Irving Berlin: One of America’s Most Prolific Songwriters
On Zoom, the author of this new book will summarize the life of Irving Berlin, who was born Israel Baline, and tell us about his improbable rise to become one of America’s most prolific songwriters. Hear his hardscrabble journey from leaving home as a young teenager, to working as a song “busker” and discovering his innate talent for writing songs–despite a lack of musical education. Learn about the changing music industry from the thriving music sheet business of Tin Pan Alley, the advent of Ragtime, the start of the American musical, and the soundtracks for feature films–all of which Berlin influenced. Understand how he developed songs for the films of the Marx Brothers, Astaire and Rodgers, Ethel Merman, and more. Look at why “God Bless America” was considered an alternative to the national anthem yet was strongly disliked by the Right and the Left and why “White Christmas” soared to the top of the charts. You’ll watch clips from a variety of songs, shows, and films Berlin composed, hear original recordings, and see historic photos.
This presentation will last approximately 60 minutes with the chance to ask the author Questions afterwards.
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