America’s classic Christmas song was written by a Jewish immigrant.
Born in Russia with the name Israel Baline, he was the genius songwriter we know as Irving Berlin. He wrote “White Christmas” for the 1942 Hollywood musical Holiday Inn, starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. On set, the movie’s hit number was presumed to be another Berlin composition, the Valentine’s Day song “Be Careful, It’s My Heart.” At first, it was. Then “White Christmas” captured the public’s imagination, and it hasn’t quite loosed its grip since.
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