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As Thousands Cheer: The Life of Irving Berlin


As Thousands Cheer: The Life of Irving Berlin

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    Available in PDF Format | As Thousands Cheer: The Life of Irving Berlin.pdf | English
    Laurence Bergreen(Author)
A biography of Irving Berlin, and a social history of American entertainment. The book details Berlin's roots as a Russian Jew, and his escape from the ghetto. He became a singing waiter and started to compose but was never able to read music.

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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Printable? Yes

Book details

  • PDF | Unknown pages
  • Laurence Bergreen(Author)
  • Viking Pr; First Edition edition (Jun. 1990)
  • English
  • 3
  • Biography

Review Text

  • By Humboles on 20 April 2017

    A long book about a long life, "As Thousands Cheer", published 27 years ago, is so entertainingly written that the pages fly by. A destitute little Russian Jewish boy, Israel Baline, arrives on Ellis Island, lives in relative poverty and remains untutored in music theory, yet ultimately rises to fame as Irving Berlin, the internationally acclaimed writer of popular songs who, to many, came to represent his adopted country. These bare facts are skilfully blended with commentary on the man’s precocious musicality, his drive, his mercurial moods, his tendency to depression and self-doubt, his canny business instincts, and his generosity and loyalty. Mr Bergreen never allows the sheer weight of detail to bog down the narrative, however, which remains entertaining and erudite throughout. The comprehensive reference section will satisfy serious students of American musical history, and fascinate those of us who love Tin Pan Alley, the Broadway musical, and an unforgettable tune. Berlin became cranky in his dotage and demurred when (repeatedly) invited to contribute to this biography. No matter as, even without Berlin's direct involvement, this biographer gets right under the skin of his subject.

  • By Janet Strong on 4 August 2013

    A great book for any music lovers which gives a great insight into the life and times of this great artist!

  • By George Taylor on 5 January 2016

    A great biography of a great composer, and a very good read for anyone interested in popular music of the 20th century

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