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Al Jolson

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 popular entertainers of the 20th century.

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). However, he is best known today for his appearance in one of the first "talkies" The Jazz Singer, the first fe...
origin Lithuania
years active 1898–1950
music genre Vaudeville, Pop Standards, Jazz

license: GNU FDL
source: Wikipedia


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