As Thousands Cheer: The Life of Irving Berlin
Irving Berlin (1888–1989) was unable to read or write music and could only play the piano in the key of F-sharp major; yet, for the first half of the twentieth century he was America's most successful and most representative songwriter, composing such hits as "Alexander's Ragtime Band," "Cheek to Cheek," "Let's Face the Music and Dance," "Puttin' on the Ritz," "White Christmas," "Anything You Can Do," "There's No Business Like Show Business," and "God Bless America." As Thousands Cheer, winner of the Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award, explores with precision and sensitivity Berlin's long, prolific career; his self-doubt and late-blooming misanthropy; and the tyrannical control he exerted over his legacy of song. From his immigrant beginnings through Tin Pan Alley, Broadway, and Hollywood to his reclusive and bitter final years, this definitive biography reveals the man who wrote 1500 songs but could never quash the fear that, for all his success, he wasn't quite good enough.
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I met Irving Berlin in London, it must have been 1943.
I was ten years old and my father, lacking a baby sitter, sneaked me into Jack's Club, Orange street. My father, using the pretext that I was learning to play the piano, asked I.B. for his autograph.
He smiled, and taking a headed sheet of club notepaper, wrote,"I hope you get to be a better pianist than I, Irving Berlin".
We had no idea that he only used black keys to rough out his magic tunes.I thought he was a very nice man.
Sorry this isn't about the book but it may show a generous side of a great artist.
Review: As Thousands Cheer: The Life of Irving BerlinUser Review - Kathy - Goodreads
I was more than halfway through the biography of this American icon before I realized what was wrong with it. It wasn't the writing style, which in fact is terrific. It wasn't the depth of the ... Read full review
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The Great American Composer?
From the Music Box to
Minstrel of Peace
Minstrel of War
Irving Likes Ike
The Cheering Stops