Filmed before a live audience at Carnegie Hall, this tribute to composer Irving Berlin is hosted by Shirley MacLaine, who opens the program with the song "Let Me Sing and I'm Happy." Walter Cronkite gives a brief overview of Berlin's career and introduces Nell Carter, Maureen McGovern, Michael Feinstein, and Jerry Orbach. McGovern and Orbach perform a medley of songs, including "Simple Melody," "A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody," "Easter Parade," and "The Song Is Ended." Feinstein sings and plays "I Love a Piano" and Carter sings "Alexander's Ragtime Band." Violinist Isaac Stern gives a biographical overview of Berlin's life, accompanied by archival stills, film clips, and recordings of the young Berlin and some of the performers associated with his work, including Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Judy Garland, and Ethel Merman. Willie Nelson sings "Blue Skies" and Ray Charles performs "How Deep Is the Ocean?" and "What'll I Do?" In a segment devoted to Berlin's Broadway career, Beatrice Arthur, Maryann Plunkett and Barry Bostwick perform a medley of the songs "It's a Lovely Day Today," "Hostess With the Mostes' on the Ball," "You're Just in Love," "They Say It's Wonderful," "The Girl That I Marry," "I Got the Sun in the Morning," "I Got Lost in His Arms," and "There's No Business Like Show Business." In a filmed sequence, choreographer Jerome Robbins reminisces about working with Berlin on "Call Me Madam." In other highlights, Garrison Keillor illustrates Berlin's gift for poetry by reciting the lyrics to the song "All Alone"; Natalie Cole sings "Supper Time"; Frank Sinatra sings "Always"; Rosemary Clooney sings "Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep" and "White Christmas." ASCAP president Morton Gould introduces a series of clips from some of the 18 films scored by Berlin, including "The Jazz Singer" (Al Jolson), "Follow the Fleet" and "Top Hat" (Astaire and Rogers), "Easter Parade" (Garland and Astaire), "There's No Business Like Show Business" (Marilyn Monroe), "Blue Skies" (Bing Crosby and Astaire), and "White Christmas" (Crosby and Rosemary Clooney). MacLaine introduces Tommy Tune, who performs a song-and dance routine to "Puttin' On the Ritz." In a filmed segment, Bob Hope talks about Berlin's lesser known compositions and Madeline Kahn sings "You'd Be Surprised." Diane Schuur, Billy Eckstine, and Joe Williams perform a medley of the songs "Steppin' Out With My Baby," "Marie," "Cheek to Cheek," and "Say It With Music" and Tony Bennett sings "Shakin' the Blues Away." Cronkite returns to talk about Berlin's show "This Is the Army," and a clip of Berlin singing "Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning" in the film version is shown. The U.S. Army Chorus, the Boy Scouts of America, the Girl Scouts of America, and mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne perform "God Bless America," and for the finale, the entire cast performs "There's No Business Like Show Business."


  • DATE: May 27, 1988 Friday 9:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 1:36:30
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T91:0037
  • GENRE: Music
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Composers
  • SERIES RUN: CBS - TV, 1988


  • Don Mischer … Executive Producer
  • Jan Cornell … Producer
  • David J. Goldberg … Producer
  • Sara Lukinson … Co-Producer
  • Geoff Bennett … Associate Producer
  • Walter C. Miller … Director
  • Irving Berlin … Composer
  • Al Johnson … Choreographer
  • Shirley MacLaine … Host
  • U.S. Army Chorus … Music Group
  • Morton Gould … Guest
  • Rosemary Clooney … Guest
  • Tommy Tune … Guest
  • Diane Schuur … Guest
  • Billy Eckstine … Guest
  • Carter, Nell (See also: Carter, Nell-Ruth) … Guest
  • Joe Williams … Guest
  • Tony Bennett … Guest
  • Marilyn Horne … Guest
  • Maureen McGovern … Guest
  • Michael Feinstein … Guest
  • Jerry Orbach … Guest
  • Isaac Stern … Guest
  • Willie Nelson … Guest
  • Ray Charles … Guest
  • Beatrice Arthur … Guest
  • Maryann Plunkett … Guest
  • Barry Bostwick … Guest
  • Garrison Keillor … Guest
  • Natalie Cole … Guest
  • Frank Sinatra … Guest
  • Walter Cronkite … Guest
  • Boy Scouts of America
  • Fred Astaire
  • Bing Crosby
  • Judy Garland
  • Girl Scouts of America
  • Bob Hope
  • Al Jolson
  • Madeline Kahn
  • Ethel Merman
  • Marilyn Monroe
  • Jerome Robbins
  • Ginger Rogers
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