Friday, July 03, 2009

Almost Born on the 4th of July ...

George M. Cohan, one of America's most honored entertainers, who so ably set the spirit of our nation to words and music, was born on this day in 1878

"A baptismal certificate," it's been reported, "indicated that he was born on July 5, but the Cohan family always insisted that George had been 'born on the Fourth of July!'" The son of vaudevillians, young George Michael would take to the stage, himself, as an entertainer, playwright, composer, lyricist, actor, singer, dancer and producer. At one point, he was known as "the man who owned Broadway."

A wonderful tribute, including anecdotes about the man and his career, can be found in
his obituary in the New York Times, which appeared on November 6, 1942 ... just a year after America entered the Second World War, it bid farewell to the man whose music - with songs like "You're a Grand Old Flag," "Over There" and "Yankee Doodle Boy" - helped raise morale during the First World War.

Dandy songs, from a true "Yankee Doodle Dandy"

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