"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
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?"