Irving Berlin, 1938 (Rogers and Hammerstein Organization)
“Irving Berlin has no ‘place’ in American music—Irving Berlin is American music.” —Jerome Kern
Israel Baline began writing songs before he knew how to read music. By age 23, the self-taught pianist morphed from a waif of the Bowery slums into the musical icon known as Irving Berlin.
Berlin developed a unique voice that translated the most basic of emotions, merging poetry and music into a universal sentiment that was pleasurable to sing and easy to remember. More than 450 of his songs—including “Alexander’s Ragtime Band,” “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” “All Alone,” and “Blue Skies”—became hits; 60 percent of them reached the Top Ten list, a summit that no other American songwriter has approached.
American musical specialist Robert Wyatt covers Berlin’s extraordinary life, spanning a half-century of musical achievement, years that produced songs for Tin Pan Alley, the Broadway stage, radio, television, film, and a worldwide military audience. View archival film clips and listen to Ethel Merman, Fred Astaire, Ethel Waters, and Bing Crosby—along with Berlin himself singing “Oh! How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning.”
- If you register multiple individuals, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses so they can receive a Zoom link email. Please note that if there is a change in program schedule or a cancellation, we will notify you via email, and it will be your responsibility to notify other registrants in your group.
- Unless otherwise noted, registration for streaming programs typically closes two hours prior to the start time on the date of the program.
- Once registered, patrons should receive an automatic email confirmation from CustomerService@SmithsonianAssociates.org.
- Separate Zoom link information will be emailed closer to the date of the program. If you do not receive your Zoom link information 24 hours prior to the start of the program, please email Customer Service for assistance.
- View Common FAQs about our Streaming Programs on Zoom.