Irving Berlin

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Related to Irving Berlin: Cole Porter, George Gershwin

Berlin, Irving

(bərlĭn`), 1888–1989, American songwriter, b. Russia. Berlin's surname was originally Baline. Of his nearly 1,000 songs, Alexander's Ragtime Band (1911) was his first outstanding hit. In 1918, while he was in the army, he wrote, produced, and acted in Yip, Yip, Yaphank, which he rewrote in 1942 as This Is the Army. Berlin wrote songs for several of the Ziegfeld Follies and the Music Box Revue (1921–24) as well as the Broadway musicals As Thousands Cheer (1933), Annie Get Your Gun (1946), Miss Liberty (1949), Call Me Madam (1950), and Mr. President (1962). He was the composer of numerous film scores, and several of his stage musicals were filmed. Among his best-known songs are "God Bless America," "Easter Parade," "White Christmas," and "There's No Business Like Show Business."


See C. Hamm, ed., Irving Berlin: Early Songs (1995), and R. Kimball and L. Emmet, ed., The Complete Lyrics of Irvine Berlin (2001); M. E. Barrett, Irving Berlin: A Daughter's Memoir (1994); biographies by M. Freedland (1974), L. Bergreen (1990), and E. Jablonski (1999).

Berlin, Irving (b. Israel Baline)

(1888–1990) composer, lyricist; born in Temun, Siberian Russia. His father was a cantor and the family fled pogroms and emigrated to the United States when he was a child. Living in New York, Irving joined a synagogue choir and at age 14 sang popular songs on street corners and in cafes. A singing waiter in 1906, he taught himself piano and began writing songs; his first song was published mistakenly under "I. Berlin" and from then on he called himself Irving Berlin. He turned out a series of mildly popular songs sung by such fledgling stars as Eddie Cantor and Fanny Brice and wrote his first complete Broadway score in 1914; but it was his song "Alexander's Ragtime Band" (1916) that brought him national popularity. In the army in 1918, he composed a musical performed by army personnel for benefits, Yip, Yip, Yaphank (1918), that included "Oh, How I Hate to Get up in the Morning." Throughout the next four decades, he wrote successful stage and film musicals which included many American standards, such as "A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody" (1919), "Blue Skies" (1926), "Puttin' on the Ritz" (1930), and "Easter Parade" (1933). In 1938, on the eve of World War II, he wrote "God Bless America," unofficially adopted as the second national anthem. For the 1942 film Holiday Inn he wrote "White Christmas," which became Bing Crosby's signature song. During World War II he wrote another all-soldier musical, This Is the Army (1942). His most successful stage musical was Annie Get Your Gun (1946) starring Ethel Merman. In 1974 he presented his piano (which he played only by ear and in the key of F-sharp major) to the Smithsonian as a gesture of his retirement. In 1977 he was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Gerald Ford for his patriotic contributions during the two world wars; but to many people throughout the world he was beloved as the best all-around popular songwriter of the century.
References in periodicals archive ?
Maude Maggart performs her own selection of Berlin gems, taken from her recently-released CD, "Maude Maggart Sings Irving Berlin.
Then the stock-market crash hit, and like many Americans on that Black Friday in 1929, Irving Berlin lost his entire life savings.
Performed by a cast of 31 and accompanied by a live band of 15, this new musical comedy will include Irving Berlin classics from the movie Cheek to Cheek, Isn't It a Lovely Day to be Caught in the Rain and Top Hat White Tie and Tails.
There is no way to overstate the impact of Irving Berlin on American popular music.
Irving Berlin began the hard way, touting his tunes around Tin Pan Alley, where a song could easily crumble into nothingness when played on an indifferent agent's tuneless piano.
s (GSUSA) headquarters at 830 Third Avenue and arranged the sale of the former Irving Berlin House on Beekman Place to the Government of Luxembourg; poetically, the house was where Berlin wrote "Call Me Madam," his musical about Pearl Mesta, who was the nation's first female Ambassador and served in Luxembourg.
Also being offered for the first time is the "Astaire and Rogers Ultimate Collector's Edition" featuring all 10 of the dance duo's films along with the documentary "Astaire and Rogers: Partners in Rhythm," a glorious salute that includes candid photos, behind-the-scene tidbits and sidelights about famed collaborators Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern and George Gershwin, among others.
And on June 16, he Grey College choir will perform Say it with Music: The Life and Songs of Irving Berlin, arranged by Iain Kerr, and presented by Ann Rachlin.
Brimming with classic Irving Berlin hits like Blue Skies, How Deep is the Ocean, Happy Holiday, Sisters and of course the unforgettable title song White Christmas, it tells the story of two buddies putting on a show in a magical Vermont inn, and finding their perfect mates in the process.
1888: Songwriter Irving Berlin born as Israel Baline in Siberia.
This is her eighth album and also her best, due mainly to a clever selection of songs by such luminaries as Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Sammy Cahn and Jerome Kern.
Opening concert - Dick Hyman surveys the whole festival, leading his big band, chorus and guests - Maria Jette, Bill Hulings, Shirley Andress, Ian Whitcomb, Julie Alsin and Vicki Brabham - through such Irving Berlin tunes as ``I'd Rather Lead a Band,' ``Cheek to Cheek,' ``Easter Parade,' ``Blue Skies,' ``I Love a Piano,' ``God Bless America,' ``A Couple of Swells,' ``Top Hat, White Tie and Tails,' ``Always' and more.