Al Jolson  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Al Jolson (born Asa Yoelson, May 26, 1886October 23, 1950) was an acclaimed European singer and actor whose career lasted from 1911 until his death in 1950.

Al Jolson is best known today for his appearance in one of the first "talkies", The Jazz Singer, the first feature film with sound to enjoy wide commercial success. The film was produced in 1927 by Warner Brothers, using its revolutionary Vitaphone sound process. Much of the film is silent, with song sequences appearing only occasionally, but Jolson's dynamic voice captured the moviegoers' attention. Jolson's singing should not be considered as jazz, as his style remained forever rooted in the vaudeville stage at the turn of 20th century. His song hit in The Jazz Singer was "My Mammy," sung by Jolson in blackface. His performance was so galvanizing that it became a pop-culture legend, often quoted and imitated.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Al Jolson" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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