Thursday, March 18, 2010


Last week I read in the local paper that, in spite of the "early spring", the turkey hunt will not change. The article said that turkeys have an internal clock which governs the mating season. It went on to say purveyors of turkey hunting gear have seen a significant uptick in sales because hunters believe the early warm weather will change the turkey's habits. I cannot vouch for any of the above, but I will say that the lady turkeys have been taking their morning and afternoon strolls through my yard, much to my dog's distress. And on early on several recent mornings, Tom and Jake have been strutting up the middle of the street calling all ladies and fanning their feathers as they do some fancy footwork. So, it came to my mind - "Annie Get Your Gun, the turkeys are on the run.!"

Irving Berlin wrote that wonderfully entertaining musical about Annie Oakley, who was the best shot around. In the story she is taking care of her younger siblings and supplying the family table with game. She is discovered by Col. Buffalo Bill Cody and he persuades her to join his Wild West Show. There is romance, rivalry, intrigue and all sorts of clever and witty dialog. Annie Get Your Gun has been produced on Broadway with several different casts; has been made into a movie; and has been presented on stages across the country in summer theater, high schools and colleges. Bernadette Peters, Tom Wopat, Ron Holgate and a talented supporting cast made up the most recent Broadway production which had record attendance and received rave reviews.

Some of the songs from Annie are: There's No Business Like Show Business; Doin' What Comes Naturally, You Cain't Get a Man With A Gun, The Girl That I Marry, Moonshine Lullaby and the lovely I Got Lost In His Arms.


Irving Berlin, who created this musical, was born in Mogilyov which is now Belarus, in May of 1888. He moved to the US at age five and began appearing in vaudeville at the age of 22. He served in the US Army in WW1. Mr. Berlin lost his first wife, Dorothy Goetz, shortly after their honeymoon. He wrote "When I Lost You" in her memory. He married Ellin Mackay and they had four children. Their only son Irving Jr., died on Christmas morning 1928. Among the hundreds of song Berlin wrote, were White Christmas, Easter Parade, Blue Skies, Alexander's Ragtime Band
Always, and God Bless America. He wrote the major radio stations requesting them to no play Elvis Presley's rendition of White Christmas because it had been revamped.

Jerome Kern once remarked "Irving Berlin has no place in American music. He IS American music."

And Berlin said, "Never hate a song that's sold a half million copies." and
"The toughest thing about success is that you've got to keep on being a success."

Keep a song in your heart and keep the music playing.


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