1/28/15

JERRY V. JOLSON


Next up from "Jerry Lewis Just Sings" (our subject of the week for some ungodly reason) is an old Al Jolson song, "Let Me Sing And I'm Happy" (posted above).  I believe the inspiration for doing this number was Jerry's father Danny Lewis, a fairly low-rent borscht belt comic whose specialty was, apparently, a Jolson imitation. Jerry gives it a shot here but doesn't really commit, save for a few trademark Jolsonisms tossed in at random spots. Indeed, one might consider this particular cut a kind of potpourri of singing styles, as Jerry sometimes sounds like Ethel Merman as well.

Below is an exceedingly rare clip from one of Jerry's many aborted television series, on which he appears with Danny Lewis singing "Sonny Boy" (another Jolson hit). Both seem distinctly ill-at-ease with each other and the set-up (Jerry is sitting on a chair pretending to be a little kid while his father croons the tune to him) doesn't particularly click. Oddly, Danny Lewis looks very little like his incredibly famous son but quite a bit like Danny Thomas. Could it be that the Thomas's and Levitch's switched babies at birth?


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