Irving Berlin, b. Tyumen, Russia, May 11, 1888, d. Sept. 22, 1989, dominated the world of American popular music for half a century. Of his 1,500 songs, for which he wrote both music and lyrics, several have become classics. Among them are "God Bless America," "White Christmas," "Easter Parade," "All Alone," and "Alexander's Ragtime Band." "White Christmas" won an Oscar in 1942. Yip, Yip, Yaphank (1918) and This Is the Army (1942), shows that he wrote and produced with all-soldier casts during the two world wars, earned millions for war charities. For This Is the Army he was decorated with the Medal of Merit. Screen musicals with Berlin's songs include Top Hat (1935), Easter Parade (1948), Blue Skies (1946), and White Christmas (1954). Among his most successful Broadway musicals are the Music Box Revues (1921-24), As Thousands Cheer (1933), and Annie Get Your Gun (1946).
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