The song of the day for Thursday, May 11, 2023, is “Russian Lullaby.”
Today we are celebrating one of America’s greatest songwriters, Irving Berlin, born in Russia on May 11, 1888. Berlin arrived in the United States at the age of 5. He wrote his first song, “Marie from Sunny Italy” in 1907, receiving 33 cents for the publishing rights; by 1911 he cemented his stature with “Alexander’s Ragtime Band.” Berlin could barely read music and could only play piano in the key of F-sharp; his custom piano had a transposing lever for when he needed to play in other keys.
Berlin’s accomplishments are astounding: he wrote the scores for 20 Broadway shows and 15 movies. Annie Get Your Gun, Call Me Madam, and As Thousands Cheer are just a few of his Broadway scores. His films include Top Hat, Easter Parade, White Christmas, and Follow The Fleet.
Berlin died on September 22, 1989. He was 101 years old.
About This Song
“Russian Lullaby” was written by Irving Berlin in 1927. Irving Berlin (born Isador Beilin) explores his childhood roots as an Eastern European/Belarusian Jewish immigrant with this song. The song is like a folk melody and the lyrics are lovely. “Russian Lullaby” was first used in vaudeville and gained recognition with the recording by Roger Wolfe Kahn and His Orchestra. It has also been recorded by Bunny Berigan, Guy Lombardo, Bing Crosby, and Dinah Shore, among others.
About This Version
“Russian Lullaby” was recorded in May 1987 and was released that year on Bennett/Berlin. This song was arranged by Tony Bennett and features Dizzy Gillespie on trumpet.
“Russian Lullaby,” as well as Bennett/Berlin is available on Apple Music.
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