Theatre Stars Dazzle 50,000 at United Appeal Drive Show
Menu JTA Search

Theatre Stars Dazzle 50,000 at United Appeal Drive Show

Download PDF for this date

Some fifty thousand persons last night crowded the Yankee Stadium to view the “Night of Stars.” Enjoying themselves mightily, while at the same time contributing to the United Jewish Appeal for German-Jewish refugees, they saw a show which ranks with the greatest ever assembled. Quite modestly and properly the souvenir program called it “A panorama of American entertainment in the 20th Century.”

All Showdom—the theatre, vaudeville, radio, movies and opera—were represented in an entertainment array that must certainly have exceeded the million dollar mark. It was literally a Who’s Who of the entertainment world that did their turns on the several stages in the Yankee Stadium, stages that must have staggered under the plethora of talent cavorting about on them. There were almost as many stars within the stadium as there were in the Heavens above.

And this Heaven — a Heaven that covers all the world without the slightest display of intolerance or inequality—was witnessed to Showdom’s expression of the right of all people to live equal before the law, free from persecution and with the guarantee of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.


As predicted by the weather man, a balmy breeze swept over the Yankee Stadium making the outdoor auditorium a comfortable scene for this greatest of shows. It was thus at 8:30 when Edwin Franko Goldman started the evening’s festivities with a rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner” and “Hatikvoh.” Then followed brief addresses of welcome by Nathan Burkan, chairman of the amusement division of the United Jewish Appeal, and Louis K. Sidney, the chairman of the program committee, the man who was chiefly responsible for the assembling of the show.

The stages were now cleared for entertainment. The stadium darkened and then from the mammoth Big Stage came the music of a thousand musicians playing under the magic direction of Leopold Stokowski, famed Philadelphia Symphony conductor. It was the largest symphonic ensemble over gathered together.

Then with amazing precision for so large a show came the numberless acts on the program. There was Ed Wynn, the Fire Chief of radio; George Burns and Gracie Allen; Gertrude Berg and her famous “Rise of the Goldbergs” skit; Georgie Jessel and his Round Table which included Primo Carnera; Arthur Tracey (The Street Singer); Molly Picon from the Yiddish musical comedy stage; wise-cracking Harry Hershfeld and Baron (Jack Pearl) Munchausen.


Then with less punctuation than marks the beginning of this new paragraph came Lou Holtz and his Magic Wand. And with this star who for sixteen consecutive weeks panicked the Palace, when it was the Palace, was Jack Benny of radio fame. Following came those columnist pals Walter (gray haired) Winchell and Mark (O’Henry) Hellinger.

The comedy was turned off for a moment and came a musical interlude. Jack Denny, Don Bestor and Lud Gluskin alternated in their presentation of syncopated rhythms, each in their own inimitable styles. Then came Eddie Dowling, Jimmy Savo, Kate Smith, Veloz and Yolanda, Moore and Revel, Bob Hope, the Yacht Club Boys, Milton Berle clowning about with the columnists (Paul Yawitz, Louis Sobol, Ed Sullivan and Nick Kenny), George Givot, Phil Spitalny and his co-ed orchestra, Frank and Milt Britton, Harry Richman, Paul Whiteman, Harold Stern, Baby Rose Marie, Julia Sanderson and so on well into the night.

Whether it’s local, domestic or foreign, if it’s news about Jewish life you’ll find it in the Jewish Daily Bulletin.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund