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....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!