Asa Yoelson, 26 May 1886, Srednick, Lithuania (his exact date of birth is uncertain), d. 23 October 1950, San Francisco, California, USA. Shortly before the turn of the century, Jolsons father, Moses Yoelson, emigrated to the USA. In a few years he was able to send for his wife and four children, who joined him in Washington DC. Moses Yoelson was cantor at a synagogue and had hopes that his youngest son, Asa, would adopt this profession. After the death of their mother, the two sons, Asa and Hirsch, occasionally sang on street corners for pennies. Following the example of his brother, who had changed his name to Harry, Asa became Al. When family disagreements arose after his father remarried, Al went to New York where his brother had gone to try his luck in showbusiness. For food-money, he sang at McGirks, a saloon/restaurant in New Yorks Bowery and later sang with military bands during the time of the Spanish-American War. Back in Washington, he...
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