Monday, November 21, 2016
Irving Berlin sings "God Bless America"
Researching one thing, I read a 2007 blog post by another guy on Christmas songs by Jewish composers. The guy wrote, oh by the way, this other post has Irving Berlin singing "God Bless America."
I must share this with readers.
Born in Russia as Irving Baline, all he remembered of that country was the cossacks burning down his house in the middle of the night when he was 5. They took the hint and the family moved to Brooklyn, where he became the world's greatest composer.
"God Bless America" is his gift to the Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts, who split the royalties from it, hence the chorus.
The occasion was the May 5, 1968, Ed Sullivan show. The nation was in turmoil in 1968. I suppose Ed and Irving were buddies (Ed was an old gossip columnist with many show business connections). Likely they thought it would be great to have Berlin sing "God Bless America."
Berlin wrote "White Christmas." And "Happy Holidays."