Irving Berlin: Immigrant, patriot, songsmith

Listen 49:01
(AP Photo/Murray Becker)

(AP Photo/Murray Becker)

Guests: Gary A. Rosen, Drew Nugent

The life story of composer Irving Berlin is a  quintessential 20th century American one. His family fled Russia in the early 1890s to due to the rising tide of violent anti-Semitism and came to America in the early 1900s. In New York, Berlin was able to flourish as a songwriter, where he wrote some of his most famous songs, such as “White Christmas,” “Anything You Can Do,” and “Puttin’ on the Ritz.” Berlin felt a deep sense of gratitude to the  United States. His love of America is made clear by his many patriotic anthems, most-notably “God Bless America.” Today, we’re going to discuss the life, the songwriting, and patriotism of Irving Berlin. We’re joined by music historian and copyright attorney GARY ROSEN, and by jazz musician DREW NUGENT, who’ll also play some of Berlin’s songs live in studio.

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