Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Worth 1,000 Words: Happy Birthday, AL JOLSON!


By Steve Crum

Today, May 26, marks the 124th Birthday celebration of "The World's Greatest Entertainer," AL JOLSON [May 26, 1886-Oct. 23, 1950]. Accounts vary as to Jolie's actual birth date, including year and day, but today is generally considered his birthday. Born Asa Yoelson or Asa Yoel in Seredzius, Lithuania, Jolson's star power elevated him through show business in vaudeville, minstrel shows, Broadway shows, radio programs, recordings, and motion pictures for half a century.
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This rarely seen portrait of Al Jolson reading a script, and obviously enjoying it, is an original Warner Bros. Studio Keybook Photo, dated 1934, the year Jolie starred in WONDER BAR. It is likely this publicity photo was made to publicize the Vitaphone movie. [from Steve Crum's showbiz memorabilia collection]
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Celebrate Jolson's birthday, as The King of Show Business sings again: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VF95C-cLU2Q

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