The First Electronic Church of America

S A I N T S   &   B I R T H D A Y   P A G E

May 11, 1997

Saint Of The Day:

Irving Berlin

Irving Berlin was the professional name of Isidore Baline, who was born in Russia, and educated in the public schools of New York City and then became one of the great American composers, a man who would live to the age of 101. He began his musical career as a singing waiter in New York restaurants and cafes, learning how to pick out tunes with one finger on a battered piano. He had two years of schooling. His musical education was also nil. He never studied harmony, and wrote songs in only the key of F-sharp, lyrics first, then the music. In 1911, he wrote a piece in a new beat, called Ragtime, and came out with "Alexander's Ragtime Band." That piece sold a million copies in less than two months -- his big break. He went on to write the music and lyrics for musical comedies and revues for the rest of his life. . Among them: Watch Your Step (1914), The Century Girl (1916, with Victor Herbert), and the Ziegfeld Follies of 1911, 1919, 1920, and 1927. A song from that 1927 show, "A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody," became the theme song for the Follies. In 1946, he wrote Annie Get Your Gun, in 1949, Miss Liberty, in 1950, Call Me Madam, and in 1962, Mr. President. In 1942 Berlin wrote and produced This Is the Army, using only military personnel. In 1955 President Dwight D. Eisenhower presented Berlin with a special medal authorized by Congress for his patriotic songs. Berlin wrote music for the films Top Hat (1935), On the Avenue (1937), Holiday Inn (1942) which included the fabulously popular song, "White Christmas." He did the movie, Blue Skies in 1946, Easter Parade in 1948. Among his many popular songs are "Everybody's Doin' It," "There's No Business Like Show Business," "God Bless America," "What'll I Do?" "Always," "Someone To Watch Over Me," and "Easter Parade."

MODEL: Berlin's work ethic. He wrote more than 900 popular songs, ragtime and jazz, show and movie tunes, patriotic and war songs, and, though they sound like it, they didn't come easy. If anyone ever said he was lucky, his rejoinder had to be, "Yeah, and you know what? The harder I work, the luckier I get." ***

Your Birthday Today:

May 11
Day of the Eccentric

Innovative, Creative, Fun

Isolated, Impractical,
Out of sync

Delightfully different. If you were born on May 11, you have an extraordinary way of seeing things. You often get funny looks when you voice your opinion in public, so you tend to either keep quiet or conversely, revel in your eccentricity. Ruled by the number 2 and the moon, you work best as a partner or co-worker.

Spinner of tales. You tend to stretch the truth a bit and make life's stories and characters more colorful. Deception is not your goal. You just seek the attention and appreciation of others, and feel that your life isn't interesting enough as it stands.

Making it pay off. Most successful May 11 people can put their fantastic thoughts to work in a practical sense, even make some money doing it. Selling the ideas to those in power is a constant balancing act of fantasy and reality. You must show imagination but also show you have their needs and wants in mind. Those May 11 people who constantly offer outrageous ideas of no practical use will be continually disappointed and unrewarded.

The downside. Friends, family and co-workers may begin to treat you like a harmless weirdo, smiling at what you say, then ignoring you and moving on. This patronizing attitude can hurt, causing you to lose self-respect, change your personality or try to hide it. For this reason, it is very important for you to find people who accept you without heavy judgment.

Some advice: Watch your image. Your success depends on remaining credible and dependable to those in power. Stay realistic and objective in your planning and decision making. Keep some fantasies to yourself, or you'll read like an open book.

Also born on this day: Peter Camper (18th c. anatomist) Phil Silvers (comedian, actor) Mort Sahl (comedian) Walter de Voe (healer) Marth Graham (dancer, choreographer) Eric Burdon (singer, The Animals) Salvador Dali (surrealist artist) King Oliver (New Orlean cornettist, bandleader) Irving Berlin (songwriter) Andre Gregory (director, actor, writer) Carla Bley (jazz pianist, composer) Marco Ferreri (Italian actor, producer, director)