Day 11: White Christmas

"Life is 10% what you make it, and 90% how you take it." Irving Berlin

Bing Crosby's soothing voice singing "White Christmas," by Irving Berlin is a necessary part of our American Christmas tradition. The words and feeling of this song hits the hearts of all who listen.

Have a Listen

White Christmas won the Academy Award for Best Original song at the 15th Academy Awards in 1942. Here is Houston's Own, Pelayo Parlade performing this Jazz Piano Solo of "White Christmas" just for you.

"White Christmas" Is a Powerful Part of American History

Bing Crosby gave the first public performance of "White Christmas" on Christmas Day in 1941...a few weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

According to Crosby's nephew, Howard Crosby, "I once asked Uncle Bing about the most difficult thing he ever had to do during his entertainment career… He said in December, 1944, he was in a USO show with Bob Hope and the Andrew Sisters.

They did an outdoor show in northern France… he had to stand there and sing 'White Christmas' with 100,000 G.I.s in tears without breaking down himself. Of course, a lot of those boys were killed in the Battle of the Bulge a few days later."

Words that Paint a Picture of Home

"I'm dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know.

Where the tree tops glisten, and children listen to hear sleigh bells in the snow.

I said, I'm dreaming of a white Christmas with every Christmas card I write.

May your days be merry and bright, and may all your Christmas' be white."

"The Great American Minstrel"

"Berlin helped write the story of this country... he is someone who has caught and immortalized in his songs what we say, what we think about, and what we believe."

Walter Cronkite

Berlin has been called one of the greatest songwriters in American history. He wrote every song to reach into the hearts of the average American, whom he felt was the real soul of the country.

He "captured the best of who we are and the dreams that shape our lives."

God Bless America

Israel Beilin was born in 1888. He was was the son of a Jewish cantor. They immigrated to the United States to escape the persecution of the Jews in Russia.

Many years later, Berlin wrote the famous song, "God Bless America," during World War I based on a phrase his immigrant mother repeated during his childhood - God Bless America.

The song was first performed by Ronald Reagan and Kate Smith in 1938.

A person can do a lot in 101 years.