I've tried several times today to upload this video from YouTube, but things in cyberspace, like things in life, are not always perfect.
Therefore, I ask you to please click here to see and hear a very special piece of film history.
"The Jolson Story" was released in 1946. I was 4 years old and I remember clearly seeing this movie at the College Cinema in Winnipeg.
How could I not be drawn into a story about a Jewish boy who loves to sing?
Larry Parks was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Al Jolson, for many years known as "The World's Greatest Entertainer." Parks played Jolson again a few years later in "Jolson Sings Again." However, Joe McCarthy and the Communist witch hunt essentially destroyed the career of Larry Parks.
The voice is, of course, Jolson himself. There is even one sequence in the film, which if you watch very closely, you can tell, is Jolson himself. He is singing "Swanee" and he begins to whistle and dance on the runway that he invented to get closer to his audience. Jolson, the supreme egotist, convinced the producers that he and only he could do this particular action. So there he is in black face and shot from the balconies of the theatre.
The song, "The Anniversary Waltz," is also something special to me. I've always loved the corny, deliberate lovely melody.
But tomorrow, my sweetheart and I will celebrate our One Year Anniversary.
Happy Anniversary, Baby.