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Al Jolson

In addition to releasing a string of successful records between 1912 and 1949, Al Jolson achieved pre-eminent stardom on Broadway, hosted several radio series, and became the first important figure of the sound-era of motion pictures. His performing style was brash and extroverted; he billed himself as "the world's greatest entertainer," and he was known for his slogan, "You ain't heard nothin' yet!" He popularized a large number of songs that benefited from his shamelessly sentimental, melodramatic approach, one which, especially when executed in front of live audiences, was considered by those who saw it to justify all his claims to greatness. In middle age, he came to be considered hammy and old-fashioned, but he mounted a major comeback late in life. A more serious impediment to his long-term legacy, however, is that he was the foremost blackface entertainer of his day, and his reputation has suffered as the racist implications of minstrelsy have become more apparent to later generations. Nevertheless, he was, at his peak in the 1920s, the most successful entertainer in the U.S..

Jolson's date of birth is uncertain. He was the son of a cantor who emigrated to the U.S. in the early 1890s, settling in Washington, D.C. and followed later by his family. Jolson arrived in the U.S. in April 1894, probably at about the age of eight. He displayed an interest in show business as a child. As early as the summer of 1896, he and his older brother Harry were street entertainers. In September 1899, he made his first stage appearance in the play Children of the Ghetto. He began working in vaudeville early in the 20th century, often appearing as part of an act with his brother. He was working in blackface as a single by June 1906. In 1908 and 1909, he was a member of the leading minstrel troupe of the time, led by Lew Dockstader. He crossed over to the legitimate stage by appearing in the Broadway show La Belle Paree, which opened at the Winter Garden on March 20, 1911. Continuing to perform in blackface, he became a star in the show, which ran 104 performances. He was given a more prominent role in the next Winter Garden production, Vera Violetta, which opened November 20, 1911, and ran 112 performances. By now, he had attained sufficient attention that Victor Records signed him to a contract, and he made his first issued recordings on December 22, 1911, a single combining two songs from Vera Violetta, "Rum Tum Tiddle" and "Ragging the Baby to Sleep." (Although there were no formal charts at the time, various researchers have made estimates of records' popularity, and they agree that the single was a commercial success.)

In The Whirl of Society, which opened on March 5, 1912, Jolson introduced the character of Gus, a wily African-American servant who would be his frequent on-stage persona from then on. The show ran 136 performances in New York, then it went on tour from September 1912 to January 1913, and he remained with it. From this time on, he would tour extensively around the country with his shows, becoming a national rather than just a Broadway star. His next record hit was "Ragging the Baby to Sleep" in the summer of 1912. He opened in his fourth Broadway musical, The Honeymoon Express, just after returning to New York; it opened February 6, 1913, running 156 performances, then toured from September 1913 to May 1914. In March, he recorded the comic song "The Spaniard That Blighted My Life" from the score and earned another hit. "You Made Me Love You," which he interpolated into the show; it became his first hit under a new contract with Columbia Records that had commenced in June 1913. It was notable as his first success with a romantic ballad and began his transition from being defined primarily as a comic to being thought of as a singer.

By now, the stage shows in which Jolson appeared were merely vehicles for him. He added and dropped songs as he liked, and it was not unusual for him to dismiss the cast and turn the performance into a solo concert, much to the audience's delight. Dancing Around, his fifth show, opened at the Winter Garden on October 10, 1914, and ran 145 performances, with a tour that lasted from February 1915 to December 1915. His biggest record hit during this period was "Back to the Carolina You Love" in January 1915. His sixth musical, Robinson Crusoe, Jr., opened in New York on February 17, 1916, for a run of 139 performances, followed by a tour that took up the entire 1916-17 season, not closing until November 17, 1917. The biggest hit to emerge from the show was "Yaaka Hula, Hickey Dula" in June 1916. Sinbad, his seventh show, opened on Broadway on February 14, 1918, and ran 164 performances. Demonstrating the singer's massive popularity, it toured for three years, not closing until June 25, 1921. Over the course of this long run, he interpolated many songs into the show that became record hits, and he also recorded hits not related to the show. The biggest included: "I'm All Bound 'Round With the Mason-Dixon Line," the World War I-themed "Hello, Central, Give Me No-Man's Land," "Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With a Dixie Melody," "I'll Say She Does"; the post-war-themed "I've Got My Captain Working for Me Now," "Swanee" (giving George Gershwin his first big success as a songwriter), "Avalon," and "O-Hi-O." Starting with "I'll Say She Does," Jolson's name began to appear as a co-songwriter on some of the songs he popularized; it is generally assumed that he did not actually make substantial creative contributions, but that he was "cut in" on the publishing money as an inducement to sing the songs. Another song from this period with which he is closely associated is "My Mammy," which he introduced on-stage toward the end of the run of Sinbad and continued to sing thereafter, although he did not record it until later.

