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Irving Berlin Songs from the Melting Pot the Formative Years, 1907-1914

by Charles Hamm

  • ISBN: 9780195071887
  • ISBN10: 0195071883

Irving Berlin Songs from the Melting Pot the Formative Years, 1907-1914

by Charles Hamm

  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Oxford Univ Pr on Demand
  • Publish date: 01/01/1997
  • ISBN: 9780195071887
  • ISBN10: 0195071883
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Description: In Irving Berlin: The Formative Years, Charles Hamm traces the early years of this most famous and distinctive American songwriter. His first piece, "Marie from Sunny Italy", was written in 1907, and his first great success, "Alexander's Ragtime Band" (1914), attracted more public and media attention than any other song of its decade. Beginning with Berlin's immigrant roots - he came to New York in 1893 from Russia - Hamm shows how the young Berlin quickly revealed the talent for music and lyrics that was to mark his entire career. Berlin first wrote for the vaudeville stage, turning out songs that drew on the various ethnic cultures of the city. These pieces, with their Jewish, Italian, German, Irish, and black protagonists singing in appropriate dialects, reflected the urban mix of New York's melting pot. Berlin drew on various musical styles, especially ragtime, for such songs as "Alexander's Ragtime Band", and Hamm devotes an entire chapter to the song and its success. The book also details Berlin's early efforts to write for the Broadway musical stage, culminating in 1914 with his first musical comedy, Watch Your Step, featuring the popular dance team, Vernon and Irene Castle. A great hit on Broadway and in London, the show was a key piece in the Americanization of the musical comedy. Blessed with prodigious ambition and energy, Berlin wrote at least 4 or 5 new songs a week, many of which were discarded. He nevertheless published 190 songs between 1907 and 1914, an astonishing number considering that when Berlin arrived in America, he knew not a single word of English.
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Seller: Powell's Books Chicago
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1997. Hardcover. Very Good. (Subject: Music).
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Unknown printing. xii, 292 p. : ill. ; 25 cm. Includes bibliography and
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0195071883 292 pages, with index, source notes and 3 song appendices. Some illustrations and sheet music excerpts throughout.
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0195071883 292 pages, with index, source notes and 3 song appendices. Some illustrations and sheet music excerpts throughout.
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First edition. Octavo. 292pp. Illustrated from black and white photographs.
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