Irving Berlin: A Life in Song

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Irving Berlin's singular devotion to the art of weaving words and music together produced songs of extraordinary quality. During the course of his career, he wrote thousands of songs, sometimes at the rate of at least one a day - but only a few met his high standards. Eight hundred ninety-nine of his songs were registered for copyright, but it is the quality of these songs that is remarkable. Over half of them became hits, and 282 of them reached the "top ten." Even more indicative of the quality of his songs is that so many have become "standards" - the kind of song that transcends its own era of popularity to become a timeless part of our musical heritage. Heard today in jazz and cabaret performances, movie sound tracks, and even in television commercials, these evergreens constitute the closest thing America has to a vital body of classical song.

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Irving Berlin: a life in song

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Furia (English, Univ. of North Carolina) continues his series of books on the history of American popular music (e.g., The Poets of Tin Pan Alley, LJ 8/90) with this biography of Irving Berlin. Furia ... Read full review


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