The Jazz Singer (Ford Startime)
|"The Jazz Singer"|
|Ford Startime episode|
|Episode no.||Season 1
|Directed by||Ralph Nelson|
|Written by||Oliver Crawford
Ernest D. Glucksman
|Produced by||Ernest D. Glucksman|
|Featured music||Walter Scharf
|Original air date||October 13, 1959|
The Jazz Singer is a videotaped adaptation, starring Jerry Lewis, of Samson Raphaelson's play of the same name. It was broadcast on October 13, 1959 as the second episode of the American television anthology series on NBC, Ford Startime.
Cantor Rabinowitz (Eduard Franz) is upset that his son Joey (Jerry Lewis) has left home to pursue a career as a singer/comedian after showing no interest in carrying on the family's tradition of being Cantors in the synagogue. After five generations of doing so, it appears that Joey is more interested in making jokes and singing jazz music.
After a few years on his own, Joey, who now calls himself Joey Robbins, gets an opportunity to perform on the television show with Ginny Gibbons (Anna Maria Alberghetti). Unfortunately his father falls ill during his rehearsal performance and he runs to his side, putting show business aside for his family obligations.
The Jazz Singer was produced on videotape and aired as a one-hour episode of the short-lived TV series, Lincoln-Mercury Startime (aka Ford Startime), and was preserved on kinescope film. It has never been rebroadcast.
Eduard Franz, who played the role of the aged and ailing cantor battling his son, had played the same role in the similar theatrical film version of the story starring Danny Thomas that had been released just seven years earlier, in 1952.
The first official home video release, a DVD including both the kinescope and color videotape material from Lewis' personal holdings, was released on February 7, 2012.