THE GOLDEN DAYS OF RADIO: Episode Summary #1

Larry Maupin

Broadcast Date; October 25, 1970

Network: American Forces Radio and Television Service

Host: Frank Breese (from Hollywood)

Suggested Episode Title: "A Tribute to Al Jolson"

Summary: The show features a replay of segments of several OTR programs on which Al Jolson had been a guest.  One is Amos 'n Andy in which Amos takes Andy to see the film The Jolson Story and they hear him sing "April Showers," "Mammy," "You Made Me Love You" and "California Here I Come."  Then Jolson as a guest on the show does an impression of The Kingfish that sounds so much like him one can hardly tell the difference.

Then comes a snippet from a Philco Radio Show broadcast in which Jolson sings a commercial with Bing Crosby with which the sponsor was probably not too happy, and then a long segment from a 1947 episode of The Eddie Cantor Show in which Cantor and Jolson exchange jokes and insults and during which Cantor sings "California Here I Come" and "If You Knew Susie Like I Know Susie" before the two team up for a duet of "Toot-Toot-Tootsie Goodbye."

The last excerpt is from a 1950 episode of The Louella Parsons Program" on which Jolson appeared as a guest from Korea "just one month before he died" in San Francisco.

This is a good episode for the music and banter and has a serious side because of Jolson's impending death which is revealed at the conclusion.  The tributes to him seem very sincere.   

Larry Maupin