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              Al Jolson (1888-1950)
    Actor and singer whose real name was Asa Yoelson. He was a blackface comedian in vaudeville before staring in comedies and motion pictures, including "The Jazz Singer" (1927), the first important talking picture. Among the songs he popularized were "Mammy" and "April Showers." Born in Russia, the son of a Jewish cantor. Came to the U.S. in 1893. Against his father’s wishes, he became a professional singer.
     Jolson was awarded the Congressional Medal of Merit posthumously for his many overseas tours of wartime army camps, the last at the beginning of the Korean War in 1950.




"I'd walk a million miles for one of your smiles --
 my Ma-ah-ah-mmy."
                Al Jolson