Irving Berlin

Irving Berlin, originally known as Israel Baline, was born May 11, 1888 in Mogilyov (now in Belarus) and died Sept. 22, 1989 in New York, N.Y. He is an American composer who played an important role in the evolution the popular song, from the early ragtime eras to the golden age musicals. He was perhaps America’s greatest and longest-lasting songwriter because of his ability to master a variety of song styles for stage and motion pictures. Israel was the son of a Jewish cantor who immigrated to New York City from Israel in 1893. When he was eight years old, his father died. He was only able to complete two years of school and worked as a street performer and a waiter on the Lower East Side. In 1907, his first song, “Marie From Sunny Italy”, was published. A printer error made him Irving Berlin. He kept this surname. Berlin continued to write and became a “song plugger” who demonstrated new tunes within a few years. Berlin was unable read or write musical notation so he learned to play music by ear. He started writing his own music and lyrics in 1911. His first song, “When You Lost You,” was published in 1912. He began to contribute to many Broadway revues and musical entertainments including Florenz Ziegfeld’s Follies. To publish his music, he established the Irving Berlin Music Corporation in 1919. Over the next decades, Berlin composed scores for many musicals. One of his most well-known was Annie Get Your Gun (1946), film 1950. Berlin wrote over 800 songs. Many of these became hits, such as “Oh, How I Hate to Wake Up in the Morning,” (“A Pretty Girl Is like A Melody”), “Remember”, “Cheek to Cheek,” and “How Deep Is the Ocean” (“Remember,” written in 1925 for his second wife), “Remember,” and “Remember,” along with “Remember”, “Remember,” and “Cheek to Cheek,” as well as “Cheek to Cheek,” and “Blue Skies” and White Christmas (1953) and White Christmas (1954). The touching song “White Christmas” was his score for Holiday Inn (1942). Berlin composed the music for 19 Broadway plays and 18 motion pictures. From

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