British budget label President's 21-track Al Jolson compilation You Made Me Love You is a mixed bag of original studio recordings probably mastered from vinyl records and airchecks of equally dismal sound quality. The collection certainly has breadth, stretching 29 years from the 1913 recording of the title song to a version of "Swanee" said to come from 1942. The airchecks, which include four other tracks from the mid-'30s, are especially useful because Jolson gave up making studio recordings after 1932, not returning to record-making until 1945. The singer's fans will welcome the chance to hear him sing songs like "My Blue Heaven," "Night and Day," "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes," and "Cheek to Cheek." The rest of the album consists of familiar Jolson songs, some of which are presented in their original versions, others, notably "Rock a Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody" and "April Showers," in re-recordings. The sequencing seems random, however, and the sound quality is so poor that the album does not make for a satisfying collection of Jolson's music. Typical of the thrown-together feel of the package, several of the recording dates listed are incorrect according to standard discographies such as the one found in Herbert G. Goldman's biography Jolson: The Legend Comes to Life. The radiography in that book also calls into question some of the dates associated with the airchecks. In any case, while Jolson fans may want to pick this set up for those airchecks, more general music fans can find better introductions to the World's Greatest Entertainer.
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
feat: William Wirges Orchestra
feat: The Vitaphone Orchestra