The song "White Christmas", written by Belarus-born Irving Berlin, was included in top Christmas songs of all time by American mass media.
The song debuted in 1942 in the film Holiday Inn by Bing Crosby. The song didn’t have success at first, but today Christmas is hardly thinkable without it.
Irving Berlin, one of the most well-known American composers and lyricist (Israel Isidore Baline) was born in a large Jewish family in Talachyn (the Mahilou province) on May 11, 1888.
It was his father, a cantor in a Mahilou synagogue, who inculcated in him the love of signing.
Escaping from pogroms, the family moved to the United States when the boy was five years old. After father’s death he began to sing in streets and later in a restaurant helping his mother to support family. It was the time when he wrote his first song "Marie from Sunny Italy" on an order by the restaurant’s owner.
Berlin’s talent as a songwriter was really unique allowing him to compose music and write lyrics. Though he had neither musical nor finished secondary education, he created more than 3000 songs, including "God Bless America", an unofficial US anthem. Besides, he wrote the music to 17 films and 21 Broadway musicals.