Here are 10 things you should know about Grant Mitchell, born 147 years ago today. After a successful stage career, he appeared in 125 motion pictures in just 20 years.
Here are 10 things you should know about James Gleason, born 139 years ago today. The character actor’s career was more accomplished and varied than is widely known.
Here are 10 things you should know about Lewis Stone, born 141 years ago today. He had a prolific and successful career long before he portrayed Judge James K. Hardy.
We’re of the opinion that no performer’s appeal has dropped as much over time as Al Jolson‘s.
By that we mean, given what a huge star he once was, it’s intriguing how dated and, well, odd he sounds to many people today.
Not that any other performers who became stars in the first three decades of the 20th century are moving many records (or mp3s) these days, but Jolson, to our ears, stands nearly alone among the stars of that era as a not terribly easily acquired taste for 21st century listeners.
This profile, first published in 1934, reviews Jolson’s rise from a hardscrabble childhood to unparalleled stardom. Give it a read, and see if you’re won over. And when you reach the end, we’ve included a pair of Jolson recordings for your consideration. “Sonny Boy,” especially, is Al at his most … emotive.