Asa Yoelson (Seredzius (Lithuania), 26 May 1886 – San Francisco (USA), October 23, 1950), better known as Al Jolson, was a popular singer and a super star on Broadway, radio and film. He was born in Seredzius, Lithuania as a son of a Russian Jew.
He is best known for his performance in the film The Jazz Singer in 1927. This was the first film with sound that had a great commercial success. His career on Broadway is second to none in terms of length, almost 30 years (from 1911 to 1940), and popularity.
Jolie, as he was called by his friends, was the first entertainer who had sold a million records. After leaving Broadway founded Jolson on radio performances. These were always in the top 10. Jolson made a great comeback in the history of show business when Columbia Pictures in 1946 a biographical film made about Jolson, The Jolson Story.In this film the role of Larry Parks played Jolson. The film was a commercial success (it was the movie with the highest yield since Gone with the Wind) and it led to a whole new generation enthralled by the voice and charisma of Jolson. In 1948 was Jolson in a poll voted the most popular male vocalist.
He died on October 23, 1950 in San Francisco and is buried in the cemetery in the Hillside memorial park in Culver City, California. On the day he died, were to honor him the lights on Broadway for 10 minutes off.