Irving Berlin has been one of the greatest songwriters and composers of all times. He wrote his most famous songs during the first half of the twentieth century. He has worked with important and influent personalities and artists like Barbara Streisand, Cher, Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Doris Day, Ella Fitzgerlad, Judy Garland, Ethel Merman, Liza Minelli, Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Julie Andrews, Florenz Ziegfeld and Marilyn Monroe.
Marilyn Monroe and Irving Berlin
It would be enough to remember just three of the long list of songs written by Mr Berlin, to understand how big was his impact in America music history. I'd like to offer you Irving on a silver platter by taking randomly some of his succeses and allow you to meet one of the real souls of America, the Russian-born Israel Isidore Baline, Irving Berlin.
He wrote in 1911 "Alexander's Ragtime Band", lately performed by Ray Charles, Louis Armstrong and Liza Minnelli, and by Donald O'Connor in the 1954 musical "There's no Business like show Business", but also the song was included in White Star Line Songbook, and played during the sinking of the Titanic (the scene is included in James Cameron' movie "Titanic",1997).
In 1918 he wrote "God bless America", a patriotic song written while he was serving the U.S Army.
In 1919, "A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody" became the Theme song of the Ziegfeld Folies, a Broadway production inspired by Les Folies Bergères in Paris; successively brought on the screen by Academy Award winner Louise Rainer and William Powell.
In 1924 George Gershwin's concert "An Experiment in Modern Music", the "Semi-Symphonic Arrangement of Popular Melodies", was a combination of three tunes written by Berlin, "Alexander's Ragtime Band", "A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody", and "Orange Blossoms in California".
He wrote "Easter Parade" in 1933 performed by Bing Crosby in 1942 movie "Holiday Inn" starring also Fred Astaire.
In 1936 he wrote for the film "Follow the fleet" starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers "Let's Face the Music and Dance", for their remarkable dance duet.
In 1942 he had his biggest success by writing "White Christmas", performed again by Bing Crosby, and his versione has become the best-selling single of all times.
In 1946 "There's no Business like Show Business" was written for the musical Annie Get your Gun, and become so popular in 1954 when was performed byEthel Merman (also seen in "All that Jazz"1979).
In 1948 the movie "Easter Parade" starring Judy Garland and including the song "I Want To Go Back To Michigan" written by Berlin won the Academy Award for Best Musical Score.
Berlin died at the age of 101 in New York City, the former President at that time was Ronald Reagan who co-starred in Irving Berlin's musical "This is the Army" in 1943.