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You Ain't Heard Nothin' Yet!, Vol. 1

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Album Review

When he started making records well before the First World War, Al Jolson was a brilliant comedian capable of disarming patter, skillful mimicry, and vaudevillian finesse. This Living Era compilation covers a timeline from 1913 to 1942, perhaps fortunately stopping short of Jolson's brassy late-'40s comeback material. Recorded variously in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and Hollywood, Jolson is heard backed by Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians, Isham Jones & His Orchestra, the fictitious Carl Fenton & His Orchestra,the Vitaphone Orchestra, Bill Wirges & His Orchestra, and several studio orchestras operating without anyone's name tacked onto them. This is a nice mixed bag of samplings from all over Jolie's early to mid-career. As there are only three examples from before 1920, the main emphasis is upon his vibrant 1920s recordings with occasional forays into the following decade. This better than average Jolson retrospective would be even richer and more exciting had the producers included more of his earliest recorded works, best typified here by his highly theatrical behavior during "The Spaniard That Blighted My Life," a magnificent acoustically recorded tidbit from 1913. Recordings of this vintage demonstrate exactly why Jolson caught on as quickly as he did.

Customer Reviews


Who would've thought that a song called "I've got a rainbow 'round my shoulder" would need to be deemed a clean rating. However, the "Red Red Robin" song totally brings me back to the good old days with Ms.B. It rox my SOX!! Woo Hoo!! <3


Born: May 26, 1886 in Seredzius, Lithuania

Genre: Vocal

Years Active: '10s, '20s, '30s, '40s

In addition to releasing a string of successful records between 1912 and 1949, Al Jolson achieved pre-eminent stardom on Broadway, hosted several radio series, and became the first important figure of the sound-era of motion pictures. His performing style was brash and extroverted; he billed himself as "the world's greatest entertainer," and he was known for his slogan, "You ain't heard nothin' yet!" He popularized a large number of songs that benefited from his shamelessly sentimental, melodramatic...
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