IRVING BERLIN - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 04/11/1945 - HFSID 132011
Sale Price $2,975.00
DURING WORLD WAR II, IRVING BERLIN PREPARES THIS IS
THE ARMY FOR THE PHILIPPINES.
IRVING BERLIN. Comprises: (1) TLS: "Irving Berlin", 1p, 7¼x10½. New York, 1945 April 11. To S/S Bob Sidney, This is the Army Detachment, APO 5324 - Postmaster, San Francisco, California. In full: "I arrived a few days ago, after a delayed trip home. I am spending a few days in New York before going off to Hollywood and getting down to work. I hope all went well in Mendora and that the new number is working out. I've written some new choruses for American consumption, which I am enclosing. [not present] As I wrote you from Leyte, unless this number is a riot, I wouldn't keep it in. Another spot may help, but I still feel the number is too slow. I am really concerned about the Phillipine (sic) song especially when you play Manila and the rest of the tour through the Phillipines (sic). I hope Shanley got away with the announcement. If not, someone else should explain the song. It makes much more sense with an announcement. I would also try to get some children for every performance as we did in Leyte. In any event, the shows you play in Manila should have the children for every performance. By the way, I went to Washington for a day and they were thrilled with my report of how well the show had done so far in the Pacific although they had already gotten wonderful comment from official sources. I discussed some other matters, which I will write the Committee about later. So that you don't jump at conclusions, let me assure you I have no bad news. I will talk to Jack Warner about your problem when I get to Hollywood. My best to you and the boys." Lightly soiled. Regular folds. Fine condition. (2) ROBERT SIDNEY. ALS: "My very best/Bob", 1p, 8¼x11½ . Los Angeles, California, 1990 February 12. To Vincent. In full: "Got home last night and as I promised here is your letter from Mr. B. In re-reading it myself, I'm so impressed with his obsession for This Is The Army. Really he was the ultimate ham - always show business! The wonderful memorial to him last week, great as it was, didn't begin to pay the homage he deserved. In any case, I hope you enjoy his letter. Again my sincerest thanks for your help with The Louise Paget-Vivienne Segal (Robinson) scenario. I'm looking forward to seeing Wally Munro when he arrives." Regular folds. Fine condition. Remarkable letters regarding the refinements in the touring production of Berlin's show, This Is the Army, which had run on Broadway from 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. Like its predecessor, the cast and crew were largely comprised of genuine servicemen who had either returned from war or were preparing to go overseas. At the time of this letter, the performing military unit, which was bestowed with an official title "Irving Berlin's This is the Army, Provisional Task Force, Service Supply Force, U.S. Army", was beginning a tour of the Pacific. Berlin wrote new musical selections (a total of 34 new songs in all) for each new locale, including "I Get Along With the Aussies" and "Heaven Watch the Philippines". In 1943, This Is The Army was made into a feature film with the backing of Jack Warner, who is mentioned in this letter. 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. At the time of this letter, he had been requested to supervise the score of Blue Skies, which featured old Berlin songs and starred Bing Crosby and Joan Caulfield. IRVING BERLIN (1888-1989) 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", 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". JACK WARNER (1892-1978), the youngest of the four Warner Brothers, was the producer of This is The Army. Two items.
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