Search - Al Jolson :: Mammy

Al Jolson
Genres: Folk, Special Interest, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists


CD Details

All Artists: Al Jolson
Title: Mammy
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Proarte
Release Date: 1/29/1993
Genres: Folk, Special Interest, Pop, Broadway & Vocalists
Styles: Traditional Folk, Comedy & Spoken Word, Nostalgia, Easy Listening, Oldies, Vocal Pop, Traditional Vocal Pop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 015095043627, 015095043641

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CD Reviews

Historic Jolie
Annie Van Auken | Planet Earth | 01/14/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Al Jolson, never a man of humility, called himself "The World's Greatest Entertainer." His self-coronation was not without justification. For the first half of the 20th Century, Jolie loomed huge-- on stage, screen, radio and even early television.

In the last decade of his life, Jolson lost a lung to cancer. This would have slowed any other man down, but not Jolie. It was after his operation that Al had his weekly radio show, toured for the military during WW II, and re-recorded all his hit songs, first for the movie "The Jolson Story" and its sequel, and then because of popular demand.

One side-effect of surgery is that Jolson's vocal range dropped a full half-octave. For anyone familiar with the deep vocal resonance of his late-career DECCA tracks, please note that the early 78s on this album reflect accurately how Jolie really sounded for the majority of his career.

This CD gets a middling rating because the source material is well-worn (especially the first five tracks). Engineering efforts to nullify lathe or surface noise were insufficient on several songs. Additionally, some of these are acoustic horn recordings, thus fidelity and frequency range suffer all the more. Liner notes are minimal.

Jolson trivia: The title tune, "My Mammy," was first introduced on Broadway in 1921 by William Frawley, who 30 years later would play Fred Mertz on TV's I LOVE LUCY.

Despite some limitations, MAMMY offers 20 opportunities to hear "The World's Greatest Entertainer," Mr. Al Jolson, in his prime.