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Ann Kittredge

IN SEARCH OF LOST IRVING BERLIN  THEATER SONGS…

July 3, 2024

Berlin, incidentally, could not write music.  He could play piano—not too well, and in only one key.  He would play, sing, and hum songs that he created, which a musical secretary would then take  down and put into written form for him.  The typed lyrics that Shaw saved (with the words  “you’re a dumb kop”) may have been typed by Berlin himself or may have been dictated by Berlin  to a musical secretary. In any event, the songs “Angelo” and “It Can’t Be Did” have  survived only because Lillian Shaw happened to be  a “saver.”  By contrast, Shaw’s good friend, Fanny Brice, for whom Berlin also wrote  special material, was not a “saver.”  [more]