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About Irving Berlin

Irving Berlin's influence on American popular music and Broadway is unparalleled. In a career that spanned seven decades, his contribution to the American songbook is nothing short of monumental, writing both words and music to the likes of "Alexander's Ragtime Band," "A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody," "Puttin' on the Ritz," "Top Hat, White Tie and Tails," "Blue Skies," "What'll I Do?" "God Bless America," "There's No Business Like Show Business," "Cheek to Cheek," "Easter Parade," and "White Christmas."

He was born Isadore Baline in 1888 in Russia and emigrated to the United States with his family when he was only five. His first big hit was "Alexander's Ragtime Band" when he was but 22 years old, and American popular music would never be the same.

There was not a decade through the 1960s that did not see at least one smash hit Irving Berlin musical, either on Broadway or in the movies. But perhaps his single greatest hit was the Ethel Merman vehicle, "Annie Get Your Gun." When it was revived in 1966 at Lincoln Center, Berlin wrote a song especially for the production ("An Old Fashioned Wedding"), which was the last thing he ever wrote for Broadway. He completely retired from songwriting soon after, and died at the age of 101 in 1989.

--Commentary by Eric Brown.


Irving Berlin's Alexander's Ragtime Band DVDIrving Berlin's Alexander's Ragtime Band (DVD) from Amazon.com Includes commentary with film score restorationist Ray Faiola.

Irving Berlin DVDs

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For more see www.ibdb.com

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