When Jolson next opened in his eighth musical, Bombo, in New York, it was at a theater named after him, Jolson's 59th Street Theater. The show began on October 6, 1921, and ran 218 performances on Broadway before beginning a two-year road trip that lasted until May 1924. As usual, there was a series of hit records during this period, some of which he also sang on-stage; among them were "April Showers," "Angel Child," "Toot Toot Tootsie (Goo'bye!)," and "California, Here I Come!" (The last was his first hit for Brunswick Records after a decade on Columbia.) In between the end of the run of Bombo and the start of his next show, he had two further record hits, "I Wonder What's Become of Sally?" in November 1924 and "All Alone" in January 1925. His ninth Broadway musical, Big Boy, which opened January 7, 1925, ran for only 48 performances in New York due to the singer's health problems, but he toured in it through the end of the 1927 season, meanwhile scoring such record hits as "I'm Sitting on Top of the World" and "When the Red, Red Robin Comes Bob-Bob-Bobbin' Along."

Jolson appeared in one of the first experimental films to match sound with picture, the short Al Jolson in a Plantation Act in October 1926. In the summer of 1927, he filmed the first full-length feature to use sound, The Jazz Singer, based on a play that loosely followed his own biography, concerning a cantor's son who becomes a secular singer over his father's objections. The film opened October 6, 1927, and forever changed the motion picture industry, meanwhile expanding his stardom to the movies. Rather than going into yet another stage musical, he returned to celluloid and made his second feature, The Singing Fool, which opened in September 1928 and became the highest grossing film in history, a position it held until the release of Gone with the Wind in 1939. Naturally, record hits flowed from the score, notably "Sonny Boy" and "There's a Rainbow Round My Shoulder."

The novelty appeal of sound quickly subsided, and audiences began to tire of a glut of movie musicals, so Jolson's next films, Say It With Songs (August 1929), Mammy (March 1930), and an adaptation of his stage show Big Boy (September 1930), were not successful, though "Little Pal," from the first of these, was another record hit. At the same time, a wave of soft-voiced "crooners" such as Rudy Vallée were changing listeners' tastes in singing, and Jolson's full-voiced performances were coming to seem dated. Though he had relocated to California with his third wife, actress/dancer Ruby Keeler, he returned to Broadway in The Wonder Bar, which opened on March 17, 1931, for the first of 86 New York performances, after which it toured through the 1931-32 season. Returning to California, he shot the imaginative movie musical Hallelujah, I'm a Bum, a fantasy about the Depression featuring rhymed dialogue and songs by Rodgers & Hart. In November 1932, the month of its release, he launched his first radio series, Presenting Al Jolson, which ran into February 1933. Meanwhile, he stopped making records, cutting his final sessions for Brunswick in December 1932. In August 1933, he took over the long-running musical variety series Kraft Music Hall on radio and hosted it for the 1933-34 season. His next film, released in February 1934, was a movie version of Wonder Bar, followed by Go Into Your Dance (May 1935) and The Singing Kid (April 1936). On radio, he hosted Shell Chateau in 1935-36 and Café Trocadero in 1936-39.

By the end of the 1930s, Jolson was semi-retired, taking supporting roles in films in which he sometimes played himself or someone very much like him, notably Rose of Washington Square (May 1939), Hollywood Cavalcade (October 1939), and Swanee River (December 1939). He made a final return to Broadway in Hold On to Your Hats, which opened September 11, 1940, running 158 performances and touring into the fall of 1941. The entry of the U.S. into World War II inspired him to travel the country, and eventually the world entertaining American troops. He returned to radio with a new series, Al Jolson, for the 1942-43 season, but was back on the road to military installations by summer 1943. He was slowed down by bouts of malaria and pneumonia, and finally was forced to stop in late 1944, then underwent an operation to remove part of his left lung in early 1945. The surgery caused his voice to drop to bass register, but he kept singing, returning to the movies in Rhapsody in Blue (June 1945), a film biography of George Gershwin in which he played himself. His rousing performance of "Swanee" led Decca Records to sign him to his first record contract in more than 12 years. It also inspired Columbia Pictures to undertake a film biography of him, and in October 1946 The Jolson Story, starring Larry Parks, his singing voice dubbed by Jolson, opened to enormous success, becoming one of the Top Ten grossing films in history up to that time. By the late 1940s, Jolson's dramatic singing style was back in fashion. "Anniversary Song" and a re-recording of "April Showers" became gold-selling hits, and the Decca album Al Jolson in Songs He Made Famous, a virtual soundtrack album, spent 25 weeks at number one on the Billboard chart, followed to the top of the chart by Al Jolson Souvenir Album and Al Jolson, Vol. 3. The albums consisted largely of re-recordings of the old hits.

