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,” “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:

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