Irving Berlin (1888-1989) was elected to The Lambs in 1913.
Born Israel Isidore Baline in Tumen, Siberia, Russia, he was such a force in American music that in 1924, when Berlin was just 37, songwriter Jerome Kern gave this assessment: “Irving Berlin has no place in American music. He is American music.”
If the only song he ever wrote was “God Bless America”, made famous by Kate Smith, Berlin would be an important part of American music. But Berlin wrote more than 900 songs, including the classics “A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody”, “There’s No Business Like Show Business”, “Always”, “Easter Parade” and “Blue Skies”, 19 musicals, including Annie Get Your Gun and Call Me Madam, and the scores of 18 movies, including Holiday Inn, which featured his 1942 Academy Award-winning song, “White Christmas”.
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