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.
Nevertheless, Ellin Mackay eloped with Irving Berlin January 4, 1926, and in the process cut herself out of her father's will.
During World War I, Irving Berlin was drafted and served as a sergeant in the infantry at Camp Upton on Long Island in New York.
This weekend's performances will be even more exciting as we have some special guests in the audience - leading choreographer Arlene Phillips and the granddaughter of Irving Berlin himself.
With the inimitable music of Irving Berlin this classic is certain to rekindle interest in those immaculate dress and dance days with Strictly Come Dancing winner and Holby City heartthrob Tom Chambers and multiple Olivier Award nominee and Hollyoaks star Summer Strallen taking the lead roles.
The new digs are in an auspicious locationthe block that was once Tin Pan Alley, the historic district where George Gershwin and Irving Berlin and many others went to play piano and peddle songs to music publishers.
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.
By that time Irving Berlin had arrived, eventually becoming as deeply engaged with his times as Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim.
Applause Books is reissuing the paperback of The Complete Lyrics of Irving Berlin, co-edited by Robert Kimball and Linda Emmet.
1888 - Songwriter Irving Berlin was born as Israel Baline in Siberia.
The first, "The Blue Necklace," is a wildly comic melodrama set to Irving Berlin, a sort of tinseltown Cinderella story, featuring a betrayed mother, an abandoned baby, a wicked stepmother, and, finally, a silver-screen prince.
Gary Cooper, Cary Grant and Irving Berlin were regulars of the Canoe Place Inn.