IRVING BERLIN - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 01/19/1968 - HFSID 182469
Sale Price $1,360.00
IRVING BERLIN. TLS: "Irving", ¼p, 7¼x10½. No place, 1968
January 19. On his imprinted stationery to George W. Cohen, Beverly Hills,
California. In full: "This is to acknowledge your letter of January
15th with enclosed check which was sent on to Rindler. I needn't tell you again
how I feel about the amount of loot we're getting for the television rights of
'White Christmas'. Even though it means very little in terms of dollars during
these taxing days, it does feel good. My best to you and Carolyn, As
always." Irving Berlin ushered in the age of popular Christmas music with
his song, "White Christmas", which Bing Crosby introduced on December 25,
1941 on his NBC radio show, The Kraft Music Hall. Crosby recorded the
song on Decca with the John Scott Trotter Orchestra on May 29, 1942, and
"White Christmas" was featured in the film, Holiday Inn, starring
Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, which was released in August 1942. Later that
year, "White Christmas", which was Crosby's biggest-selling record and the
largest-selling Christmas single (over 30 million copies sold), topped the
charts for 11 weeks. The song was later No. 1 for two weeks in 1945 and
for a week in 1947, the year it had to be rerecorded by Crosby (March 19,
1947) as the original masters were worn out from pressing. "White Christmas"
remained the biggest-selling song for more than 50 years, until Elton John's
"Candle in the Wind" tribute to Princess Diana surpassed it in 1998. Irving
Berlin (1888-1989), born Israel Isidore Baline in Tumen, Siberia, Russia, 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". In 1968, the year of this
letter, which he wrote less than four months before his 80th birthday, Berlin
received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Name of recipient obliterated
with correction fluid. Lightly creased with folds, not at signature. Lightly
soiled at lower blank margin, 2 file holes at upper blank margin, ¼-inch paper
loss above each. Overall, fine condition.
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