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This review is from: The Jolson Story/Jolson Sings Again [DVD] [1946/1949 ]  (DVD)
I am a member of the International Al Jolson Society. An organisation which exists to perpetuate the memory of the man they called "The World's Greatest Entertainer". Al Jolson was an entertainer who never stopped entertaining.
An entertainer in the total absolute sense of the word. A man who literally conjured with his voice, casting a magical spell over every gathering and managing by some miracle of regeneration to give himself to people, heart and soul night after night.All his life Al Jolson carried on an unashamed love affair with his audience, an affair that lasted when everyone said it was over, because it was founded on love strong enough to survive one long seperation and some serious rifts. When Al Jolson died in 1950, he was a household name, acknowledged by all the world to be fabulously rich and fervently American.However, in the best fairy-tale tradition, his beginings in Lithuania were far removed in every way from his later life; for when he was born in 1886, "The World's Greatest Entertainer" did not even owe the name by which the world was to know him.
From what my fellow Jolsonians have been telling me, it is through the two Bio-Pic Films "The Jolson Story" and
"Jolson Sings Again" with Larry Parks that most Jolson fans first fell in love with AL Jolson. This is the Jolson that most people love and remember, and had it not been for "The Jolson Story" and "Jolson Sings Again", and this enormous comeback in popularity Jolson enjoyed after entertaining the troops during The Second World War, if all we had ever heard of him were the early Pre-Electric Recordings of the 1920s,then he would not have had anything like the impact he has today.At the same time recording techniques improved, so did the quality of Al Jolson's voice.
Here was a newer, deeper Al Jolson singing better than ever before.Around about this time, the late 1940s Jolson was being voted top male vocalist in the popularity polls, with Bing Crosby second, Perry Come third, and the up and coming Frank Sinatra fourth.
I make no apologies, every time i watch "The Jolson Story", I break down and cry, especially that scene where he sings "April Showers". That's my favourite of all the "Jolson" songs.
"The World's Greatest Entertainer" may not have always been "The World's Nicest Human Being",
but as an entertainer Al Jolson simply has no equal.
There has never been anybody like Jolson before or since in show business,
and there will never be another Al Jolson.
Al Jolson was unique, a once in a lifetime performer. Even now,more than sixty years after he departed this earthly scene, he's still out there, showing us the way.He has left us a Legacy. If I lived to be a billion years old, I would still feel that Al Jolson was "The Greatest Entertainer of All Time". I'm not denying there have been some very talented people since Jolson, but to me he was "The Greatest Entertainer of them All".
Jolson Fan for Life.
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Initial post: 22 Nov 2011 21:42:45 GMT
Israel Iskowitz says:
I'm a great fan of Jolson too, although I slightly prefer that other great minstrel from whom I take my screen name. What is highly regrettable is that very few of the films of these great stars are available direct from the UK and there are significant omissions concerning what is available even from the US. Over the years I've managed to acquire all of them in one form or another, except Cantor's "40 Little Mothers" which has eluded my best efforts to trace it. We really do need Region 2 re-issues of all these films...preferably in boxed sets at affordable prices.
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