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Jolson claimed not to know when he was born, and later chose to claim he was born on May 26, 1886.His one-time sister-in-law, Margaret Weatherwax (a sister of Ruby Keeler), claimed Jolson was the same age as their father, Ralph (who was born in 1881), and that Jolson was 46 when he married the 18-year-old Ruby in 1928.Harry had refused Al's request to take care of Joe Palmer, who was in a wheelchair, while he was dating.After Harry's departure, Al and Joe Palmer worked as a duo but were not particularly successful.With his unique and dynamic style of singing black music, such as jazz and blues, he was later credited with single-handedly introducing African-American music to white American audiences.As early as 1911, he became known for fighting against black discrimination on Broadway.Asa was able to avoid financial troubles by forming a vaudeville partnership with his brother Hirsch, now a vaudeville performer known as Harry Yoelson. However, live performances were falling in popularity as nickelodeons captured audiences; by 1908, nickelodeon theaters were dominant throughout New York City as well.While performing in a Brooklyn theater in 1904, In late 1905, Harry left the trio following an argument with Al.
He was the fifth and youngest child of Moses Rubin Yoelson (1858 – December 23, 1945) and Nechama "Naomi" Cantor (1858 – February 6, 1895); his four siblings were Rose, Etta, another sister who died in infancy, and Hirsch (Harry).Asa gave a remarkable performance of "Be My Baby Bumble Bee" and the producer agreed to keep him for future shows.Unfortunately, the show closed by the end of the year. During their time with Palmer, they were able to gain bookings in a nationwide tour.Although he is best remembered today as the star of the first talking picture, The Jazz Singer (1927), he later starred in a series of successful musical films throughout the 1930s.After the attack on Pearl Harbor, he was the first star to entertain troops overseas during World War II.