Friday, July 3, 2009

George M. Cohan


Known as the father of American musical comedy and as "the man who owned Broadway", today we honor the great American entertainer, songwriter, actor, dancer, singer, composer, and producer George M. Cohan.

Cohan was born on July 3 1878, though his family claimed that he was "Born on the Fourth of July!".

Throughout his lifetime, Cohan published over 1500 original songs, produced over three dozen Broadway shows, and also invented the "book musical", helping to close the gap between drama and musicals. Cohan was an actor on Broadway, a producer of multiple shows, was a composer, and also a star in film. A commanding presence, Cohan changed the landscape of American theater.

Today, I would like to highlight the contribution Cohan has made to the American community's patriotic songs. Cohan famously wrote "The Yankee Doodle Boy" in his first Broadway hit show Little Johnny Jones. Too old to join in the war effort of World War I, Cohan focused again on writing patriotic songs to help moral, composing "Over There" as well as "You're A Grand Old Flag". The movie Yankee Doodle Dandy is a biographical film about his life.

In 1936, President Roosevelt honored Cohan by presenting him with the Congressional Medal of Honor for his contributions to WWI moral.

Cohan made great contributions to the entertainment world, creating wealth not only for himself but also for the people around him. Today we honor Cohan for being a good business man, a great entertainer, and for the work he proudly did to honor his neighbors through song.

Sources:
Wikipedia: George M. Cohan
Musicals101.com

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