Jolson, Al


Jolson, Al
orig. Asa Yoelson

born May 26, 1886, Srednike, Russia
died Oct. 23, 1950, San Francisco, Calif., U.S.

Russian-born U.S. singer, songwriter, and blackface comedian.

Jolson's family arrived in the U.S. in 1893 and settled in Washington, D.C., where Jolson made his first stage appearance in 1899, performing in vaudeville before joining a minstrel troupe (see minstrel show) in 1909. In New York City he was featured in musicals such as La Belle Paree (1911), Honeymoon Express (1913), and Big Boy (1925). In Sinbad (1918) he transformed the unsuccessful George Gershwin song "Swanee" into his trademark number. In Bombo (1921) he introduced "My Mammy," "Toot, Toot, Tootsie," and "California, Here I Come." In 1927 he starred in The Jazz Singer, the first feature film with synchronized speech as well as music and sound effects. His later films include The Singing Fool (1928), Mammy (1930), and Swanee River (1940).

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▪ American singer
byname of  Asa Yoelson  
born May 26, 1886, Srednike, Russia
died Oct. 23, 1950, San Francisco
 popular U.S. singer and blackface comedian of the musical stage and motion pictures, from before World War I to 1940. His unique singing style and personal magnetism established an immediate rapport with audiences.

      Brought to the United States when he was seven years old, Jolson was reared in Washington, D.C., where he made his first stage appearance in 1899. He performed with his brother and others in vaudeville before joining Lew Dockstader's minstrel troupe in 1909. He became a popular New York entertainer and singer, being featured in the musicals La Belle Paree (1911), Honeymoon Express (1913), Bombo (1921), and Big Boy (1925). In Sinbad (1918) he transformed an unsuccessful Gershwin song, “Swanee,” into his trademark number. And in Bombo he introduced “My Mammy.” The same show included three Jolson favourites: “Toot, Toot, Tootsie,” “California, Here I Come,” and “April Showers.” Some of his biggest successes were achieved at the New York Winter Garden.

      In 1927 Jolson starred in The Jazz Singer, the first feature film with synchronized speech as well as music and sound effects. The picture revolutionized the motion-picture industry and marked the end of the silent-film era. Other films include The Singing Fool (1928), Say It with Songs (1929), Mammy (1930), Hallelujah, I'm a Bum (1933), Go into Your Dance (1935), and Swanee River (1940). The story of his life was filmed in The Jolson Story (1946) and a sequel, Jolson Sings Again (1949). He also collaborated in the writing of many song hits and was a very popular recording artist.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • JOLSON, AL — (Asa Yoelson; 1886–1950), U.S. singer, vaudeville and film star. Born in Srednik, Lithuania, the son of a cantor, Jolson worked for some years in circuses, minstrel shows, and vaudeville houses in the U.S. In 1911 he was an instant success in his …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Jolson — redirects here. For Al Jolson, see Al Jolson. .Based on the life of legendary Al Jolson, it spans thirty years in the career of one of America s most popular entertainers. Out of the limelight, and the plot emphasizes his personal faults as much… …   Wikipedia

  • Jolson — ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Al Jolson (eigentlich Asa Yoelson; † 1950), US amerikanischer Sänger und Entertainer Alfred James Jolson SJ (1928–1994), römisch katholischer Bischof von Reykjavik Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsk …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Jolson, Al — (1886 1950)    Born Asa Yoelson in Szredzius, Lithuania, the singer comedian was brought to Washington, D.C., as a child by his cantor father. Although his career belonged to the minstrel, musical, and vaudeville stages, as well as motion… …   The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater

  • Jolson, Al — orig. Asa Yoelson (26 may. 1886, Srednike, Rusia–23 oct. 1950, San Francisco, Cal., EE.UU.). Cantante, letrista y comediante estadounidense de origen ruso. La familia de Jolson llegó a EE.UU. en 1893 y se estableció en Washington, D.C., donde en… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Jolson — noun United States singer (born in Russia) who appeared in the first full length talking film (1886 1950) • Syn: ↑Al Jolson, ↑Asa Yoelson • Instance Hypernyms: ↑singer, ↑vocalist, ↑vocalizer, ↑vocaliser, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • Jolson,Al — Jol·son (jōlʹsən), Al. Originally Asa Yoelson. 1886 1950. American entertainer who starred in The Jazz Singer (1927), the first major film with synchronized sound. * * * …   Universalium

  • Jolson — /johl seuhn/, n. Al (Asa Yoelson), 1886 1950, U.S. singer and entertainer, born in Russia. * * * …   Universalium

  • Jolson — Jol|son, Al (1886 1950) a white US singer who wore black ↑make up to look like a black person, and sang songs associated with black people. He is famous for his emotional performances, and for appearing in the first film with sound, The Jazz… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Jolson, Al — pseud. di Yoelson, Asa …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione


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