Directed by Michael Curtiz. At 16, he became a singing waiter at the Pelham Café in Chinatown in New York City. ", "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas/With every Christmas card I write/May your days be merry and bright And may all your Christmases be white". The composition won the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 15th Academy Awards. A 16-bar verse led into a 32-bar chorus, and with almost all songs it was the chorus that people remembered. And may all your Christmases be white. The first time the song was introduced to his staff was on January 8, 1940. The song was written by Berlin for the musical film Holiday Inn, released in 1942. According to Jody Rosen, author of White Christmas: The Story of an American Song, the song may have been drafted in or near Los Angeles, but it was undoubtedly finished in New York or at the Berlin family’s weekend house in the Catskills. He wrote "White Christmas" for a musical that eventually morphed into the movie Holiday Inn and ended up winning an Academy Award for the song. This became the start of speculation as to where Berlin was when he wrote the song. For this reason, several times I tried to cut it out of the show, but these guys just hollered for it. When the sheet music came back from the publisher, there was a typo: I. Baline became I. Berlin. The following year (1942), many of the “plays” of the recording were on Armed Forces Radio, at a time when the world was at war. In the film, the song begins with this verse: The sun is shining, the grass is green. Using just 54 words and 67 notes Irving Berlin composed White Christmas over the holiday season of 1940. Some of you will try and argue with me using It's A Wonderful Life or Miracle on 34th Street, but you will be wrong (sorry Erin).This movie has it all -- love, comedy, singing, dancing! "White Christmas" the song was also featured in the successful Crosby/Astaire film "Holiday Inn" in 1942. Speaking generally, however, the Bing Crosby recording of the song has sold more than 100 million copies worldwide. It was a simple song: just 54 words and 67 notes. She included the first verse. The movie was supposed to reunite Crosby and Astaire for their third Irving Berlin extravaganza of song and dance. The song—written in 1940-41 was introduced at a time when sheet music sales were more important than record sales. It's also the most popular song, ever. Berlin went on to be one of the most successful songwriters of all time. And isn't so saccharine that it makes me want to punch reindeer like some other movies I may or may not have just mentioned. “It’s a little late—after almost twenty-seven years—to send you a fan letter about White Christmas,” wrote Irving Berlin to Bing Crosby in 1967. White Christmas. This content is imported from YouTube. As Berlin envisioned it, the song would be part of a musical revue. A successful song-and-dance team become romantically involved with a sister act and team up to save the failing Vermont inn of their former commanding general. Beloved Christmas carols: White Christmas, by Irving Berlin - Musicology for Everyone. His verse, which set up the satirical scene he envisioned, was: Berlin rapidly saw that the soldiers took a very different sentiment from White Christmas, and he wanted to honor the spirit of his listeners. Berlin imagined the lyrics and the tune; Crosby could evoke just the right feeling. In 1954, it was the title track of another Bing Crosby Christmas musical, White Christmas. It was written by Irving Berlin (the same composer behind "Cheek to Cheek," "God Bless America," and many more classics), a Russian-born immigrant who, interestingly enough, did not celebrate Christmas, as he was Jewish. The gimmick was that it was a “holiday inn,” open for overnight guests only on holidays. Wonderful story, wonderfully told. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. While most other holiday songs promise a time of unmitigated joy and merriment, the melancholy undertone of White Christmas continues to appeal. Berlin—ever the savvy song plugger–was happy about this as he planned a push for White Christmas closer to the December holiday. Taysha Murtaugh was the Lifestyle Editor at CountryLiving.com. Berlin would sing the song and work carefully with Kresa, until the melody Kresa wrote sounded just as Berlin heard it in his head. This 8-line song that paints a picture of holiday nostalgia was written by Irving Berlin for the 1942 movie Holiday Inn, where Bing Crosby sings it from the perspective of a New Yorker stranded in sunny California during Christmas. The set on the Paramount lot was refurbished for the next Christmas classic. Tabulating record sales was low on America’s “to do” list. His father, a cantor, had trouble finding steady work in America, so the children accepted after-school jobs. On November 21, White Christmas began a 10-week run on top of the Hit Parade. White Christmas is a 1954 American musical film directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen.Filmed in Technicolor, it features the songs of Irving Berlin, including a new version of the title song, "White Christmas", introduced by Crosby in the 1942 film Holiday Inn.. It would be performed tongue-in-cheek by sophisticates, drinks in hand, standing around a Hollywood pool surrounded by palm trees. Izzy, as Irving was then called, sold newspapers and delivered telegrams during grammar school. He liked it so much he told a secretary “I’ve just written a new song. Required fields are marked *. Just a few days after this—December 24, 1941—Bing Crosby introduced White Christmas, perhaps as a note of hope, on his highly successful radio broadcast, Kraft Music Hall. Izzy had a fine singing voice and a superior ear for music. But his time at the Pelham Café gave him invaluable experience. When the recordings by other artists are added to Crosby’s, the sales of the song reach a very impressive 150 million. According to Erskine Johnson (Los Angeles Mirror, December 21, 1954), the melody was written in August 1938, then left on the shelf for four years (actually two years) until Berlin was signed by Paramount to write Holiday Inn. Berlin found the assignment a challenge for two reasons: As a Jewish man who had grown up in an Orthodox household, he had no real experience with Christmas. The song initially performed poorly and was overshadowed by the film's first hit song: "Be Careful, It's my Heart". He called these his “trunk songs.”