Composer Irving Berlin Honored With Stamp
The U.S. Postal Service will honor late composer Irving Berlin with a commemorative stamp, to be issued next month. The stamp will be dedicated Sept. 15 with a first day of issue ceremony held duringThe U.S. Postal Service will honor late composer Irving Berlin with a commemorative stamp, to be issued next month. The stamp will be dedicated Sept. 15 with a first day of issue ceremony held during the 11th annual Broadway on Broadway concert in New York's Times Square. The 37-cent stamp will go on sale across the country the following day.
"Irving Berlin made a significant contribution to the culture of our nation and to the world, and we are proud to issue this stamp honoring his numerous accomplishments," said John F. Walsh in a statement. Walsh is a member of the presidentially appointed Postal Service Board of Governors, and will have the honor of dedicating the stamp.
Berlin's portrait on the stamp is taken from a 1932 black and white photograph by Edward Steichen. The picture has been colorized and superimposed over the songwriter's handwritten score of "God Bless America." The representation also boasts Berlin's signature across the bottom.
Born Israel Baline in 1888 in Russia, Berlin became one of America's most beloved composers, writing such well-known songs as "Alexander's Ragtime Band," the scores for such Broadway musicals as "Easter Parade" and "Annie Get Your Gun," and the music for such films as "Top Hat" and "Holiday Inn."
Among the honors Berlin accumulated during his lifetime were the Presidential Medal for Merit, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the congressional Gold Medal. He died Sept. 22, 1989, in New York at the ripe age of 101.
Free and open to the public, the Broadway on Broadway event will showcase musical performances from various shows, as well as present sneak previews of the upcoming season's new plays and musicals. More than 200 performers and a 30-piece orchestra will take part in the show. For more information, visit the event's official Web site.