The Museum of Family History 
 Great Artists Series
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 The Immortal
  Al Jolson  

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The Museum of Family Theatre presents

The
"Jolson Sings Again" Audition

     
      September 27, 1948   
   
"The Jolson Story" was first shown to the public in October 1946, and it was a great hit. It revived Jolson's career which had been sagging for the few years preceding the film's release.

In 1948, it was decided that a sequel to the first film be made. It would be entitled "Jolson Sings Again." It would pick up where the first film left off--Jolson's life from 1939 to 1947.

Jolson would have liked to play himself in the first film, but the producers picked Larry Parks, who subsequently was nominated for an Academy Award. Jolson wanted to play himself, as the sequel would be about the previous eight or nine years. However, since Parks had received a nomination, studio head Harry Cohn et al decided to give Parks the part.

However, Jolson made a screen test on September 27, 1948. Here he would have to lip synch to four songs he had recorded, that might be used in the sequel.

Lip synching, or miming, was not a Jolson forte--he was very uncomfortable with it and did not do it well. Thus were the results of his test disappointing. He also looked his age, and certainly a younger Larry Parks (with makeup to make him look older) who could properly mime the songs, would be the best choice for the role.

 



Visit the Museum of Family History Theatre's
Music Pavilion and watch Jolson as he sings
four songs from his September 1948 audition
for  the 1949 film "Jolson Sings Again."
First turn on your speakers, then
click on the earphones icon displayed here.
You will see the first video and hear the first song
as he sings "Is It True What They Say About Dixie?"

     
     
       
               
               
     

 

       
 

 

   

 

       

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

 

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