IRVING BERLIN - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 09/07/1948 - HFSID 217
Sale Price $1,360.00
The composer writes to a friend in Paris concerning a French decoration being given to Oscar Hammerstein.
Typed Letter signed: "Irving", 1 page, 7¼x10½. No place, 1948 September 7. On his personal letterhead, written to Albert Willemetz, Paris, France. In full: "I arrived by plane from London on Friday and went right to the country to spend Labor Day with my family. I'm just back in my office and yours is the first note I want to dash off. It would be very difficult to express how deeply I appreciate your many kindnesses while I was both in Paris and Deauville, exspecially (sic) Deauville. But, you must know how much it meant to me to get to know you and your family and your friends during my visit. I hope it is just the beginning and that we can continue where we left off sometime in the near future, either here in America or in France when I come with my family. Again, let me assure you that I will do what I can for John Peter when he comes to America, though I'm sure he will need very little guidance from anyone. Thinking over the Oscar Hammerstein decoration, I wonder whether it wouldn't be wiser for me to say nothing to him but to wait until further developments. Don't you think it would be better, if and when your recommendation is okayed, that it come from the Frence (sic) Counsel as an honor that France wants to bestow on Oscar, and let me or any part I might have played in it stay in the background. I will, of course, abide by your choice and decision in this matter. Again my thanks for everything and with love to you and your family, I am, Most sincerely". 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". On July 15, 1949, exactly a week before this letter was written, Berlin's musical, Miss Liberty, had opened on Broadway. The show would run until April 8, 1950. Berlin was likely going to Hollywood to write the musical score for the 1950 film, Annie Get Your Gun, adapted from his 1946 Broadway play. Lightly creased with folds, not at signature. Staple holes and show through of mounting remnant at upper left margin, 1½-inch tear at lower right blank edge. Receipt stamp at lower margin beneath signature. Otherwise, fine condition.
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