19-109 IRVING BERLIN: ICON OF AMERICAN POPULAR SONGWRITING
Gail Nelli, Tuesdays 10 am - 12 noon
Sonoran Room, February 19, 26, March 5, 12, 19
Despite his impoverished early childhood and lack of formal music training, Irving Berlin played by ear and became a prolific songwriter of almost 1,500 songs. When asked to define Berlin’s place in American music, fellow music composer and friend, Jerome Kern replied, “Irving Berlin has no ‘place’ in American music—Irving Berlin IS American music.” The sessions will explore the family background and early musical influences that started Berlin on his songwriting journey. Then participants will take a close look at Berlin’s emerging song-writing style as he promoted popular songs in Tin Pan Alley compositions, the Broadway stage and Hollywood films.