By Doug McClelland
The Jolson tale, a landmark Hollywood musical biography, introduced has-been blackface singer Al Jolson one in all exhibit enterprise' nice comebacks, made a celeb of Larry Parks, the younger "B" motion picture actor who performed him, and spawned a sequel. For the 1st time, McClelland tells the tale of ways those motion pictures have been made. for this reason, within the anti-Communist weather of 1951 the United States, Larry Parks's profession was once destroyed whilst he admitted he were a Communist. the tale of Parks's downfall is a huge portion of the booklet, as is the image portrayal of that darkish interval in American heritage. With biographical profiles of all major members to the Jolson sagas and lots of infrequent images.
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Extra resources for Blackface to Blacklist
In 1941 Keeler married industrial builder John Lowe, who adopted Al, Jr. (renamed Peter). The Lowes had four natural children. In 1969, Lowe died. Keeler made a Broadway comeback in the 1971 musical revival, No, No, Nanette. Page 17 "Jolson Sings Again": A Close-Up Kings are like stars they rise and set, they have the worship of the world, but no repose. Percy Bysshe Shelley Like most sequels, Jolson Sings Again, which arrived three years after The Jolson Story, falls short of its progenitor. The followup is more sedate, conversational, and contemplative perhaps as befits a focal character in, as Al Jolson is here, later life, especially when said character is portrayed as not in very good health.
In those days, the movies were geared strictly for the majority and avoided portraying minority ethnicity, except occasionally to present hearty Irish cops and emotional Italians. Although Jewish family life had been dramatized on the screen before (notably in Jolson's own The Jazz Singer), rarely did the characters discuss their Jewishness and rarer still did they get to a synagogue. Today, the Jewish people of The Jolson Story may look like stereotypes to some, but in 1946 they were a real breakthrough for understanding and tolerance and in a musical, yet.
Below: Papa (Ludwig Donath), Jolson (Larry Parks), Julie (Evelyn Keyes), Steve (William Demarest), Mama (Tamara Shayne), Dick Glenn (William Forrest), Tom Baron (Bill Goodwin) attend the première of The Jazz Singer. Page 12 Julie is shown starring in the films Gold Diggers and Flirtation Walk, clearly indicating that Julie Benson is actually meant to be Jolson's ex-wife, Ruby Keeler, who appeared in films with those titles but refused to allow her name to be used in The Jolson Story. 2 Then Jolson and Julie co-star in Go Into Your Dance, with Jolson in top hat singing "Around a Quarter of Nine" while dancing with a diaphanously gowned Julie.