Something To Dance About

The Music of Irving Berlin Kim Criswell

Something To Dance About, The Music of Irving Berlin
Kim Criswell
CDJAY 1381
CD1: 55'08''

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Irving Berlin was born Israel Baline on May 11, 1888, in Mohilev, Russia (not Temun, as is often reported). His family fled Russia when he was only four years old, to find a new life in New York City in the USA. Alkthough he was too young to remember his Russian home, his music was profoundly influenced by his Russian/Jewish heritage, particularly as his father was a cantor. Izzy/Irving grew up to become one of the most successfuland influential songwriters of the golden age of the American musical, and lived to the ripe old age of one hundred and one. Many of his Broadway contemporaries are now referred to as composers, but that is a title that sits uneasily on the shoulders of Mr Berlin, as he wrote no symphonies, piano concertos, or ballets. He just wrote songs -- hundreds of them! He wasn't an accomplished musician, couldn't even notate his own songs, and could only play the piano in the key of F sharp major. He had no formal musical training at all - what he learned, he picked up from his early days as a busker, a chorus boy, and a song plugger in Tin Pan Alley, soaking, soaking up every musical style that existed in those early days of the twentieth century. Yet somehow, by the time he had reached his mid-twenties, Irving had become the king of the Tin Pan Alley songwriters, writing both words and music. His music wasn't classically influenvced like Gershwin's or Rodgers', his lyrics weren't sophisticated like Porter's or Hart's, yet he was able to write songs that still have the power to touch the hearts of people everywhere. His common man's touch was indeed the Midas touch -- he was envied and respected in equal measure by his colleagues and competitors. I am delighted to present this collection of some of my favorite Irving Berlin tunes - I hope you enjoy hearing them as much as I've enjoyed singing them!

Kim Criswell

CD 1
  1. How Deep Is The Ocean
    Kim Criswell, Gareth Valentine
  2. The Hostest With The Mostest (from Call Me Madam)
    Kim Criswell, Richard Balcombe
  3. Heat Wave (from As Thousands Cheer)
    Kim Criswell, Richard Balcombe
  4. Mr. Monotony (from Jerome Robbins Broadway)
    Kim Criswell, Richard Balcombe
  5. Blue Skies (from Betsy)
    Kim Criswell, Jason Carr, Paul Bateman
  6. You're Just In Love (from Call Me Madam)
    Kim Criswell, Matt Bogart, Gareth Valentine
  7. The Best Thing For You (from Call Me Madam)
    Kim Criswell, Richard Balcombe
  8. Washington Square Dance (from Call Me Madam)
    Kim Criswell, Richard Balcombe, Chorus
  9. Let Me Sing And I'm Happy
    Kim Criswell, Paul Bateman
  10. Always
    Kim Criswell, Gareth Valentine
  11. Down In Chattanooga
    Kim Criswell, Paul Bateman
  12. White Christmas (from Holiday Inn)
    Kim Criswell, Gareth Valentine
  13. Something To Dance About (from Call Me Madam)
    Kim Criswell, Chorus, Richard Balcombe
  14. Count Your Blessings (from White Christmas)
    Kim Criswell, Paul Bateman
  15. God Bless America
    Kim Criswell, Chorus, Richard Balcombe