Sonny Boy

  • The Song
  • Back Stories
composition date
1928
genre
Film
songwriter(s)
Ray Henderson
Lew Brown
Al Jolson
B.G. De Sylva
related performer(s)
Al Jolson

Parody or not?

The song was written overnight by De Sylva, Brown, and Henderson at the behest of Jolson, who was about to film The Singing Fool. The producers needed a song fast to replace one dropped from the score. Rumor has it that the songwriters meant it as a parody of the heartstring-pulling ballads for which Jolson was known. Whatever the intention, it was a smash hit.

Bookmark and Share
The 3 part PBS Series
Own the DVD