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Al Jolson's Biography

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Asa Yoelson more commonly known as Al Jolson was born in Srednike, Lithuania in 1886.

The son of a Rabbi, Al Jolson moved to the States in 1893.

His mother died shortly afterwards and although it was originally thought that Al Jolson would be a Cantor, both he and his brother ran away and turned instead to show-business.

Jolson's first stage appearance was in The Children of the Ghetto in 1899. After which he toured as an entertainer with the circus.

His name was to become synonymous with the blackface minstrel revue.

He first sang the classic Mammy in 1909 but it was in the 1920s he really rose as a star, particularly with his performance in the first ever 'talkie' The Jazz Singer (1927).

The following year he had an even bigger box office hit with The Singing Fool (1928), which included a rendition of Sonny Boy.

Apart from his skill as a singer, Al Jolson was also a highly talented whistler!

Al Jolson died on October 23 1950, having married four times.

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