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"Alexander’s Ragtime Band"
by Irving Berlin
© Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

Irving Berlin Sheet Music
1911

"Alexander's Ragtime Band"
Russian-born composer Israel Baline--better known as Irving Berlin--wrote "Alexander's Ragtime Band" in 1911. It quickly became the preeminent ragtime hit of Tin Pan Alley, New York City's music-publishing district. Berlin was completely self taught; unable to read or write musical notation, he learned music by ear instead. Still, over the following decades he penned more than 800 titles, many of them classics of American popular song. They include "Annie Get Your Gun," "Cheek to Cheek," "Blue Skies," "Puttin' on the Ritz," "God Bless America," "There's No Business Like Show Business," and the touching ballad "White Christmas," one of the most popular songs ever recorded.

Notes
Irving Berlin, born May 11, 1888, Mogilyov, Russia (now Belarus); died September 22, 1989, New York, New York
Irving Berlin's piano was specially constructed with a movable, transposing keyboard 60 inches long
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Learn more!
· "Alexander's Ragtime Band"
· Irving Berlin (1888-1989)
· Music Publishing and Tin Pan Alley
· Ragtime
· Archives Center finding aid for Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, 1794-1980

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