Happy birthday, Irving

Israel Isidore Baline was born in Russia on May 11, 1888, and moved with his family to New York City in 1893 — part of a mass exodus of Jewish families fleeing anti-Jewish violence in Russia. “Israel” became “Irving” sometime after his arrival in the United States, and “Baline” became “Berlin” as the result of a printer’s error when he published his first song in 1907. In 1911 he had his first big hit with “Alexander’s Ragtime Band,” and he went on to write hundreds more — including “White Christmas,” “God Bless America,” “Easter Parade,” “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business.” He composed the scores for nineteen Broadway shows and eighteen Hollywood movies. 

In 1968, a few days before his 80th birthday, Irving Berlin appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show to sing one of his greatest hits:

7 Responses to Happy birthday, Irving

  1. I remember him. Great song writer. I just looked Irving Berlin up on Wikipedia. He died in 1989 at the age of 101. Wow!

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  2. What man can say that both his real name and ‘stage’ name are terrific? What a presence he had! And gosh, are those little Scouts adorable or what?

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  3. hocuspocus13 says:

    Reblogged this on hocuspocus13 and commented:

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