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Allan Jones (Tenor)

Born: October 14, 1907 - Old Forge, Pennsylvania, USA
Died: June 27, 1992 - New York, New York, USA

Personable, wavy-haired singing star, great tenor of the 1930's and 1940's, Allan Jones, paid for his musical training by working in the coal mines of his native Scranton.

In 1930 Allan Jones participated in the first attempt at a "complete" recording of J.S. Bachs Matthäus-Passion (BWV 244). This was a brutally truncated version of the work, "newly arranged and edited by David McKinley Williams", who conducts from the organ. Recorded in St. Bartholomew's Church in New York, this problematic recording is memorable only because of the participation of the tenor Allan Jones, who later went to Hollywood. Jones ranks among the most powerful and emotive Evangelists. His is a big and intense voice of great power; his diction is superb. Hollywood's gain was classical music's loss.

After Broadway experience, Allan Jones was brought to films by MGM, reportedly as "insurance" in case the studio's house tenor Nelson Eddy should prove troublesome. His first important screen role was as the Romantic male lead in the Marx Brothers' comedy A Night at the Opera (1935) -- in which, according to one critic, he worked so hard at being charming that his lip synchronisation was off. In 1936, he was loaned to Universal to play Gaylord Ravenal in Showboat, which proved to be his best screen role. The following year, he co-starred with Jeanette MacDonald in The Firefly (1937), in which he introduced his signature tune "The Donkey Serenade". Another song closely associated with him is "Cosi Cosa". During the 1940s, he starred in several medium-budget Universal musicals, bearing titles like Moonlight in Havana (1942) and You're a Lucky Fellow, Mr. Smith (1943).

Allan Jones spent his later years performing in TV specials, stage productions and night-clubs. For many years, he was married to actress Irene Hervey; their son is Jack Jones, a recording artist and pop singer in the 1960s, who scored big with the hit "Wives and Lovers." Allan Jones died in 1992 in New York from a lung cancer.

Movies: Reckless (1935) as Allan, A Night at the Opera (1935) as Riccardo Baroni, Rose-Marie (1936) as a tenor, Show Boat (1936) as Gaylord Ravenal, A Day at the Races (1937) as Gil Stewart, The Firefly (1937) as Don Diego, Everybody Sing (1938) as Ricky Saboni, Honeymoon in Bali (1939) as Eric Sinclair, The Great Victor Herbert (1939) as John Ramsey, One Night in the Tropics (1940) as James G. Moore, The Boys from Syracuse (1940) as Antipholus, There's Magic in Music (1941) as Michael Maddy, When Johnny Comes Marching Home (1942) as Johnny Kovacs, Moonlight in Havana (1942) as Johnny Norton, True to the Army (1942) as Pvt. Stephen Chandler, You're a Lucky Fellow, Mr. Smith (1943) as Tony, Sing a Jingle (1943) as Ray King, Rhythm of the Islands (1943) as Tommy, Larceny with Music (1943) as Ken Daniels, Seniorita from the West (1945) as Phil Bradley, Honeymoon Ahead (1945) as Orpheus, Stage to Thunder Rock (1964) as Mayor Ted Dollar, A Swingin' Summer (1965) as Mr. Johnson.

Source: Teri Noel Towe; All Movie Guide (Author: Hal Erickson)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (June 2004)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




David McKinley Williams


BWV 244

Links to other Sites

Allan Jones (Temporary Site)

Allan Jones (Yahoo! Movies)

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