The Songs of Irving Berlin: The Melody Lingers On

A unique collection that presents 55 of the finest numbers created by the great Irving Berlin, with a galaxy of great stars. Russian born Israel Baline (1888-1989) became, as Irving Berlin, the most feted of American songwriters, pouring out a prodigious number of songs, a remarkably high proportion of which have stood the test of time through his gift of directly appealing melodies and simple, sincere lyrics.

The aptly named The Melody Lingers On collates all his most successful numbers – every one of them a familiar family favourite. It begins with his first enormous hit, Alexander’s Ragtime Band of 1911 (performed by Bessie Smith in 1927) and finishes with a song from the 1954 film White Christmas. The earliest recording is the 1926 Always from Layton & Johnstone and the latest the 1962 When I Lost You from Frank Sinatra. In between are Let's Face The Music And Dance, You Forgot To Remember, Blue Skies, Cheek To Cheek, How Deep Is The Ocean?, I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm… all from the same pen!

The roster of artists could hardly be stronger: Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, Dick Haymes, Dinah Shore, Tommy Dorsey, Ruth Etting, Billie Holiday, Peggy Lee, Vera Lynn and many others, each one carefully chosen as the best interpreter for each song.

The Melody Lingers On joins five other notable double-CD tributes to the great song-writers on Retrospective: Anything Goes! – The Songs of Cole Porter, With a Song in my Heart – The Songs of Richard Rodgers (RTS 4223), That Old Arlen Magic – The Songs of Harold Arlen (RTS 4206), ’S Wonderful – The Songs of George Gershwin (RTS 4176) and Stardust – The Songs of Hoagy Carmichael (RTS 4106).

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“This is a great selection of Irving Berlin’s songs, covering the most creative and productive years of his musical career.” Bruce McCollum,

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