Born the son of a coal miner in Scranton, Pa., Allan Jones worked the mines as a boy before attending Syracuse University Music School on a scholarship. He studied voice in Paris, where his pristine tones brought him several club dates before he returned to the United States, touring with national companies of Broadway musicals.
Moving to Hollywood, he quickly became a romantic lead opposite such stars as Irene Dunne in "Show Boat" and as a Spanish grandee opposite Jeanette MacDonald in "The Firefly." It was in that 1937 picture that he first sang Rudolf Friml's paean to a mule, a melody that was to dominate his concert and club performances for the rest of his life.
His recording of "Donkey Serenade" became one of RCA Records' all-time bestsellers. His son, from his 1936 marriage to actress Irene Hervey, is pop singing star Jack Jones.