Al Jolson Home Page|His Works|Films|The Jazz Singer


Opening on October 6, 1927, The Jazz Singer, whether it truly was or was not the first talking picture, undeniably changed theatrical history. To commemorate this seminal motion picture event, some eighty years ago, I have assembled a variety of items on this page, all related to this historic motion picture.

Never before widely available, here is the behind the scenes story about how the voice of famed cantor Yossele Rosenblatt was used for the father's chanting in The Jazz Singer. This is an excerpt from the book Yossele Rosenblatt written by his son, Rabbi Samuel Rosenblatt z"l. Now, also including further information from the Cantor's grandson.

Can you imagine what it was like to sit in a theatre seventy years ago and marvel at a "talking picture"? Now you can share in that wonder, as we bring you a video film clip from The Jazz Singer, the seminal film that changed, forever, the movie industry. Listen to - and watch - The World's Greatest Entertainer sing "Toot, Toot, Tootsie!"

CBS notes Jazz Singer 75th Anniversary On Sunday, October 6, 2002, the popular CBS program Sunday Morning noted the 75th anniversary of talking pictures, which all began with The Jazz Singer, on October 6, 1927. Here is a clip of the program from that morning, with mention of the film. Click for the clip in RealVideo format.

Aw mama. You know, I'll kiss you, and hug you, and tell you all about this new talking picture I'm making - called The Jazz Singer - yeah! Even tell you about a website that tells the story of the movie!

Jolson singing Kol Nidre There can be little doubt that one of the most emotional points of The Jazz Singer is the scene at the end, where Jakie Rabinowitz assumes his father's place in the synagogue on the eve of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, to chant the sacred Kol Nidre prayer. Here is a look at that prayer, and just what it means, along with several clips of Jolson's performance of it through the years.

You Ain't Heard Nothin' Yet! Three young ladies produced this ten minute film as part of a competition. Looking at the birth of the talkies, enjoy their presentation called "You Ain't Heard Nothin' Yet!"

Read the Jazz Singer Script! Originally published on a site called The Daily Script, which has disappeared, we have online a complete copy of the shooting script of The Jazz Singer. It's quite a bit different than the final version of the movie, and makes interesting reading while watching the film. Have a look!

The Washington Post printed a fine article about the 70th anniversary of The Jazz Singer in the Sunday, August 17, 1997, edition. Read this on their website as the article:
Al of Two Cities!

Here is what The Two Thousand Year Old Man, actually 2013 years old, thought about Jolie, as portrayed in the classic recording by Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks! The scene is Jolson calling Irving Berlin for a new song for his movie, "The Jazz Guy" ... or something like that! If you've never heard any of this routine, you're in for a treat.

Click to order the 80th Anniversary Release DVD
of The Jazz Singer
from Amazon.com

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This listing and material Copyright © 1995-2010 Marc I. Leavey, M.D. Baltimore, Maryland
Updated 14 Oct 07
Updated 03 Oct 10