Archive for Composers

George M. Cohan

Posted in Woodlawn Cemetery (Bronx) with tags , on November 20, 2013 by Cade

cohan1July 3, 1878 – November 5, 1942

George Michael Cohan was – to put it simply (and to steal mercilessly from many before me) – “the man who owned Broadway.” The son of Irish Catholic performers, Cohan grew up on stage as a member of the family vaudeville act, The Four Cohans. At an early age, he began writing his own skits…and then his own songs. Fast forward a few years and little George had over 300 songs to his credit, including classics like “The Yankee Doodle Boy,” “Give My Regards to Broadway” and “Over There.” Continue reading

Irving Berlin

Posted in Woodlawn Cemetery (Bronx) with tags , on September 22, 2013 by Cade

berlin1May 11, 1888 – September 22, 1989

To simply refer to Irving Berlin as a “composer” is like calling the Pacific Ocean a “puddle.” Berlin’s 70 year career broke when the Russian (Belarusian)-American songwriter wrote “Alexander’s Ragtime Band.” The song became an international sensation and launched Irving from the stoops of Tin Pan Alley into the stratosphere…where he thrived for more than half a century. Many of the songs Berlin would write would become so common place to future generations, that it’s hard to imagine that someone actually wrote them.  “White Christmas,” “Puttin’ On The Ritz,” “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” “Easter Parade,” “Happy Holiday” and “God Bless America” to name just a few. It is said he wrote more than 1,500 songs. Continue reading