Hollywood musicals: The 30’s and 40’s, Part 1 of 4

Wizard of Oz poster detail (Wikimedia Commons)

It’s easy to forget that the very first talkie, “The Jazz Singer” of 1927 with Al Jolson, featured music. Since then, Hollywood turned musical films into high art, with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers kicking off one dance craze after another, MGM’s dazzling technicolor productions and the catchy tunes of Irving Berlin and George Gershwin. Among the many fascinating anecdotes, we hear about the rise and fall of the talented Judy Garland and how Gene Kelly went singin’ in the rain all the way to stardom.

Producer: Pete Myers

Broadcast: September 6, 1991