The Museum of Family History 
 Great Artists Series
 presents

 The Immortal
  Al Jolson  

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The Jolson Legacy:
The International Al Jolson Society
 

AL JOLSON
1947

  Hear a tribute to Jolson given by friend Bing Crosby during a 1977 London, England radio interview. To hear the clip, just click on the earphone icon provided.
 

The International Al Jolson Society

 
The International Al Jolson Society (IAJS), more than a thousand members strong,  was founded in 1950 in order to preserve the Jolson legacy, i.e. his music and the history of the man himself. The first society president was Dolores Kontowicz (nee Kaczynski), who as a young girl started a club for her favorite singer, Al Jolson. For the first few months of the society's existence, Jolson actually served as the society's "honorary" president. Sadly, this honor lasted for a mere few months as Jolson passed away in October of that year.

The IAJS is not simply a fan club; it is a well-run organization with a constitution, bylaws and elected officers. The Society even holds yearly conventions at sites in both the United States and United Kingdom. They publish two journals per year as well as periodic newsletters. These publications contain wonderful articles on Jolson and his contemporaries, and often include many photographs.

The IAJS also sells much Jolson memorabilia, e.g. audio, video, photographs, sheet music and other collectibles, not to mention clothing with the Jolson Society name and logo on them.

For all those who are fans of Jolson, the Society is a way of learning more of his legacy and interacting with other admirers of his work. Members often interact via postings to the Society website. The most enjoyable part of belonging is having the opportunity to attend the yearly conferences--even the occasional festival--where members may bid on various Jolson collectors' items, listen to performers, such as Tony Babino, who sings just like Jolson, and otherwise tell each other how happy they are that such a Jolson society still exists nearly sixty years after Jolson's passing.
 

 Listen to a clip of an interview with Dolores Kontowicz , Founder and the first Society President, conducted in 1990 (the fortieth anniversary of the Society) by ex-Society President John Wehrman.  They talk about the future of the International Al Jolson Society. Just click on the earphone icon above.

  A final tribute to Al Jolson by John Wehrman, and a final song as sung by Al Jolson--"No Sad Songs For Me."

Thank you for visiting the Museum of Family History's "Great Artists Series" exhibition "The Immortal Al Jolson."


 

       
               
               
     

 

       
 

 

   

 

       

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This exhibition was made possible in part with the cooperation of the International Al Jolson Society.

 

Copyright 2008 Museum of Family History. All rights reserved. Image Use Policy