Music: America's Master Songwriter :Irving Berlin: 1888-1989

Irving Berlin: 1888-1989

Irving Berlin knew what made his music so timelessly popular. "A good song," he once said, "embodies the feelings of the mob, and a songwriter is not much more than a mirror which reflects those feelings. I write a song to please the public -- and if the public doesn't like it in New Haven, I change it!"

The public liked it. When Berlin died last week at 101, he was the nation's most beloved songwriter, a Russian Jewish immigrant born Israel Baline, who rose from Cherry Street on Manhattan's Lower East Side to pride of place on Tin Pan Alley....

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