Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Happy Birthday USA! Irving Berlin Sings His "God Bless America" in 1968


Irving Berlin when he wrote “God Bless America.”
Today we celebrate America's Independence Day, and also the 100th anniversary of God Bless America, the song first written in 1918 by Israel Balin, the Jewish Russian immigrant later to be known as Irving Berlin.

As Sheryl Kaskowitz wrote this week in The New York Times,
It was a desire to serve his adopted country during World War I that impelled the 30-year-old Berlin, already a successful songwriter, to be naturalized as a citizen in February 1918. That May, he began his military service as an army private at Camp Upton in Yaphank, N.Y., where he was asked to write a soldier show as a fund-raiser.
God Bless America was originally conceived as the finale for the revue, Yip, Yip, Yaphank, but Berlin ultimately decided not to include it. It was shelved and forgotten for 20 years, until he rediscovered the song and provided a revised version to the radio star Kate Smith, who sang it on Nov. 10, 1938, and reprised it weekly.

In this video, Berlin sings the song on The Ed Sullivan Show with Boy Scout and Girl Scout choirs on its 50th anniversary in 1968.

Enjoy!

A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.



Video by The Ed Sullivan Show
Photo by the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization