IRVING BERLIN - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 04/06/1970 - HFSID 217294
Sale Price $850.00
IRVING BERLIN. TLS: "Irving Berlin", 1p, 7¼x10¼. New York City, 1943 September 30. On his imprinted stationery to Mr. Joseph S. Buhler, The Lambs Servicemen's Morale Corps, N.Y.C. In full: "Upon my return to my office, after a long absence, I found the certificate of honor from the Lambs Servicemen's Morale Corps. Please forgive my delaying so long to personally acknowledge and thank you for this award. Best wishes." "799 Seventh Ave N.Y. City" written in pencil beneath imprinted name. The year before he signed this letter, Berlin's musical, This Is the Army, had run on Broadway (July 4-September 26, 1942). The musical, which was a reworking of his World War I "barracks musical", Yip Yip Yaphank, had been directed by Sergeant Ezra Stone and choreographed by Corporal Nelson Barclift and Sergeant Robert Sidney. Following the Broadway run, touring companies with casts and crews comprised largely of genuine servicemen who had either returned from war or were preparing to go overseas were formed to take the show to soldiers serving around the world. The performing military unit was bestowed with an official title: "Irving Berlin's This is the Army, Provisional Task Force, Service Supply Force, U.S. Army". Berlin wrote new musical selections (a total of 34 new songs in all) for each new locale. In 1943, the year of this letter, This Is The Army was made into a feature film. Berlin reprised his Broadway role as himself, belting out a show-stealing rendition of the song, "Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning". This Is the Army was one of the top-grossing movies of 1943, and all of the nearly ten million dollars in profits from the film were donated to Army Emergency Relief Fund. Although Berlin was billed as Sergeant Irving Berlin in the opening night credits of the Broadway version, he was free to leave his military unit as he pleased. He was possibly away for his long absence due to the making of This Is the Army or another film. The Lambs, established in New York City in 1874, is America's first professional theatre club. JOSEPH S. BUHLER, a member of the Lambs since 1911, was the founder of the Lambs Servicemen's Morale Corps, one of the services provided by the Lambs during WWII. The club, which also supported the USO during WWII, had been honored for its contributions to WWI when a transport ship was named The Lambs in 1918. 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". Lightly creased. Slightly shaded at lower margin, light paper clip rust stain at mid-left blank margin. Overall, fine condition.
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