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Al Jolson


Lithuania (1911 – 1950)

Asa “Al Jolson” Yoelson (born to Jewish immigrants Moshe Reuben Yoelson and Naomi Etta Cantor - the original family name was Hesselson - in Seredžius, Lithuania on May 26, 1885 or 1886, and died in San Francisco, California on October 23, 1950) was an American singer. He was one of the most entertainers of the first half of the 20th century.

Early life and career

The son of the Rabbi of the Talmud Torah Synagogue (now Ohev Sholom Talmud Torah) in Washington, D.C., Jolson became a popular singer in New York City in 1898, and gradually developed the key elements of his performance: blackface makeup; exuberant gestures; operatic-style singing; whistling and directly addressing his audience.

By 1911, he had parlayed a supporting appearance in the Broadway musical La Belle Paree into a starring role. He began recording and was soon internationally famous for his extraordinary stage presence and personal rapport with audiences. His Broadway career is unmatched for length and popularity, having spanned close to 30 years (1911-1940). Audiences shouted, pleaded, and often would not allow the show to proceed, such was the power of Jolson’s presence. At one performance in Boston, the usual staid and conservative audience stopped the show for 45 minutes.


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  • GodofDeathMetal

    An extraordinary singer.

    14 Nov 2014 Reply
  • minstreldossier

    al jolson is my mammy

    7 Apr 2014 Reply
  • minstreldossier

    no point complain about old al, if you still listen to the modern minstrels like timberlake and thicke and to a lesser extent bieber

    7 Apr 2014 Reply
  • headey

    Worth trying the tag radio too .

    8 Jan 2013 Reply
  • onagrin

    clap clap clap

    25 Oct 2012 Reply
  • Punkroutine

    "You take the piss out of Al Jolson again and I will remove your iPod from its tiny nano-sheath and push it up your cock! Then I'll put some speakers up your arse and put it on shuffle with my fucking fist. And every time I hear something that I don't like, which will be every time that something comes on, I will skip to the next track by crushing your balls!"

    8 Sep 2012 Reply
  • deathstar461

    interesting reading -

    24 Jul 2012 Reply
  • margolakmuss

    заебали менять фото

    15 Dec 2011 Reply
  • davidn87

    Had his songs stuck in my head again lately \m/

    17 Aug 2011 Reply
  • Antonionii

    He has one of most amazing collection of classic songs. We are very fortunate to be living in this day and age so that we can listen to his work so easily. Then again, I would trade the 2010s for the 1920s anyday...

    12 Aug 2011 Reply
  • rtms1988

    I love vaudeville and all those oldies melodies.

    26 Oct 2010 Reply
  • grumpire

    My uncle Jack used to do a Jolson "tribute" in the 60's/70's at our Christmas family parties, I was a young lad of 8, it blew me away then. I am now sat here with tears in my eyes as Uncle Jack died at the end of last year and any Al Jolson song reminds me of Jack RIP

    30 Jan 2010 Reply
  • davidn87

    boothanew - I remember the first time I heard an Al Jolson song it was Daffy Duck singing Carolina In The Morning lol.

    14 Oct 2009 Reply
  • Old_Bull_Lee

    "We comedians kidded him about never playing the Palace Theater, and Al said, 'Now, I know just when I'm gonna be at the Palace.' - 'When?', we asked him. Jolie answered, 'Why, the day that Jack Benny, Eddie Cantor and Groucho Marx are on the bill. I'm gonna buy out the house. Then I'm gonna tear up all the tickets but one. I'm gonna sit in the front row and yell: SLAVES, ENTERTAIN THE KING!' And that's just what he was: the king. Once you saw him perform you became a subject for life." (Eddie Cantor)

    16 Jun 2009 Reply
  • Monte_Davis

    Love this man soo much.

    14 Feb 2009 Reply
  • AllyWonderland

    I changed the pic back.

    10 Feb 2009 Reply
  • Hklti36Fljf

    he looks like ice-cream man

    26 Jan 2009 Reply
  • CleverName328

    Believing Jolson was racist is like believing Shakespeare was an anti-semite--uninformed and under-educated people be silenced at last.

    9 Oct 2008 Reply
  • Mulatto

    swaaanneee how i love ya how i love ya~!

    1 Oct 2008 Reply

    well, he sure looks like one in that pic. and i dont care if it was usual to parodize blacks like this in those days of showbiz.

    11 Sep 2008 Reply
  • All 41 shouts

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