July 6, 2008
AUDIO: Al Jolson stars as ‘The Jazz Singer’—Lux Radio Theatre 1947
These words introduced broadcast radio’s biggest and most important dramatic program. For two decades, The Lux Radio Theatre presented radio versions of movie attractions, current or coming, while the biggest names in cinema played the leading roles.
The Lux Radio Theatre debuted in 1934, dramatizing Broadway plays from New York. In an effort to improve ratings, the show moved West in June 1936 to capitalize on Hollywood talent and popular movie fare.
Lux’s extravagant productions were a huge success. Renowned director Cecil B. DeMille—whose films were synonymous with spectacle—was brought in to host the show. Stars were routinely paid up to $5,000 to appear and over 50 actors, musicians and technicians were on hand every week for productions which ranged from "The Thin Man" to "The Jazz Singer" to "The African Queen."
In this June 1947 production, Al Jolson reprises his most famous silver screen role as "The Jazz Singer."