May 11, 1888 — Irving Berlin born

Born Israel Isidore Baline, the composer better known as Irving Berlin was 101 years old when he died. His family came to America in 1893, fleeing the anti-Jewish pogroms of Russia. They settled on the Lower East Side of New York City, where the family got involved in music and Irving’s talents as a musician first came to light.

Over the course of his life, he wrote more than 1800 songs, which included the scores for 19 Broadway shows and 18 Hollywood films, including songs such as “White Christmas” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business” and such classic musicals as “Annie Get Your Gun”. His music was nominated for Academy Awards on eight separate occasions, but he never won one.

It doesn’t seem to have bothered him much, although he did retire from songwriting in the Sixties and spent the rest of his life in relative obscurity in his beloved New York City.

BerlinPortrait1.jpg
By Unknown – book: “Irving Berlin’s Show Business”, Public Domain, Link

As mentioned in:

Green Onions — The Blues Brothers

March 1, 1904 — Glenn Miller born

Born in Clarinda, Iowa, Glenn Miller grew up wanting to be a musician. When he was 11, he finally saved enough money to buy himself a trombone, and joined the town orchestra of Grant City, Missouri (to which his parents had moved that year). Miller became interested in a then-new style of music – the style he would later become famous for – and in 1918, formed his first band.

He played in many bands over the next two decades, slowly rising to become one of the best known bandleaders, musicians and composers of his time. Among his best known songs were such classics as “Pennsylvania 6-5000”, “Moonlight Serenade” and “Chattanooga Choo Choo”. To this day, he remains one of the most influential musicians of the twentieth century.

Glenn Miller Billboard.jpg
By Unknown author – Ad on page 27 of May 16, 1942 Billboard magazine, Public Domain, Link

As mentioned in:

Green Onions — The Blues Brothers