There’s No Business Like Show Business

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22 May 2020

Published May 20, 2020 by rochellewisoff

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The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit.

PHOTO PROMPT © CEAyr

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

THE LEADER OF THE BAND

Cossacks torched the shtetl of Tolochin. Flames shot up from Cantor Beilin’s home. Five-year-old Israel choked on the billowing smoke, huddled in a ditch with his brother and sisters. He had never seen Papa weep so.

A ship carried the Beilins to America. In New York’s Lower Eastside, Izzy discovered his talent and at thirteen sang on the streets for thrown pennies.

Music and America. His love for both welled up inside of him and spilled over in the songs he wrote.

Composer Jerome Kern said of Izzy, “Irving Berlin has no place in American music—he is American Music.”

***

Born in 1888, Irving Berlin lived to be 101. Trying en-capsulize him in 100 words is no easy task. While you might not be familiar with name, I’ll bet you’re familiar with his music. “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” (Scandalous in 1911), “Easter Parade,” “Puttin’ on the Ritz,” “God Bless America,” and that seasonal favorite “White Christmas” to name a few. 

Irving Berlin 1906

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