RA509



 
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Jolson on the Radio

"The World's Greatest Entertainer"

In the annals of American Show Business, circa 1900-1950, you could make a convincing argument that there should really be only two names:

Al Jolson...

...and Everybody Else.

Al Jolson sings on NBC, circa 1938

He was a towering figure of the musical theatre - unquestionably the most exciting stage star of his generation, and a profound influence on the generations to follow. He was the first breakthrough star of talking pictures -- his string of Vitaphone successes between 1927 and 1930 - “The Jazz Singer,” “The Singing Fool,” “Say It With Songs,” and “Mammy” - helping to get a new era in filmdom off to a high-energy start. He was a recording artist of long standing: between 1912 and 1930, Al Jolson placed 85 songs on the pop music charts. Twenty-three reached No. 1, putting him ahead of the Beatles and Elvis Presley.

But for most of his career, success in radio seemed to elude Jolson.

He made several attempts as the host of variety programs during the 1930s and early 1940s, but it wasn’t until Jolson’s dramatic resurgence in popularity after the Second World War that he found a radio format that truly captured something of the dynamism Jolson brought to his live performances. Taking over the venerable “Kraft Music Hall” in 1947 - a series he had headlined briefly in the early 1930s - Jolson parlayed renewed interest in his career sparked by the smash motion-picture success “The Jolson Story” into one of postwar radio’s brightest musical-variety attractions.

The program was a masterpiece of careful planning and careful understanding of how to package a performer to his best advantage. Previous Jolson vehicles had presented him either as a solo master-of-ceremonies or as a singing top-banana comedian, his gags propped up by an assortment of increasingly unfunny stooges. Neither role genuinely suited him. But in preparing the 1947 season of the Kraft series, the J. Walter Thompson agency staff finally came to understand that the only way to properly present Jolson on radio was to simply let Jolson be Jolson -- punching over his songs in his inimitable manner, practically leaping out of the loudspeaker to entertain his audience.

This collection from Radio Archives features the ten programs contained in the original Kraft Music Hall collection from Radio Archives as well as 20 more Jolson hosted episodes, all newly restored to the highest audio quality using equipment that was not available when the first collection was produced. In addition, this volume features other classic Jolson radio appearances, including three Lux Radio Theater episodes, two episodes from The Al Jolson Show  from 1938, and 1943, and A Salute to Al Jolson.

John Dunning stated that ‘Depending on the source, Al Jolson was either the world’s greatest entertainer or the world’s biggest ham. Some people would have said both.” Regardless of how he was viewed, Jolson most definitely had a massive, long lasting impact on entertainment, hints of which can still be felt today. Jolson on the Radio, a 20 CD set, from Radio Archives is the most comprehensive, best sounding collection of this fantastic performer’s classic radio appearances, showing clearly why Al Jolson deserves every single accolade given him.


The Kraft Music Hall
Jimmy Durante
Thursday, December 18, 1947 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Kraft Foods

The Kraft Music Hall
Boris Karloff
Thursday, December 25, 1947 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Kraft Foods

The Kraft Music Hall
Madeleine Carroll
Thursday, January 1, 1948 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Kraft Foods

The Kraft Music Hall
Lucille Ball
Thursday, January 22, 1948 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Kraft Foods

The Kraft Music Hall
Walter O'Keefe
Thursday, January 29, 1948 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Kraft Foods

The Kraft Music Hall
Ed "Archie" Gardner
Thursday, February 5, 1948 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Kraft Foods

The Kraft Music Hall
Edward Everett Horton
Thursday, March 11, 1948 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Kraft Foods

Edward G. Robinson
The Kraft Music Hall
Edward G. Robinson
Thursday, March 18, 1948 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Kraft Foods

The Kraft Music Hall
Clifton Webb
Thursday, March 25, 1948 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Kraft Foods

The Kraft Music Hall
Henry Morgan
Thursday, May 20, 1948 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Kraft Foods

The Kraft Music Hall
Judy Garland
Thursday, September 30, 1948 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Kraft Foods

The Kraft Music Hall
Edward G Robinson
Thursday, October 7, 1948 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Kraft Foods

The Kraft Music Hall
Al Jolson and Oscar Levant
Thursday, October 21, 1948 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Kraft Foods

Groucho Marx
The Kraft Music Hall
Groucho Marx
Thursday, November 18, 1948 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Kraft Foods

The Kraft Music Hall
Victor Mature
Thursday, November 25, 1948 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Kraft Foods

The Kraft Music Hall
Peggy Lee
Thursday, December 2, 1948 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Kraft Foods

The Kraft Music Hall
Dennis Day
Thursday, December 9, 1948 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Kraft Foods

The Kraft Music Hall
Dinah Shore
Thursday, December 16, 1948 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Kraft Foods

The Kraft Music Hall
The Kraft Choral Club
Thursday, December 23, 1948 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Kraft Foods

The Kraft Music Hall
Doris Day
Thursday, December 30, 1948 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Kraft Foods

The Kraft Music Hall
Larry Parks
Thursday, January 6, 1949 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Kraft Foods

The Kraft Music Hall
Groucho Marx
Thursday, January 13, 1949 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Kraft Foods

The Kraft Music Hall
Dennis Day
Thursday, February 3, 1949 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Kraft Foods

The Kraft Music Hall
Peggy Lee
Thursday, February 10, 1949 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Kraft Foods

The Kraft Music Hall
Joan Davis
Thursday, February 17, 1949 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Kraft Foods

The Kraft Music Hall
Dorothy Kirsten, Phil Harris, and Elliott Lewis
Thursday, March 3, 1949 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Kraft Foods

The Kraft Music Hall
Jimmy Durante
Thursday, March 10, 1949 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Kraft Foods

Ed "Archie" Gardner
The Kraft Music Hall
Roy Rogers and Dale Evans
Thursday, March 17, 1949 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Kraft Foods

The Kraft Music Hall
Dennis Day
Thursday, May 5, 1949 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Kraft Foods

The Kraft Music Hall
Victor Moore
Thursday, May 12, 1949 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Kraft Foods

The Al Jolson Show
Andy Devine
Tuesday, March 8, 1938 - 30:00 - CBS, sponsored by Lifebouy Soap commercials

The Al Jolson Show
Monty Woolley
Tuesday, January 5, 1943 - 30:00 - CBS, sponsored by Colgate Toothpowder commercials

The Lux Radio Theatre
"Swanee River"
Monday, April 2, 1945 - 60:00 - CBS, sponsored by Lux Soap commercials

The Lux Radio Theatre
"The Jolson Story"
Monday, February 16, 1948 - 60:00 - CBS, sponsored by Lux Soap commercials

The Lux Radio Theatre
"Jolson Sings Again"
Monday, May 22, 1950 - 60:00 - CBS, sponsored by Lux Soap commercials

A Salute to Al Jolson
Tuesday, October 1, 1946 - 60:00 - MUTUAL


Average Customer Review: 5 of 5 | Total Reviews: 1 Write a review

  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
 
Stunning! What a personality! June 17, 2013
Reviewer: andy wood from west yorkshire, ENGLAND United Kingdom  
This is a terrific set! The Kraft Shows are wonderfully entertaining. The repartee between Jolson and Oscar Levant is comedy gold - they both have wonderful personalities. The musical numbers are brilliant whether they be Jolson or Oscar and his amazing piano solos. Incredible sound throughout!

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