Irving Berlin - This Is The Life! The Breakthrough Years: 1909–1921 | New World Records NW80773

Irving Berlin - This Is The Life! The Breakthrough Years: 1909–1921


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Label: New World Records

Cat No: NW80773

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Orchestral

Release Date: 19th February 2016



The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra


Rick Benjamin


The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra


Rick Benjamin


Composer/lyricist Irving Berlin (1888–1989) remains an American cultural icon. While Berlin's classic middle- and late-period works are still known and loved around the world, the music that launched him as "America's greatest songwriter" in the 1900s and '10s is now forgotten and largely unavailable.

Yet from a cultural perspective, these early years are Berlin's most fascinating and perhaps most important: through them, Israel Baline — an impoverished immigrant who spoke no English and never studied music — transformed himself and the face of American popular music.

As "Irving Berlin", he became an extraordinary commentator on national life and in a breathtakingly short time was making his own considerable influences upon it.

Ranging from his explosive 1907 arrival as "The Ragtime King" into the dawn of the Jazz Age (1917–22), the album highlights Berlin's songs for vaudeville, revue, and the Broadway stage. Of particular interest are rediscovered scores from Berlin's first musical — the legendary Watch Your Step (1914). All selections are performed from rare historic orchestrations prepared by Irving Berlin's own staff arrangers and orchestrators.

The recording is accompanied by an extensive booklet giving insights into overlooked aspects of Berlin's career, including his curious working methods, as well as his brilliant successes as the publisher of his own creations and proprietor of a true, pioneering "entertainment empire."


A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody (theme of Ziegfeld Follies of 1919)
Alexander’s Ragtime Band (song, 1911)
Everybody’s Doin’ It Now (turkey trot, 1911)
Finale to Act II (“Opera Medley”) from Watch Your Step (1914)
The Girls Of My Dreams (from Ziegfeld Follies of 1920)
Home Again Blues (1920)
I Love A Piano (song from Stop! Look! Listen!, 1915)
The International Rag (duet, 1913)
My Melody Dream (a song poem, 1911)
Nobody Knows (And Nobody Seems To Care) (foxtrot, 1919)
Oh! How I Hate To Get Up In The Morning! (song from Yip, Yip, Yaphank!, 1918)
Overture to Watch Your Step (1914)
Play A Simple Melody (duet from Watch Your Step, 1914)
Say It With Music (theme of The Music Box Revue, 1921)
Smile And Show Your Dimple (one-step, 1918)
Tell Me, Little Gypsy (from Ziegfeld Follies of 1920)
That Mesmerizing Mendelssohn Tune (song, 1909)
This Is The Life! (song, 1914)
When I Leave The World Behind (ballad, 1915)
When I Lost You (waltz, 1912)
You’d Be Surprised (song from Ziegfeld Follies of 1919)

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