Friday happy dance

May 11, 2018

In memory of Irving Berlin, born on this day in 1888.

Friday happy dance

December 8, 2017

Happy birthday, Irving

May 11, 2017

Here’s a song in honor of the birthday of Irving Berlin (1888-1989), and if you recognize all or even most of the performers, that can mean only one thing: you’re at least as old as I am.

Happy birthday, Irving

May 11, 2016

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.

May your days be merry and bright

December 15, 2015

Here’s something you don’t see every day: Japanese square dancers, dancing to Christmas music by a Russian-born American Jewish songwriter. Now there’s multiculturalism for you.


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