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Al Jolson
The November Recordings

Al Jolson recorded a baker's dozen during the month of November, fairly evenly divided between three labels. It's quite an enjoyable variety, so sit back this month and enjoy the November sound of the World's Greatest Entertainer.

The Columbia Recordings

26 Nov 1916: A Broken Doll - You left behind a broken doll... in this characteristic novelty number from Jolson's early career, we get a sense of the young Jolson style.

Yoo Hoo 26 Nov 1916: Ev'ry Little While - Another cute novelty number from 1916, this song, no doubt, was interpolated into Jolson stage shows of the era. A hit with the public, it reached the fifth position on the Billboard charts, remaining listed for two weeks.

Arcady 07 Nov 1921: Yoo Hoo - Buddy DeSylva joined Jolson himself in this little nonsense number. Yoo Hoo means I Love You... and Jolson even whistles a chorus! Interpolated into the show Bombo, this one made it to number 4 on the Billboard charts, hanging in for five weeks.

23 Nov 1923: Arcady - Another number with Jolson and DeSylva taking credit, this song was interpolated into the Jolson show Bombo in October, 1923, and recorded a month later. Another Jolson hit, it held the sixth slot on the Billboard charts for two weeks.


The Brunswick Recordings

Keep Smiling At Trouble 19 Nov 1924: Keep Smiling At Trouble (Trouble's A Bubble) - Another number with Jolson and DeSylva taking credit, along with Lewis Gensler, this song was interpolated into the Jolson show Big Boy in November, 1924, and recorded at the same time. It also found its way into the film, The Singing Fool.

19 Nov 1924: Hello 'Tucky - This number from Big Boy has the distinction of being the last song Jolson recorded acoustically. Following this recording session, all recordings were electrically transcribed. Acoustic or not, it was electric with the public, staying on the Billboard charts for three weeks, reaching the number five position.

11 Nov 1927: Mother Of Mine, I Still Have You - Recorded a few months after the production of The Jazz Singer, this studio version of the song from the movie conveys all the emotion of the movie, in one song. Another popular success, this song held the number 2 spot on the Billboard charts for three of the eight weeks it was listed.

11 Nov 1927: Blue River - In The Jazz Singer, Jolson sang "Blue Skies;" here he recorded "Blue River." You go figure it out! The song did limp onto the Billboard charts, though, making the number sixteen position for one week.

The Decca Recordings

21 Nov 1947: There's A Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder - Introduced in the movie The Singing Fool, this upbeat version from the late 1940s has as much bounce as the original.

21 Nov 1947: If I Only Had A Match - Jolson loved to sing this song on the Kraft Music Hall. It's not quite politically correct today, but it's still an enjoyable number. One of the Decca series' new hits, it surfaced in the number 26 Billboard slot for one week.

21 Nov 1947: Let Me Sing And I'm Happy - Introduced as the theme song in Mammy, this Irving Berlin number seemed to define Jolson's life well enough to be the opening song of The Jolson Story.

28 Nov 1947: I Want A Girl - Many of us first heard this song in The Jolson Story as the number in Docksteader's Minstrel show sung by an octet, then quartet, and eventually Jolie himself. Here he is with his own rendition of this bouncy favorite.

28 Nov 1947: By The Light Of The Silvery Moon - Here's another old -- really old -- song the Al Jolson loved to sing. But when he sang them, these old songs sounded as fresh as if written today.


Watch this page all this month for the complete book of November recordings of the World's Greatest Entertainer!


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This listing and material Copyright © 1995-2017 Marc I. Leavey, M.D. Baltimore, Maryland
Updated 19 Nov 16