Al Jolson (born Asa Yoelson; May 26, 1886 – October 23, 1950) was an American singer, comedian, and stage and film actor. At the peak of his career, he was dubbed "The World's Greatest Entertainer." His performing style was brash and extroverted, and he popularized a large number of songs that benefited from his "shamelessly sentimental, melodramatic approach."Numerous well-known singers were influenced by his music, including Bing Crosby,George Burns, Bob Dylan, Rod Stewart, David Bowie and others. Dylan once referred to him as "somebody whose life I can feel." Broadway critic Gilbert Seldes compared him to the Greek god Pan, claiming that Jolson represented "the concentration of our national health and gaiety."