His career completely rejuvenated, Jolson was re-hired as host of Kraft Music Hall, appearing on the radio series for the 1947-48 and 1948-49 seasons. Naturally, there was a sequel to The Jolson Story, as Jolson Sings Again opened in August 1949, accompanied by an identically titled album that spent nearly a year on the charts. He took a break from his comeback to go to Korea at his own expense and entertain the American troops fighting in the Korean War in September 1950. The month after his return, exhausted by his efforts, he suffered a fatal heart attack.

In the years immediately following Jolson's death, he was remembered on record largely through his final recordings for Decca, which were reissued frequently. For example, in 1957, the label simultaneously released five LPs under the overall heading The Jolson Story, with the subtitles You Made Me Love You, Rock-A-Bye Your Baby, Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder, You Ain't Heard Nothin' Yet!, and Jolson Story (Memories). The double-LP The Best of Jolson, released in 1962, when it made the Top 40, long served as the singer's primary compilation. Meanwhile, his Victor, Columbia, and Brunswick recordings mostly languished out of print. Sony Music, which had come to be the repository of the Columbia and some of the Brunswick recordings, addressed this in 1994 when, as part of its Art Deco series of archival reissues, it released the CD You Ain't Heard Nothin' Yet: Jolie's Finest Columbia Recordings on Columbia/Legacy. Another notable release was the soundtrack compilation Let Me Sing and I'm Happy: Al Jolson at Warner Bros. 1926-1936, issued by Rhino in association with Turner Classic Movies in 1996.

But if the major companies that control Jolson's recordings in the U.S. have been negligent, other labels, especially overseas, have filled the record shelves. Taking advantage of the 50-year limit on copyrights for recordings in Europe, numerous record companies have pressed up CDs of his studio recordings, airchecks, and soundtrack performances on a dizzying number of releases, many of them available in the U.S. At the same time, his films have begun to turn up more frequently, but their proliferation continues to be stymied by the same onus that dogged his career in general, the blackface issue. Of course, he was far from being the only performer to appear in blackface (one can find many other examples among his contemporaries and followers, including Eddie Cantor, Fred Astaire, and Bing Crosby) at a time when such portrayals were not widely viewed as racist. They are today, however, and even if Jolson's prominence as a blackface entertainer makes him a scapegoat, his association with minstrelsy is likely to continue to prevent him from being remembered as favorably by history as he might be otherwise. ~ William Ruhlmann
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: Are You Lonesome Tonight

1. Are You Lonesome Tonight

2. Swanee

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Track List: The Unforgettable Al Jolson (Remastered)

1. I'm Sitting On Top Of The World

2. California Here I Come

3. Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody

4. Sonny Boy

5. When The Red Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbin' Along

6. Swanee

7. Avalon

8. My Mammy

9. Anniversary Song

10. For Me And My Gal

11. There's A Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder

12. Oh You Beautiful Doll

13. You Made Me Love You

14. April Showers

15. Let Me Sing And I'm Happy

16. Toot, Toot, Tootsie!

17. After You've Gone

18. Ma Blushin' Rosie

x

Track List: Les Chansons Zeide

5. Cantor De Sábado

x

Track List: Among My Souvenirs

1. Among My Souvenirs

2. Roses Of Picardy

3. Say It Isn't So

4. Little Pal

5. Without A Song

6. After You've Gone

7. When Day Is Done

8. I'm Always Chasing Rainbows

9. Memories

10. Always

11. That Old Gang Of Mine

12. Ol' Man River

x

Track List: Jolson's Greatest Hits

1. There's A Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder

2. Anniversary Song

5. Ma Blushin' Rosie (Ma Posie Sweet) (Live)

6. I've Gotta Get Back To New York (Live)

7. When You Were Sweet Sixteen (Live)

8. Toot Toot Tootsie!

9. The One I Love Belongs To Somebody Else (Live)

10. She Is My Daisy (Live)

12. Sonny Boy

13. Hello 'Tucky (Live)

14. Swanee

15. California Here I Come

16. My Mammy

17. Baby Face (Live)

18. Avalon

19. Alabamy Bound (Live)

20. You Made Me Love You

22. Let Me Sing And I'm Happy

23. Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody

24. April Showers

25. My Gal Sal (Live)

27. That Certain Party Of Mine (Live)

x

Track List: The Platinum Collection

1. Swanee

2. California, Here I Come

3. Toot, Toot, Tootsie!

4. Sonny Boy

5. You Made Me Love You

6. When The Red, Red Robin Comes Bob, Bob, Bobin' Alone

7. I'm Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover

8. There's A Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder

9. Avalon

10. April Showers

11. Rockabye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody

12. Ma (She's Making Eyes At Me)

13. Liza (All The Clouds'll Roll Away)

14. Carolina In The Morning

15. I Wish I Hard A Girl

16. Ma Blushin' Rosie (Me Posie Sweet)

17. My Melancholy Baby

18. My Mammy

19. Margie

20. Let Me Sing And I'm Happy

21. When You Were Sweet Sixteen

22. Anniversary Song

23. If I Only Had A Match

24. Easter Parade

25. About A Quarter To Nine

26. Ol' Man River

x

Track List: You Made Me Love You

1. When I Leave The World Behind

2. When The Grown-Up Ladies Act Like Babies

3. You Ain't Heard Nothing Yet

4. You Are Too Beautiful

5. You Made Me Love You

6. Liza

7. Marcheta

8. My Old Kentucky Home

9. Nothing Could Be Finer

10. Sister Susie's Sewing

11. That Lovin' Traumerei

12. Waitin' For The Robert E

13. When You Were Sweet Sixteen

14. That Little German Band

15. The One I Love Belongs To Somebody Else

16. The Spaniard That Blighted My Life (Album Title Version)

17. There's A Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder

18. Toot Toot Tootsie Goodbye

19. Waitin' For The Evening Mail

20. Way Down Yonder In New Orleans

x

Track List: I'll Be Seeing You

1. Beautiful Dreamer

2. Everybody Snap Your Fingers With Me

3. For Me And My Gal

4. Hallelujah, I'm A Bum

5. Hatikvah-Thats A Word Oy Vey

6. Hello Central, Give Me No Mans Land

7. How Ya Gonna Keep 'em Down On The Farm After They've Seen Paree

8. I'll Be Seeing You

9. I Dream Of Jeannie

10. I've Got My Captain Working For Me

11. I Gave Her That

12. I Sent My Wife To The Thousand Isles

13. I Want A Girl

14. Ida

15. Kol Nidre

16. Latin From Manhattan

17. Let Me Sing And I'm Happy

18. Chinatown, My Chinatown

19. Chloe

20. Down Where The Swanee River Flows

x

Track List: Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

1. I Love To Singha

2. Ball In The Jack

3. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

4. All Alone

5. Anniversary Waltz

6. April Showers

7. Are You Lonesome Tonight

8. At Peace With The World

9. Avalon

10. Back To The Carolina You Love

11. Blue River

12. Brother Can You Spare A Dime

13. By Light Of The Silvery Moon

14. California Here I Come

15. Camptown Races

16. Chasing Rainbows

17. Easter Parade

18. When The Little Red Roses Get The Blues For You

19. Whispering

20. Who Played Poker With Pocahontas

21. Yaaka Hula Hickey Dula

x

Track List: Rock-A-Bye Your Baby

1. On The Road To Calais

2. One Sweet Kiss

3. Pasadena

4. Peg Of My Heart

5. Pretty Baby

6. Quarter To Nine, (About A)

7. Real Piano Player

8. Red Red Robin

9. Revival Day

10. Rockabye Your Baby

11. Rum Tum Tiddle

12. Say It Isn't So USESK0604351

13. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

14. Sonny Boy

15. Steppin' Out

16. Sumertime

17. Swannie

18. Sweet Sixteen

19. Tell That To The Marines

20. That Haunting Melody

x

Track List: Give My Regards To Broadway

1. My Mammy

2. April Showers

3. Let Me Sing And I'm Happy

4. You Made Me Love You

5. Carolina In The Morning

6. Swanee

7. Toot, Toot, Tootsie

8. California, Here I Come

9. Anniversary Song

10. When You Were Sweet Sixteen

11. Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody

12. Sonny Boy

13. I Only Have Eyes For You

14. Pretty Baby

15. Medley: I'm Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover/Baby Face

16. There's A Rainbow Round My Shoulder

17. After You've Gone

18. Dirty Hands, Dirty Face

19. Ol' Man River

20. Waiting For The Robert E. Lee

21. By The Light Of The Silver Moon

22. Is It True What They Say About Dixie?

23. I'm Sitting On Top Of The World

24. When The Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbin' Along

25. Give My Regards To Broadway

x

Track List: California Here I Come

1. There's A Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder

2. Four Walls

3. One Sweet Kiss

4. Miami

5. California Here I Come

6. Never Again

7. Keep Smiling At Trouble

8. The One I Love Belongs To Somebody Else

9. Mr. Radio Man

10. I've Got My Captain Working For Me Now

11. That Haunting Melody

12. Who Played Poker With Pocahontas

13. Chloe

14. Tell That To The Marines

x

Track List: Memories

1. Cantor On The Sabath

2. Kol Nidre

3. Israel

4. Hatikvoh

5. Remember Mother's Day

6. In Our House

7. Old Black Joe

8. My Old Kentucky Home

9. Beautiful Dreamer

10. Massa's In De Cold, Cold Ground

11. Old Folk's Home

12. I Dream Of Jeanie With The Light Brown Hair

13. Oh Susannah

14. Camptown Races

x

Track List: At The Movies

1. Swanee

2. Toot Toot Tootsie

3. My Mammy

4. For Me And My Gal

5. Alexander's Ragtime Band

6. Rockabye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody

7. California Here I Come

8. When You Were Sweet Sixteen

9. Avalon

10. Carolina In The Morning

11. Sonny Boy

12. Is It True What They Say About Dixie?

13. Alabamy Bound

14. You Made Me Love You

15. Give My Regards To Broadway

16. I Only Have Eyes For You

17. I'm Sitting On Top Of The World

18. April Showers

19. There's A Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder

20. Let Me Sing And I'm Happy

x

Track List: April Showers (Single)

1. April Showers

x

Track List: Essential Jazz Masters: You Made Me Love You

1. That Haunting Melody

2. Rum Tum Tiddle

3. Asleep In The Deep

4. Snap Your Fingers (And Away We Go)

5. Brass Band Ephraham Jones

6. Raggin The Baby To Sleep

7. That Lovin' Traumerai

8. Movin' Man. Don't Take My Baby Grand

9. My Yellow Jacket Girl

10. The Spaniard That Blighted My Life

11. The Pullman Porters' Parade

12. You Made Me Love You

13. That Little German Ban (Al Jolon's La-La Song)

14. Everybody Snap Your Fingers With Me

15. Back To The Carolina You Love

16. Revival Day

17. Sister Suzie's Sewing Shirts For Soldiers (Take 1)

18. Sister Suzie's Sewing Shirts For Soldiers (Take 2)

19. When The Grown-Up Ladies Act Like Babies (Take 1)

20. When The Grown-Up Ladies Act Like Babies (Take 2)

21. Yaaka Hoola Hickey Doola

22. Where Did Robinson Crusoe Go (With Friday On Saturday Night?)

23. Down Where The Swqanee River Flows

24. Now He's Got A Beautiful Girl

x

Track List: Above & Beyond - Al Jolson

1. Golden Gate

2. My Papa Doesn't Two-Time No Time

3. Hello 'Tucky

4. Hallellujah! I'm A Bum

5. Rock A Bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody

6. Toot, Toot, Tootsie

7. Anniversary Song

8. At Peace With The World

9. After You've Gone

10. Miami

11. April Showers

12. My Mammy

13. You Are Too Beautiful

14. There's A Rainbow 'Round My Shoulders

15. You Made Me Love You

16. Give My Regards To Broadway

17. Ol' Man River

18. Dirty Hands, Dirty Face

19. Mr Radio Man

20. Avalon

21. Oh! You Beautiful Doll (Live)

22. California, Here I Come

23. Back In Your Own Backyard

24. Swanee

25. For Me And My Gal

26. When The Red Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobin' Along

27. Sonny Boy

x

Track List: History Of Music. Al Jolson, The Jazz Singer

1. Pretty Baby

2. Moon Along The Wabash

3. Swanee

4. My Mammy

5. Easter Parade

6. Yoo Hoo

7. I Got Plenty Of Nothing

8. For Me And My Gal

9. I'd Rather Listen To Your Eyes

10. Yes Sir That's My Baby

11. Baby Face

12. By The Light Of The Silvery Moon

13. Toot, Toot, Tootsie

14. I Only Have Eyes For You

15. You're All I Need

16. Give My Regards To Broadway

17. Avalon

18. I'm Just Wild About Harry

19. Love Is Just Around The Corner

20. His Majesty The Baby

x

Track List: Let Me Sing And I'm Happy

Disc 1

1. Swanee

2. April Showers

3. Ma Blushin' Rosie

4. My Mammy

5. You Made Me Love You

6. Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody

7. California, Here I Come

8. Sonny Boy

9. Avalon

10. Anniversary Song

11. Alexander's Ragtime Band

12. The Spaniard That Blighted My Life

13. All My Love

14. Keep Smiling At Trouble

15. Back In Your Own Back Yard

16. I'm Sitting On Top Of The World

17. Where The Black-Eyed Susans Grow

18. Toot, Toot, Tootsie, Goodbye

19. Carolina In The Morning

20. Liza

21. For Me And My Gal

22. Waiting For The Robert E. Lee

23. About A Quarter To Nine

24. Golden Gate

25. When You Were Sweet Sixteen

26. There's A Rainbow Round My Shoulder

27. If I Only Had A Match

28. Let Me Sing And I'm Happy

29. By The Light Of The Silvery Moon

30. I Want A Girl

Disc 2

1. When The Red, Red Robin Comes Bob-Bob-Bobbin' Along

2. Someone Else May Be There While I'm Gone

3. Down Among The Sheltering Palms

4. Is It True What They Say About Dixie

5. I Only Have Eyes For You

6. That Wonderful Girl Of Mine

7. I'm Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover / Baby Face

8. Pretty Baby

9. Chinatown, My Chinatown

10. After You've Gone

11. It All Depends On You

12. Give My Regards To Broadway

13. Some Enchanted Evening

14. I'm Just Wild About Harry

15. God's Country

16. Remember Mother's Day

17. The Old Piano Roll Blues

18. Way Down Yonder In New Orleans

19. Old Black Joe

20. My Old Kentucky Home

21. Beautiful Dreamer

22. Oh, Susanna!

23. Massa's In De Cold, Cold Ground

24. Jeanie With The Light Brown Hair

25. Old Folks At Home

26. Camptown Races

27. Are You Lonesome Tonight

28. No Sad Songs For Me

x

Track List: After You've Gone

1. After You've Gone

2. Mammy

3. Oh You Beautiful Doll

4. Singing Fool The Spaniard

5. I Wonder What's Become Of Sally

6. Alabamy Bound

7. Auld Lang Syne

8. Beautiful Dreamer

9. Chicago

10. I'm In Seventh Heaven

11. I'm Sitting On Top Of The World

12. I Only Have Eyes For You

13. I'll Say She Does

14. I'll Stand Beneath Your Window Tonight

15. I'm All Bound Round With The Mason Dixon Line

16. I'm Always Chasing Rainbows

17. I'm Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover

18. Im Just Wild About Harry

19. My Love Belongs To Somebody Else

20. Israel

21. It Goes Like This

x

Track List: 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best Of Al Jolson

1. Swanee

2. California, Here I Come

3. April Showers

4. My Mammy

5. Rock-A-Bye Your Babe With A Dixie Melody

6. You Made Me Love You

7. Anniversary Song

8. Alexander's Ragtime Band

9. Sonny Boy

10. Liza

11. Toot, Toot, Tootsie!

12. When You Were Sweet Sixteen

x

Track List: The Jazz Singer

1. April Showers

2. Sonny Boy

3. Mother Of Mine, I Still Have You

4. Lazy

5. Hello 'Tucky

6. You Flew From The Nest

7. There's A Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder

8. Little Pal

9. Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody

10. Dirty Hands, Dirty Face

11. My Mammy

12. I'm Sitting On Top Of The World

13. Mr Radio Man

14. I'd Climb The Highest Mountain (If I Knew I'd Find You)

15. Blue River

16. When The Red, Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbin' Along

17. Golden Gate

18. I'm In Seventh Heaven

x

Track List: Snap Your Fingers - From The Archives (Digitally Remastered)

