Berlin, Irving

   Born Israel Isidore Baline in Russia, Berlin’s family moved to the United States in 1893 and settled in New York’s Lower East Side. He was forced to work from an early age and did a variety of casual jobs, including being a singing waiter. However, Berlin began writing songs. His first published song in 1907 included a misprint of his name, which he then changed to Irving Berlin. From 1908 to 1911 he mainly wrote lyrics for other people’s music, but in 1911 he achieved his first major success with “Alexander’s Rag-time Band.” Berlin entered the army during World War I and staged the revue Yip Yip Yaphank. Following the war he wrote for the Ziegfeld Follies before establishing his own theater, The Music Box. After moderate success, he went through a fairly unproductive period from 1927 to 1932, although one of his hit songs was “Blue Skies” performed by Al Jolson in the movie The Jazz Singer (1927). He began to write hit songs again with Rudy Vallee’s “How Deep Is the Ocean” (1932) and then had a string of hits with the Broadway revue As Thousands Cheer (1933), including the songs “Easter Parade,” “Harlem on My Mind,” and “Heat Wave.” He also wrote the music for the movie Top Hat (1935), starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, and won an Oscar for the song “Cheek to Cheek.”
   Berlin’s film success continued during the war with Holiday Inn, featuring Bing Crosby singing “White Christmas”—the song that became the most played Christmas song—and the reprise of Yip Yip Yaphank retitled This is the Army (1943) based on the revue that had first been staged in 1942. It now included “God Bless America,” a song first performed by Katie Smith in 1938, which was so popular during the war it almost became the nation’s anthem. His contribution to the nation was recognized by President Harry S. Truman with the award of the Medal of Merit in 1945.
   Berlin was a huge success after the war with one of his greatest musicals, Annie Get Your Gun (1946), produced by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, including the songs “There’s No Business Like Show Business” and “Anything You Can Do.” The musical was made into a film in 1950. The movie Easter Parade appeared in 1948. However, Berlin’s subsequent productions, Miss Liberty (1949) and Mr. President (1962), were regarded as flops, and he largely retired thereafter. He did, however, write “I Like Ike,” the campaign song for Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952. Berlin is remembered as one of greatest songwriters.
   See also Cinema; Literature and theater.

Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . . 2015.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Berlin,Irving — Berlin, Irving. Originally Israel Baline. 1888 1989. Russian born American songwriter who wrote more than 1,500 songs, including “Alexander s Ragtime Band” (1911), and several musical comedies, such as Top Hat (1935) and Annie Get Your Gun (1946) …   Universalium

  • Berlin, Irving — orig. Israel Baline born May 11, 1888, Mogilyov, Russia died Sept. 22, 1989, New York, N.Y., U.S. U.S. songwriter. The son of a Russian Jewish cantor, he and his family immigrated to New York City in 1893. He worked as a street singer and singing …   Universalium

  • Berlin, Irving — orig. Israel Baline (11 may. 1888, Mogilyov, Rusia–22 sep. 1989, Nueva York, N.Y., EE.UU.). Irving Berlin, compositor estadounidense. Compositor estadounidense. Hijo de un solista litúrgico judío ruso, emigró con su familia a Nueva York en 1893.… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Berlin, Irving — pseud. di Baline, Israel …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • Berlin, Irving (Balin, Israel) — (1888 1989)    American songwriter. Born in Tumen, Siberia, he was the son of a cantor. His family went to the US, and he founded his own music publishing company. He composed more than 1000 songs and wrote songs for numerous films as well as… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Irving Berlin — Fotografía de 1948 Nombre de nacimiento Israel Isidore Baline Nacimiento …   Wikipedia Español

  • Irving Berlin — (1948) Irving Berlin (eigentlich Israel Isidore Beilin oder Baline; * 29. Apriljul./ 11. Mai 1888greg. im Russischen Kaiserreich; † 22. September 1989 in New York) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Berlin — /beuhr lin / for 1, 2; /berr lin/ for 3, 4; for 2 also Ger. /berdd leen /, n. 1. Irving, born 1888, U.S. songwriter. 2. the capital of Germany, in the NE part: constitutes a state. 3,121,000; 341 sq. mi. (883 sq. km.). Formerly (1948 90) divided… …   Universalium

  • Irving Berlin — noun United States songwriter (born in Russia) who wrote more than 1500 songs and several musical comedies (1888 1989) • Syn: ↑Berlin, ↑Israel Baline • Instance Hypernyms: ↑songwriter, ↑songster, ↑ballad maker * * * Ir …   Useful english dictionary

  • Irving — /err ving/, n. 1. Sir Henry (John Henry Brodribb), 1838 1905, English actor. 2. Washington, 1783 1859, U.S. essayist, story writer, and historian. 3. a city in NE Texas, near Dallas. 109,943. 4. a male given name. * * * I City (pop., 2000:… …   Universalium

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