October 6 - 1927 - The Premiere of The Jazz Singer

In the middle of The Jazz Singer, the film's star Al Jolson spoke to an audience at his character's performance by saying, "Wait a minute, wait a minute. You ain't heard nothin' yet." This was also a larger commentary on the experience of the film's audience, because The Jazz Singer was the first film to feature extended sequences of talking by the movie's actors. Using the Warner Bros. system known as "Vitaphone," the film was the first feature to have dialogue and singing synchronized with the picture. This made The Jazz Singer revolutionary. Yet the film also was a reflection of already popular forms of entertainment. The film was based on a straight play based on a short story by Samson Rafaelson, and it told the story of a Jewish kid, the son of a cantor, who chose to perform as a blackface minstrel rather than follow in his father's footsteps. The entire tale was based on Al Jolson's life after Rafaelson had seen him in a revue. Although Jolson wasn't in the play, he became the star of the film when it was planned to be a musical with sound. This allowed for the biggest musical star in the world to star in a movie specially designed to showcase his particular talents for the whole world to see.

William Floyd