Google+ Followers

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Allan Jones born 14 October 1926


Allan Jones (October 14, 1907 – June 27, 1992) was an American actor and tenor. For many years he was married to actress Irene Hervey; their son is American pop singer Jack Jones. 

Allan Jones was born Theodore Allen Jones in Old Forge, Pennsylvania. A coal miner's son, he worked in the mines until 1926. At that point in time, he received a scholarship from Syracuse University, but chose instead to study music at New York University with Claude Warford and then with Felix Leroux in Paris and Sir Henry Wood in London. 

In an interview in 1973, Jones recalled that his father and grandfather were musically talented: "My father had a beautiful tenor voice. So did my grandfather. ... Grandfather taught violin, voice and piano when he could. My father sang every chance he could get and realized his ambition through me." 

Classically trained in opera, the handsome Jones worked on Broadway a few times, including 1933's Roberta and the short-lived 1934 revival of Bitter Sweet  and in operettas until 1935.  

At that point, Jones was signed by MGM Grand. He is best remembered for his roles in the two Marx Brothers movies "A Night at the Opera" and "A Day at the Races". On the strength of his appearance in A Night at the Opera, he won the coveted role of Gaylord Ravenal in the 1936 film version of Show Boat (opposite Irene Dunne) over such screen musical favorites as Nelson Eddy and John Boles. It would be Jones's most distinguished screen role in which, under the direction of James Whale, he displayed fine dramatic acting ability, as well as musical talent. 

Jones made a brief appearance in the 1936 Nelson Eddy - Jeanette MacDonald film Rose Marie, singing music from Charles Gounod's Romeo et Juliette and Giacomo Puccini's Tosca, but according to Merchant of Dreams, Charles Higham's biography of Louis B. Mayer, Eddy, who apparently considered Jones a rival and a potential threat, asked that most of Jones's footage in Rose Marie be cut, including his rendition of the great Puccini aria E lucevan le stelle - and MGM agreed to Eddy's demand.
 
 
                               

The movie "The Firefly" (1937) produced the song "Donkey Serenade", which became Jones's signature song. Jones' recording of The Donkey Serenade ranks third among all-time sales of single records by RCA Victor. Jones's final film for MGM was Everybody Sing (1938) opposite Judy Garland and Fanny Brice.

In 1940, he moved to Universal for two musicals, both with scores by immortal composers: The Boys from Syracuse, with the stage score (severely cut) by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, and One Night in the Tropics, with an original score by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields which produced no hit songs. Following those, he slipped to leads in several B musicals, two at Paramount, then eight at Universal, including a re-teaming with Kitty Carlisle in Larceny with Music (1943). The same year, he briefly returned to A’s by guesting, as himself, in the Olsen and Johnson musical Crazy House, where he again performed "Donkey Serenade."
During the war years, Jones was one of the first entertainers to volunteer to sing for the troops overseas. In 1945, Jones left Hollywood and toured Great Britain for two years. He returned to the stage and toured with several off-Broadway musicals. Over the next twenty years, he worked the nightclub circuit, appeared in summer-stock and off-Broadway productions, and recorded extensively, including several short "songfests", meant to be fillers in the early days of TV.

In the mid 1960s the busy Jones managed to fit a few appearances on television and in movies into his busy theatre

, nightclub, and recording career. In 1971, he took on the role of Don Quixote in "Man of La Mancha", a role he would perform off and on for the next eight years. He also was very successful on the lecture circuit.
In 1982, the 75-year-old Jones cut yet another LP, his voice belying his age: as clear and vibrant as singers a third his age. Having overcome a battle with alcoholism Jones became a cabaret and club performer and  came to Britain to tour the club circuit. He had finished a successful tour of Australia a few weeks before his death from lung cancer at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City in 1992, aged 84.
 
(Compiled mainly from a bio by Tom Barrister @ IMDb & info from Wikipedia)
 

2 comments:

boppinbob said...

For “Allan Jones - There's A Song In The Air“ go here:

https://www.mediafire.com/file/mb1zd2000u1ae7z/Allan%20Jones.rar

1. A PRETTY GIRL IS LIKE A MELODY
2. EVERYTHING'S BEEN DONE BEFORE
3. ALONE with Kitty Carlisle
4. COSI COSA
5. MAKE BELIEVE with Irene Dunne
6. I HAVE THE ROOM ABOVE HER with Irene Dunne
7. YOU ARE LOVE with Irene Dunne
8. BLUE VENETIAN WATERS
9. TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY
10. A WOMAN'S KISS with Jeanette MacDonald
11. THE DONKEY SERENADE
12. GIANNINA MIA
13. SYMPATHY with Jeanette MacDonald
14. THE DONKEY SERENADE / GIANNINA MIA [reprise] with Jeanette MacDonald
15. FIRST THING IN THE MORNING
16. DOWN ON MELODY FARM / QUARTET FROM "RIGOLETTO" with Judy Garland
17. THE ONE I LOVE
18. THE SHOW MUST GO ON
19. AH! SWEET MYSTERY OF LIFE with Mary Martin
20. THERE ONCE WAS AN OWL with Mary Martin
21. THINE ALONE with Mary Martin
22. WONDERFUL DREAMS / ALL FOR YOU with Mary Martin
23. SOMEDAY
24. I'M FALLING IN LOVE WITH SOMEONE
25. FALLING IN LOVE WITH LOVE
26. WHO ARE YOU?
27. SWEETHEARTS

'There's A Song In The Air', what a wonderful title for a CD album of Allan Jones. "Donkey Serenade" opens with that line and is synonymous with Allan Jones. He had such a great Welsh tenor voice. The CD has some of the finest artists of our time such as Kitty Carlisle, Irene Dunne, Jeanette MacDonald, Judy Garland and Mary Martin. It would be hard to find another CD with so many stars on it! The music is incredible and Carlisle and Jones' duet of "Alone" is well worth listening to. "Thine Alone", "Falling In Love With Love", "Sweethearts" and "Donkey Serenade" are just a few of the song you can sit back and enjoy. (Jasmine Records)

A big thank you to the dormant Mr.Volstead‘s Blog for original link many moons ago.

Anonymous said...

Thankk you Bob for Allan Jones, Regards, Robert