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Al Jolson (born Asa Yoelson; May 26, 1886 – October 23, 1950) was an American singer, comedian, stage and film actor.

At the peak of his career, he was dubbed "The World's Greatest Entertainer." His performing style was brash and extroverted, and he popularized a large number of songs that benefited from his "shamelessly sentimental, melodramatic approach." Between 19, Jolson had nine sell-out Winter Garden shows in a row, more than 80 hit records, and 16 national and international tours.

In 1909, Al's singing caught the attention of Lew Dockstader, the producer and star of Dockstader's Minstrels. Shubert, impressed by Jolson's overpowering display of energy, booked him for La Belle Paree, a musical comedy that opened at the Winter Garden in 1911. From then until 1926, when he retired from the stage, he could boast an unbroken series of smash hits." On March 20, 1911, Jolson starred in his first musical revue at the Winter Garden Theater in New York City, La Belle Paree, greatly helping to launch his career as a singer.

Al accepted Dockstader's offer and became a regular blackface performer. The opening night drew a huge crowd to the theater, and that evening Jolson gained audience popularity by singing old Stephen Foster songs in blackface.

By 1894, Moses Yoelson could afford to pay the fare to bring Naomi and their four children to the U. By the time they arrived, he had found work as a cantor at Talmud Torah Congregation in the Southwest Waterfront neighborhood of Washington, D. Hard times hit the family when his mother, Naomi, died at 37 in early 1895.

They would usually use the money to buy tickets to shows at the National Theater.

In the spring of 1902, he accepted a job with Walter L. Although Main had hired Jolson as an usher, Main was impressed by Jolson's singing voice and gave him a position as a singer during the circus' Indian Medicine Side Show segment.

In 1950, he again became the first star to entertain GIs on active service in the Korean War, performing 42 shows in 16 days. S., partly owing to the physical exertion of performing.

Defense Secretary George Marshall posthumously awarded him the Medal of Merit. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, "Jolson was to jazz, blues, and ragtime what Elvis Presley was to rock 'n' roll." Being the first popular singer to make a spectacular event out of singing a song, he became a rock star before the dawn of rock music.

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