. His first published song—written and published while he was still at the Pelham Café—led to his name change. In the midst of planning for Holiday Inn, Berlin, Crosby, and all Americans were rocked by national tragedy. Your email address will not be published. Berlin was worried the song’s popularity would die down, but his worries were unfounded. The Armed Forces Network was flooded with requ… She included the first verse. Pearl Harbor had been attacked just a few weeks before. Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Vera-Ellen, and Danny Kaye in a scene from "White Christmas" The song was already the most successful song of all time in sales - this movie must have added to that success considerably. Berlin would provide a holiday-themed score that would take viewers through the year of holidays. The film helped earn “White Christmas” the Oscar for Best Song in 1943, and over the course of the 1940s the song climbed to #1 on the charts several times. Curtiz was born in Hungary on December 24, 1886. He knew the song was good. It remained in that position until well into the new year. Crosby's rendition quickly became an American favorite, even though the original radio recording was lost and the 1942 version, which is said to have only taken 18 minutes, was worn out, according to Seattle's KUOW. So it was dropped. "Heaven knows, I didn't come that far to make them sad. Clyde McPhatter and the Drifters recorded White Christmas late in 1954, a version which has since gained popularity.The song was also the title theme for the 1954 musical White Christmas, starring Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, and Vera-Ellen, which was … For composer Berlin — who also wrote “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” and “God Bless America” — “White Christmas” was an unexpected hit. In 1954, it was the title track of another Bing Crosby Christmas musical, White Christmas. Will this year’s holiday ever equal the ones of the past? The verse of White Christmas became problematic for Berlin when he saw what people looked for in listening to the song. 10 Houseplants That Can Survive the Darkest Corner, Ben & Erin Napier Talk 'Home Town' Season 5, 93 Best Easy Low-Carb Recipes With Tons of Flavor. 9. With Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Vera-Ellen. Not only were you the first, but you remain the best.”, Later Berlin was to write that after Berlin first played White Christmas for Bing Crosby at Paramount, Crosby said, “You don’t have to worry about this one, Irving.”. His songs, listed here, have been and are still recorded by top performers. When Berlin came in, he announced that he wrote the song “over the weekend.” The Berlin family was in New York through the holidays that year, so he must have written or at least polished it there. He notified his publishing company that going forward all recordings and sheet music should be published without the first verse. Maybe not, but we can always dream and share our dream with others. And Christmas as we spent it in the 50’s through 80’s, Pingback: Beloved Christmas carols: White Christmas, by Irving Berlin - Musicology for Everyone, Your email address will not be published. When Holiday Inn was released in 1942, the hit song was as expected: Be Careful It’s My Heart, which tied into the Valentine’s Day celebration at the fictitious Holiday Inn. Then-host, Bing Crosby, crooned the carol, which is soulful, longing, and sad anyway, but especially so at the time. The deal he made with Paramount was that White Christmas would be part of the film only if Paramount managed to sign Bing Crosby (1903-1977). White Christmas was also originally written as a satire. It was constantly requested by troops during Bing's USO appearances overseas, which gave the singer some mixed feelings. Not as well known is the fact that Irving Berlin wrote the song. White Christmas is the greatest classic Christmas movie ever made, imho. Michael Curtiz behind the scenes during the filming of "White Christmas," a movie/musical that released January 1, 1954. The song was called Marie from Sunny Italy. It was covered by Bill Perry , Blue Seven, Tim McKee, The Overtones [GB] and other artists. "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas/Just like the ones I used to know/Where the treetops glisten and children listen/To hear sleigh bells in the snow". Casting for the film and early rehearsals for Holiday Inn began in the autumn of 1941. In 1940, hit composer Irving Berlin, best known for “God Bless America,” was commissioned to write a Christmas song for a new movie starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. Country Living editors select each product featured. By October, White Christmas was topping the charts. The only other song to come near this—and perhaps surpass it—is Elton John’s 1997 recording of Candle in the Wind, a song he wrote in 1973 in memory of Marilyn Monroe but re-recorded in 1997 after Princess Diana died. And for more about the music technology of the era, read “How a 1920s Technology Changed Music.”. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. After “Holiday Inn” I will be watching “White Christmas”, Love the old movies! History and facts about White Christmas. This became the start of speculation as to where Berlin was when he wrote the song. He wrote "White Christmas" for a musical that eventually morphed into the movie Holiday Inn and ended up winning an Academy Award for the song. He got a huge hit with and the first public performence took place at Christmas Day 1941. After his father died in 1901, Izzy left school and supported himself as a “song plugger.” (Sheet music companies hired “buskers” or “song pluggers” to travel the city and perform new songs in saloons, vaudeville theaters, and on street corners. When people today talk about White Christmas, the conversation usually begins with, “Did you know it was written in Beverly Hills?” or “…Palm Springs?” The thought of this ballad to a wintry white holiday being written by a pool in 80-degree weather seems to fascinate. HGTV Is Premiering White House Christmas Special, True Story Behind 'The Man Who Invented Christmas', The Real Story Behind the Song "Moon River", 'A Christmas Story' Live Musical Event Is Happenin. Songwriters Hugh Martin and Ralph Blaine wrote the classic song "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" for Judy Garland's 1944 movie, Meet Me … For many years, no one thought about the original first verse of the song. 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