Edited by Charles Hamm
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Containing 214 songs by one of the most prominent of all America's songwriters, this three-part collection illuminates the early career of Irving Berlin with unprecedented completeness and accuracy, from the well-known "Alexander's Ragtime Band" to a number of songs published here for the first time. The period 1907–14 represents the first phase of Irving Berlin's songwriting career, when his primary concern was with individual songs, before he turned to focus on complete shows. Despite Berlin's stature as the era's leading songwriter, however, the majority of the over two hundred songs presented in this edition have been difficult to obtain. Offering all of these songs here, in chronological order and including numerous previously unpublished works, gives a complete picture of Berlin's early development as a songwriter. The extensive introduction places Berlin within the Tin Pan Alley tradition originating in the late nineteenth century and stretching well into the twentieth.
The cover of the sheet music for "Alexander's Ragtime Band" (1911):
Block, Geoffrey. Review of Early Songs, by Irving Berlin. Edited by Charles Hamm. Notes 53, no. 4 (1997): 1321-1325.
Dickinson, Peter. Review of Early Songs, by Irving Berlin. Edited by Charles Hamm. Music & Letters 79, no. 1 (1998): 157-158.
Schiff, David. “For Everyman, by Everyman.” Review of Early Songs, by Irving Berlin. Edited by Charles Hamm. The Atlantic Monthly 277, no. 3 (1996): 108-112.
Stilwell, Robynn J. Review of Early Songs, by Irving Berlin. Edited by Charles Hamm. Popular Music 16, no. 1 (1997): 115-119.