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Definition: Jolson, Al from Philip's Encyclopedia

US music hall singer, remembered for his sentimental renditions of "Swanee" and "Mammy". He starred in the first 'talkie', The Jazz Singer (1927).


Summary Article: Jolson, Al (Asa Yoelson) (c.1886-1950)
from Chambers Film Factfinder

Lithuanian, born in Srednike. Arriving in the USA as a child, he ran away from home to join the circus and became a stellar Broadway attraction before making his film debut in the short April Showers (1926). An inveterate showman, his exuberant patter and heart-tugging songs in the landmark part-talkie The Jazz Singer (1927) ensured his place in cinema history.

Career highs

The Jazz Singer (1927), The Singing Fool (1928), Mammy (1930)

Career lows

Say It with Songs (1929), The Singing Kid (1936)

Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd 2006

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