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Al Jolson 101

Compiled by John Kenrick

(Copyright 2003)

Al JolsonIn the first half of the 20th Century, he was billed as "The World's Greatest Entertainer" – a title that critics, colleagues and the American public did not dispute. The last star of minstrelsy and a legend in vaudeville, Al Jolson had dozens of top selling recordings, became the first talking film star and was a popular presence on network radio.

This special section of Musicals101 is designed as a tribute to, and a frank evaluation of, Jolson's significance in the development of popular culture, particularly as he relates to musical theatre and film. Those familiar with this amazing performer will find familiar pleasures here. If you do not know about the man or his career, then to use his own words, "You ain't heard nothing yet!"

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