The Fiftieth Anniversary
of his passing
Memorials at the
50th Anniversary of his death
Share the Fame
To add your name to the list of those funding this permanent tribute to the World's Greatest Entertainer, send your contribution, no matter how big or small, to the IAJS. Send your check or money order to:
1709 Billingshurst Court
Orlando FL 32825
and indicate on the check that it is for support of the Walk of Stars project. A hearty "Well Done" to David and Sue Miller, who got the ball rolling with a sizeable donation of their own, and have kept the ball rolling.
Click here to see and hear a wonderful tribute to Al Jolson produced by Marv Freeman, and broadcast over Arizona radio station KSAZ AM 580 on October 21, 2000.
Click here to see and hear a wonderful tribute to Al Jolson produced by Dr. Saul Drajer, and broadcast over Argentina radio on October 29, 2000.
On returning to their hotel, they played cards for a while before Jolson said: “I’m feeling a bit tired. Think I’ll just have a lie down . . . Do Jolie a favour, Marty, willya? Call room service and get me some bicarbonate of soda - I have a little indigestion.”
Harry decided to call for the house doctor. There were two, but both were on call. Remembering a name his physician had given him, Al told Harry: “Look up Dr. Kerr and ask him to come over.”
Dr. Kerr answered the call: “It’ll take some time to get there.”
“You don’t understand, doctor. This is Al Jolson and it’s an emergency,” said Harry.
Jolson waved his hands: “You crazy bastard! You want everybody to read in the papers tomorrow morning that Al Jolson had to get a doctor for indigestion?” The doctor heard and assured him: “Don’t worry, I’ll be there in half an hour.”
Al turned to his friend, “Harry, I’m not going to last.” Harry recalled, “My heart jumped. I looked down and saw he had been taking his pulse. I said: ‘Al, don’t talk that way. It’ll pass. It’s nothing but indigestion.’”
The hotel nurse arrived first. “Don’t tell me this is the patient . . .” she started cheerfully - Al was still tanned from Palm Springs.
“Nurse,” said Al, “I’ve got no pulse.”
She took his wrist: “You’ve got a pulse like a baby.”
The house physician also arrived about the same time as Dr. Kerr. “I’m a little embarrassed about this, gentlemen,” Jolson said as the two doctors got ready to examine him.
First they asked him what he had done that day and what he had eaten. “Pull up a couple of chairs and let’s talk,” Jolson told them. Two chairs were brought and Dr. Kerr told him how much he admired him: “I saw you in London in 1929.”
Al joked: “You know, President Truman only had one hour with General MacArthur. I had two.”
Suddenly Al reached for his pulse. “Oh, I’m going,” he said sadly, before sinking back on his pillow, his eyes closed. The World's Greatest Entertainer, Al Jolson, born Asa Yoelson only 64 years before, was gone.
It is my great honor and priviledge to be able to send to you the enclosed citation of honor from the Air Force Association, in behalf of the men of the U. S. Air Forces. This is in recognition of your outstanding services to the nation from the morale standpoint in the overseas entertainment work you did so well during World War II.
I was most pleased when the Screen Actors Guild was asked to see that you received this award, for I feel that it is a well-deserved tribute to you, and I know what a wonderful contribution your work represented.