The Museum of Family History 
 Great Artists Series
 presents

 The Immortal
  Al Jolson  

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Jolson and his Friends
 

Within the more than fifty years of his career, Al Jolson met and hobnobbed with many well-known personalities, whether they were from the entertainment field or elsewhere.

During the decades of the thirties and forties, Al Jolson was the star of five different radio programs, both on CBS and NBC. Without doubt, his last radio broadcast program, "Kraft Music Hall," was his finest.

Jolson was the star of his own radio program over a period of sixteen years. During this time, many well-known (and lesser known) stars from radio, stage and screen appeared.

Below is a display of photographs of those who appeared on his radio broadcasts, prefaced by others with whom he appeared with publicly and whom he supported, e.g. Presidents Harding and Coolidge.

You will also find photographs of Jolson with studio head Jack Warner, Daryll F. Zanuck, as well as other notables, such as Irving Berlin, Bing Crosby and other stars of the "silver screen".


JOLSON AND THE PRESIDENTS


Jolson supported Republican Harding in his race for the White House, partially out of personal friendships, but also because the Party's platform included the desire for the U.S. to stay out of European affairs, which was to Jolson's liking. Jolson also accepted the presidency of the "Harding and Coolidge Theatrical League."

Jolson even collaborated on a less-than-spectacular song about Harding, entitled "Hardin, You're the Man for Us."


left
: Jolson here appears with
Warren G. Harding in 1920.


In Oct 1924, Jolson was invited to the White House to have breakfast with Calvin Coolidge. There, on the White House lawn, he introduced a new song for his campaign entitled "Keep Cool with Coolidge."

As Vice-President, Coolidge had succeeded to the presidency upon the death of President Harding in 1923.

Coolidge was elected in his own right as President in Nov 1924.


left: Jolson appearing at the White House with President Calvin Coolidge in 1924.

 

Jolson starred in the first full-length Hollywood feature film with sound. The production of this film was supported by the Warner Bros. studio which was run by the Warner brothers, namely Sam and Jack Warner. Most of the films that Jolson would star in would come out of the Warner Bros. studios.

Zanuck was an Academy-award winning producer, writer, actor and director who had moved into a management position at Warner Bros. in 1929.

The first Academy Awards was held in that same year. A special Oscar was presented to production head Zanuck, which he accepted on behalf of Warner Bros. for "producing 'The Jazz Singer,' the pioneer outstanding talking picture, which has revolutionized the industry." He dedicated this special Oscar to Sam Warner, Jack's brother, who passed away the day before "The Jazz Singer" premiered.

left: all photos are of Al Jolson with studio boss Jack Warner  (left) and Daryll F. Zanuck (right), 1929.

JOLSON AND ASSOCIATES
1929

Daryll F. Zanuck (far left), Irving Berlin (next to Zanuck),
Al Jolson (next to Berlin), Jack Warner (next to Jolson) et al.
 
JOLSON AND THE FILM STARS
1929

left to right: Al Jolson, Mary Pickford, Ronald Coleman, Gloria Swanson,
Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin (front row),  Samuel Goldwyn (back row), Eddie Cantor (front row), the names of the other men in the back row are unknown.

 
Bob Hope
1948
Paul Whiteman
1938
Walter Winchell
1945
Bing Crosby
at the Races
cir late 1930s
Martha Raye
1940
George Jessel
1935
           
Ed "Archie" Gardner
1948
Jimmy Durante
cir 1947-9
Ezio Pinza
1948
Frankie Laine
1949
Andrew Sisters
1949
Dennis Day
1949
           
Dick Powell & Rudy Vallee
1935
Eddie Cantor & Jimmy Durante
1935
J. Edgar Hoover
1947
Jimmy Walker
1946
Ethel Merman & Martha Raye
1939
Irving Berlin
on a golf course
1932
           
Milena Miller
1947
Edgar G. Robinson
1947
Eddie Arnold
cir 1947-9
Judy Garland
1948
Clifton Webb
1948
Roy Rogers &
Dale Evans
1949
           
Groucho Marx & Oscar Levant
1948
Jack Benny &
Phil Harris
194?
Eddie Cantor, George Burns & Gracie Allen
1948
William Bendix
et al
cir 1947
Bing Crosby &
Oscar Levant
cir 1947-8
Oscar Levant &
Lou Bring
cir 1947-9

Read about Al Jolson's friend George Jessel here.


 

       
               
               
               
     

 

       
 

 

   

 

       

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This exhibition was made possible in part with the cooperation of the International Al Jolson Society.

 

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