Sunday, January 3, 2010

Worth 1,000 Words: MARTHA RAYE & AL JOLSON


By Steve Crum

ONE OF MY ALL-TIME FAVORITE show business photos is this publicity pearl, dated Feb. 27, 1937, featuring MARTHA RAYE (Aug. 27, 1916-Oct. 19, 1994) and AL JOLSON (May 26, 1886-Oct. 23, 1950), mugging to the max behind a CBS-Radio microphone. Raye was a regular performer on Jolson's 1936-38 Lifebuoy Program, the show being promoted here. In addition to her slapstick comedy, Martha Raye sang solos and duets with Al Jolson during the show's run. Raye later supported Jolie in Hold On To Your Hats on Broadway. Jolson stretches his mouth to match Raye's trademark "Big Mouth" as the two obviously enjoy each other. [from Steve Crum's showbiz memorabilia collection]
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Martha Raye, in 1982, belts There's a Great Day Coming, Manana from Hold On To Your Hats: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3YNG7d1ioM

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