Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Born on this date in 1888 in Russia, Irving Berlin immigrated to this country at the beginning of the last century. He began his life as a street urchin, sweeping streets and singing in saloons.

He graduated to playing the piano - but only in one key G flat major!! He always had a musical "secretary" to write down what he composed - because he could not read or write music.

Irving is probably one of the most prolific of American composer and he is often credited with "inventing" the ballad - basically, a slow song. Up until his time most all songs were peppy and bright.

He wrote such standards as "White Christmas" "God Bless America" and "There's No Business Like Show Business". He died a very rich man at age 101, proving there really is no business like show business.

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