Topic: Irving BERLIN
Irving Berlin was born in Russia on May 11, 1888 as Israel Isidore Beilin 120 years ago today. He immigrated with his family in 1893, and it is thought the surname was mistakenly spelled Berlin at Ellis Island. They settled in New York City where his father, Moses Beilen, a former cantor, found work as an inspector of kosher meat. Irving Berlin became an American composer and lyricist, and one of the most prolific American songwriters in history. Berlin was one of the few Tin Pan Alley/Broadway songwriters who wrote both lyrics and music for his songs. Although he never learned to read music beyond a rudimentary level, with the help of various uncredited musical assistants or collaborators, he eventually composed over 3,000 songs, many of which (e.g. "God Bless America", "White Christmas", "Anything You Can Do", "There's No Business Like Show Business") left an indelible mark on American music and culture. He composed seventeen film scores and twenty-one Broadway scores.