Singer, Allan Jones had endurance and optimism; he survived two films with the crazy Marx Brothers and he was married four times. He was born on October 14th 1908 in Scranton, Pennsylvania where he received voice training from his Welsh coal-miner father. Allan followed in his father’s footsteps in order to to pay for further musical education. He won a scholarship to the Music School of Syracuse University from where he travelled to Paris for more voice training which he paid for by singing in bistros and bars.
Back in the U.S. he toured in operetta in provincial towns. In 1933 Jerome Kern’s Broadway musical comedy gave him a minor role among greats such as George Murphy, Fay Templeton and Bob Hope in “Roberta”. From minor to major, Allan was given a starring role in the 1934 revival on Broadway of Noel Coward’s “Bitter Sweet” with Evelyn Herbert.
However, it was in films that he was to make his mark, first in “Reckless” in 1935, an MGM movie aptly named because it vainly tried to convert Jean Harlow into a dancing and singing star. She had talents in neither field. In that same year Allan joined the Marx Brothers in their debut film for MGM “A Night At The Opera”. He duetted with Kitty Carlisle on ALONE and soloed on COSI COSA, a favourite of his.
In 1936 MGM loaned Allan to Universal Pictures for the second film version of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II’s “Show Boat”, co-starring Irene Dunne and Charles Winninger . He had appeared in the original 1927 Broadway production. Allan sang three numbers with Irene, including MAKE BELIEVE AND WHY DO I LOVE YOU? The film was a big hit , not least for Allan.