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1927: THE JAZZ SINGER — “Wait a minute, wait a minute, you ain’t heard nothin’ yet”

These were the first words ever spoken in a “talkie”

The Jazz Singer is a bout a nice Jewish boy, played by Al Jolson, who grows up on the Lower East Side who runs away from home, leaving his singing in the synogogue and his beloved Jewish mother, to have a career as a jazz singer.

Al Jolson’s “blackface” performance remains controversial. There are many ways of looking at it. We will discuss in class.

Jolson was an immigrant Jew (born Asa Yoelson) — from Lithuania — who came to the United States as at age 5. By the time he made this movie, the was one of the biggest stars of his time.

The movie musical begins here. Right at the beginning of sound.


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