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The Dress Circle: Irving Berlin in Hollywood

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Irving Berlin was a musical phenomenon, writing over 1500 songs for stage and screen and some of the best-loved American patriotic songs. On this week’s Dress Circle (12/11 7:00 p.m.), however, we’re going to be looking at just a few of the songs that Berlin wrote for Hollywood.

“The Cocoanuts” was a hit for the Marx Brothers on Broadway, and when it went to Hollywood, so did Berlin and his music. Of course, we don’t have a soundtrack recording from this 1925 musical and 1929 film, so we thought we’d begin with some “vocal gems” from the score to give you an idea of some very early and relatively unknown Berlin.

Throughout the rest of the show, you’ll hear songs from “Top Hat,” “Follow the Fleet,” “On the Avenue,” “Alexander’s Ragtime Band,” “Louisiana Purchase,” “Blue Skies,” “Easter Parade,” and more.

Our many well-known vocalists (…because who wouldn’t want to sing a Berlin song?) include Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Ethel Merman, Bing Crosby, Johnny Ray, Louis Armstrong, and Judy Garland, and there’s more of them too!

Of course, you’ll hear music that you know, but we’re sure that you’ll hear some unfamiliar tunes as well. Please join us in what we’re sure will be a happy reminder of exactly how wonderful a composer Irving Berlin was.

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Ted Otten is co-host of The Dress Circle
Michael is program host and host of the WWFM Sunday Opera, Sundays at 3 pm, and co-host of The Dress Circle, Sundays at 7 pm.
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