1. Snap Your Fingers And Away You Go

2. The Spaniard That Blighted My Life

3. My Yellow Jacket Girl

4. Asleep In The Deep

5. That Lovin' Traumerei

6. Brass Band Ephraham Jones

7. That Haunting Melody

8. Rum Tum Tiddle

9. The Pullman's Porter Parade

10. You Made Me Love You

11. Sister Susie's Sewing Shirts For Soldiers

12. When The Grown Up Ladies Act Like Babies

x

Track List: Duets

x

Track List: The Best Of Al Jolson

1. You Made Me Love You

2. Swanee

3. I'm Sitting On Top Of The World

4. When The Red, Red, Robbin Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin' Along

5. Back In Your Own Backyard

6. My Mammy

7. There's A Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder

8. Sonny Boy

9. Let Me Sing And I'm Happy

10. Hallelujah, I'm A Bum

11. April Showers

13. You Are Too Beautiful

14. Anniversary Song

15. Toot, Toot, Tootsie!

x

Track List: Remastered Jolson

1. Ol' Man River

2. California Here I Come

3. For Me And My Gal

4. After You've Gone

5. Always

6. Anniversary Song

7. April Showers

8. Give My Regards To Broadway

9. I Only Have Eyes For You

10. I'm Sitting On Top Of The World

11. Let Me Sing And I'm Happy

12. Ma Blushin Rosie

13. My Mammy

14. Oh You Beautiful Doll (Live)

15. Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody

16. Sonny Boy

17. Swanee

18. There's A Rainbow Round My Shoulder

19. Toot, Toot, Tootsie

20. When The Red Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbin' Along

21. You Made Me Love You

x

Track List: Stage Highlights 1911-1925

1. That Lovin' Traumerai

2. Rum Tum Tiddle

3. Snap Your Fingers

4. The Spaniard That Blighted My Life

5. You Made Me Love You

6. That Little German Band

7. Sister Susie's Sewing Shirts For Soldiers

8. When The Grown Up Ladies Act Like Babies

9. Yaaka Hula Hickey Dula

10. Where Did Robinson Crusoe Go With Friday On Saturday Night?

11. Down Where The Swanee River Flows

12. Now He's Got A Beautiful Girl

13. Tillie Titwillow

14. 'N' Everything

15. There's A Lump Of Sugar Down In Dixie

16. Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody

17. Hello, Central, Give Me No-Man's Land

18. I'll Say She Does

19. Give Me My Mammy

20. Toot, Toot, Tootsie

21. Morning Will Come

22. I'm Going South

23. Hello 'tucky

24. Keep Smiling At Trouble

25. Miami

x

Track List: Jolie's Finest Columbia Recordings

1. That Little German Band

2. Everybody Snap Your Fingers With Me

3. Back To The Carolina You Love

4. Revival Day

5. Sister Susie's Sewing Shirts For Soldiers

6. Yaaka Hula Hickey Dula

7. Where Did Robinson Crusoe Go With Friday On Saturday

8. Down Where The Swanee River Flows

9. I Sent My Wife To The Thousand Isles

10. Tell That To The Marines

11. I'll Say She Does

12. On The Road To Calais

13. Swanee

14. In Sweet September

15. Avalon

16. O-Hi-O

17. April Showers

18. Toot, Toot, Tootsie (Goo'bye)

19. Morning Will Come

20. Stella

21. Waitin' For The Evening Mail

22. Hallelujah, I'm A Bum

23. You Are Too Beautiful

24. Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody

x

Track List: The Greatest Entertainer

1. Carolina In The Morning

2. Swanee

3. Give My Regards To Broadway

4. Is It True What They Say About Dixie

5. You Made Me Love You

6. California Here I Come

7. Sonny Boy

8. My Mammy

9. I Only Have Eyes For You

10. Theres A Rainbow Over My Shoulder

11. Easter Parade

12. After You’ve Gone

13. Chicago

14. The Best Things In Life Are Free

15. Alexander's Ragtime Band

16. Avalon

x

Track List: Mammy

1. Mammy

2. 'N Everything

3. Night Train

4. Oh Danny Boy

5. O-Hi-O (O-My!-O!) (2010)

6. Old Folks At Home

7. Old Man River

8. Who Cares

9. Angel Child

10. I'm Happy

11. In Sweet September

12. Lisa

13. Little Pal

14. Ma

15. Mammy Mine

16. Mandy

17. Meloncoly Baby

18. Mother Of Mine I Still Have You

19. Mr.Radio Man

x

Track List: Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder

1. There's A Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder

2. Sonny Boy

3. Liza (All The Clouds'll Roll Away)

4. Keep Smiling At Trouble

5. California, Here I Come

6. Back In Your Own Back Yard

7. Are You Lonesome Tonight

8. I'm Sitting On Top Of The World

9. It All Depends On You

10. When The Red, Red Robin Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin' Along

11. Let Me Sing And I'm Happy

12. Medley: I'm Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover/Baby Face

x

Track List: Historia De La Musica. Al Jolson, El Cantante De Jazz

1. Pretty Baby

2. Moon Along The Wabash

3. Swanee

4. My Mammy

5. Easter Parade

6. Yoo Hoo

7. I Got Plenty Of Nothing

8. For Me And My Gal

9. I'd Rather Listen To Your Eyes

10. Yes Sir That's My Baby

11. Baby Face

12. By The Light Of The Silvery Moon

13. Toot, Toot, Tootsie

14. I Only Have Eyes For You

15. You're All I Need

16. Give My Regards To Broadway

17. Avalon

18. I'm Just Wild About Harry

19. Love Is Just Around The Corner

20. His Majesty The Baby

Comments

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Many people think that al jolson was racist because he performed in blackface but he wasnt because most blackface performers portrayed black people as dumb but he didn't and don't get me wrong im not a fan of blackface performing it's beyond disgusting and racist in most cases exept al jolson he wasn't racist
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Born the year Jolson died. Saw his bio movies and fell in love with his voice. Very different. Good songs. Can watch his bio movies all the time and his music will put me to sleep. I find it very relaxing. Larry Parks did a great imitation of him.
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My favorite artists were Ernest Tubb and Bob Wills in the 40's and I 1946 I discovered in my grand father's attic Jimmie Rodgers. In high school . In that year on a whim I wrote to Mrs. Rodgers in San Antoine and we became friends by phone and mail. I met her in New Orleans and Meridian, Miss. And among the me morbilias she sent was A rare J. R. Picture record which I donated to the Country Music Hall of Fame with much fan fare. BUT in 1946 I saw the Jolson Story and he moved to second with me a
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donduck
My father did a great impression of Jolson sang and sounded just like him.
My mother played the piano they played all the time . I was very lucky to grow up with that. In later years they use to play some condos in Florida. Always a hit. rest in piece Mom, Herbi and Jolson.
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Great entertainer in every way
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AQl Jolson---the greatest entertainer of the first half of the twentieth century...PE R I O D . . .
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when i was younger,my father would listen and sing along with Al Jolson songs, although as I got to be a teenager and older would complain oh no not that again when i would come home after drinking or drunk with a hangover my father would blast his stereo with Al Jolson now in my fifties i find myself listening to Al Jolson songs remembering my father but also enjoying the music tremendously , y o u are missed Jolie
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Very well said, Mark Story Jenks. You are right about Jolson, and about how political correctness is one of the things that are destroying the country.
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This man was a class act, singing with a voice full of longing. Racial relations are always a work in progress. We will perhaps be judged harshly by those who come after us, and there is always more work to be done. Irregardless of these tensions, Jolie was an American treasure, and the timeless qualities of his voice and music are a testament to this fact. Rest in Peace, Jolie. We miss you.
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One more thing concerning Al Jolson, and anyone who considers him as a racist. The old saying: Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery should be considered, and backs up my belief as stated below.
Political correctness is one of the things that is ruining this county of ours. What if I said Nat King Cole is racist because he sings like a white man?
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Al Jolson loved this country in a huge, almost profound way. He risked his health and even his life to go overseas and entertain troops in WW 2 and later the Korean war.
Blackface was not racist! I'm a white man. I know persons of color were treated unfairly for way too long. But Jolson did not portray a black man as some kind of idiot. Quite the contrary! Jolson's songs are about the strong bonds and love of family, of strong faith in God, and of struggles to overcome adversity.
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Jolson was the Biber of his day. Not that Biber can even come close to
The masterful Jolson. Al was one of the greats.


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jim5nyc
Jolson had to be the best entertainer in the first half of the last centrury. Frank Sinatra took the second half. Nothing even comes close today- what a shame! I was lucky to have seen The Jolson Story and Jolson Sings Again when I was a teenager. The favorable impressions of that movie and the music by Jolson have stayed with me all my life. How lucky I am!
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JOLSON WAS AND STILL THE BEST!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
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I saw the Jolson story as a kid and bought the vhs and latter bought the set on dvd of the Jolson Story and Jolson sings again Larry Parks was excellent in the movie he was way before his time as the music is still recorded to this day -Sean in Kansas
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TONY I MISS THE MUSIC I WISH I WAS BACK THERE NOW
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My man, I was just a little kid, watching him on TV, I was mesmerized, and yes he makes you want to sing and dance.
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this is my very first favorite artist, i found a casette tape with his music on it in my greatgrand fathers stuff. i was like 4 or 5, the only other stuff he had was some old Conway Twitty stuff, no way i could listen to that. im 22 now. R.I.P. Pop
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My favorite singer. Watch his movies often.
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Is that Taylor Swift in the pic?
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regduane
Asa!what a wonderful singer!
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goss10427
Larry Parks axed his career because he was found to be a communist.
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Yay racism!...
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My first contact with Al Jolson and his music was his story, in which Larry Parks acted the part of Mr. Jolson. It made a very favorable impression on me as a child, and I got some of his recorded music. He was a great artist, in my estimation.
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cymraeg
The first death that had an impact on my life was Al Jolson's. I grew up listening to his music on 78 records. It was a special joy to see the stage play "Jolson" several years ago. I sat next to a couple who apparently thought the performance would be great old songs, but who had no idea about Al Jolson or his music. Enough people like that and I can understand why the play never made it to New York.
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This was a very good article. Couldn't quit reading. It's too bad that he couldn't have been remembered by his accomplishme n t s instead of the black-face images. At that time, the way I see it, it was not considered racist, just entertainmen t . This was in my Mom and Dad's era.
School Superintende n t ' s Secretary
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Great write up on Jolie, albeit a bit skewed as most musical writers about him always seem to be. So real fans, new and old alike, don't forget to check out www.jolson.o r g where for sure you ain't heard nuthin' yet!
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WHEN I WAS IN THE AIR FORCE DURING THE KOREAN WAR I GOT TO SEE AL JOLSON IN PERSON,SAT ABOUT TEN FEET FROM HIM,WAS A THRILL BACK THEN,HE RETURNED TO THE U.S.A. AND DIED SHORTLY AFTER..BIG TALENT BACK IN THE OLD DAYS..
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Great listening.
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There will never be another entertainer like Al Jolson. He was one of a kind and unique and the very best. I have to stop when I hear his voice and just start singing and dancing because he makes you happy.
Barbara Gazich

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