Irving Berlin

Irving Berlin (bərlĬn´), 1888–1989, American songwriter, b. Russia. Berlin's surname was originally Baline. Of his nearly 1,000 songs, Alexander's Ragtime Band (1911) was his first outstanding hit. In 1918, while he was in the army, he wrote, produced, and acted in Yip, Yip, Yaphank, which he rewrote in 1942 as This Is the Army. Berlin wrote songs for several of the Ziegfeld Follies and the Music Box Revue (1921–24) as well as the Broadway musicals As Thousands Cheer (1933), Annie Get Your Gun (1946), Miss Liberty (1949), Call Me Madam (1950), and Mr. President (1962). He was the composer of numerous film scores, and several of his stage musicals were filmed. Among his best-known songs are "God Bless America," "Easter Parade," "White Christmas," and "There's No Business Like Show Business."

See C. Hamm, ed., Irving Berlin: Early Songs (1995), and R. Kimball and L. Emmet, ed., The Complete Lyrics of Irvine Berlin (2001); M. E. Barrett, Irving Berlin: A Daughter's Memoir (1994); biographies by M. Freedland (1974), L. Bergreen (1990), and E. Jablonski (1999).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Irving Berlin: Selected full-text books and articles

Irving Berlin's American Musical Theater By Jeffrey Magee Oxford University Press, 2012
Irving Berlin and Ragtime America By Ian Whitcomb Limelight Editions, 1988
Men of Popular Music By David Ewen Ziff-Davis Publishing, 1944
Librarian's tip: Chap. Two "Irving Berlin"
Music of the Golden Age, 1900-1950 and Beyond: A Guide to Popular Composers and Lyricists By Arthur L. Iger Greenwood Press, 1998
Librarian's tip: "Irving Berlin, Composer/Lyricist (1888-1989)" begins on p. 25
Show Tunes: The Songs, Shows, and Careers of Broadway's Major Composers By Steven Suskin Oxford University Press, 2000 (3rd edition)
Librarian's tip: "Irving Berlin" begins on p. 37
Yesterdays: Popular Song in America By Charles Hamm W. W. Norton, 1979
Librarian's tip: Discussion of Irving Berlin begins on p. 327
From Depression to War: American Society in Transition--1939 By August C. Bolino Praeger Publishers, 1998
Librarian's tip: Includes discussion of Irving Berlin in multiple chapters
Tin Pan Alley: A Chronicle of the American Popular Music Racket By Isaac Goldberg John Day, 1930
Librarian's tip: Includes discussion of Irving Berlin in multiple chapters
So This Is Jazz By Henry O. Osgood Little, Brown, 1926
Librarian's tip: Chap. XVIII "Irving Berlin, Who Moved Up Town"
Passport to Jewish Music: Its History, Traditions, and Culture By Irene Heskes Greenwood Press, 1994
Librarian's tip: Chap. 32 "Some Thoughts on American Popular Songwriters: Berlin, Kern, Gershwin, and Arlen"
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