Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tribute to Irving Berlin


Irving Berlin has no place in American music. He is American music.
- Songwriter Jerome Kern (as quoted in The Story of Irving Berlin, Alexander Woollcott's 1925 biography of Irving Berlin)          


The great composer Irving Berlin died on September 22, 1989 at the ripe old age of 101. Berlin was born Israel Isidore Baline in Russia in 1888. There is some confusion as to his actual birth date because the Julian calendar was still in use in czarist Russia, but he celebrated his birthday on May 11. There is also confusion surrounding Irving Berlin’s place of birth. According to most sources, he was born in Mogilev, Russia (now Belarus). Other sources contend that he was born in Tyumen in Sibera.

In 1893, the young Israel and his family immigrated to New York City where he was to launch an exceptional career as Irving Berlin. This son of a Jewish cantor wrote the music and lyrics for White Christmas and Easter Parade. He also composed the patriotic anthem God Bless America and such enduring songs as There’s No Business Like Show Business, Alexander’s Ragtime Band and Blue Skies. A prolific songwriter, he wrote the scores for many Broadway shows including Annie Get Your Gun. He also composed the music for several Hollywood films including White Christmas and Holiday Inn.

To watch a video of Irving Berlin singing God Bless America on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1968, click on the link below.


Michael J. Fox was born Michael Andrew Fox.

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton’s original name was William Jefferson Blythe III,

Actor Tom Cruise was born Thomas Cruise Mapother IV

The late crooner Dean Martin came into this world as Dino Paul Crocetti

Madonna’s real name is Madonna. Although she just doesn’t use her last name, she was born Madonna Louise Ciccone. I remember once overhearing a man saying to his companion, “You don’t think Madonna is her real name, do you? I felt like shouting out, “Yes it is.” I held my tongue, though.


Why did the elephant quit his job?

Answer: Because he was working for peanuts


The Blue Jays defeated the Seattle Mariners by a score of 5-3 at the dome yesterday. The Jays crushed three home runs on their way to victory. Vernon Wells, Edwin Encarnacion and Travis Snider hit the homers. Jose Bautista did not get one, so we are still awaiting his 50th of the season.

- Joanne

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