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The 1900's
He Was a Yankee Doodle Boy



He Was a Yankee Doodle Boy
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.29

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    rum-tumming, know-how, precocious, vaudeville, screening, theaters, ingenuity, entertainment, performers, shortly, successful, lifetime, death, well-known, beloved, public
     content words:    George M., Yankee Doodle Boy, United States, Little Johnny Jones, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Yankee Doodle, My Regards, Johnny Jones, During World War, Irving Berlin


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He Was a Yankee Doodle Boy
By Jane Runyon
  

1     George M. Cohan was a "Yankee Doodle Boy." According to him, he was born on the 4th of July. According to his birth certificate, he was born on July 3, 1878. He was proud to share his birthday with his country. George's early life was different from most. He was a member of a show business family. He grew up in theaters. His life in the theater led him to become one of the most beloved composers America has had.
 
2     George M. Cohan was a talented and precocious child. Growing up in theaters gave him the opportunity to meet many fascinating people and visit more places than most people see in a lifetime. He was always up to some mischief. By the time he was a teenager, he was the star of his family's vaudeville act. He was an accomplished singer and dancer. He loved to write songs and skits for other performers. He sold his first songs in 1893.
 
3     In the early 1900s, Cohan decided to write his own Broadway musical. The people of the United States believed in basic ideals at that time. "Yankee ingenuity" and "Yankee know-how" could solve any problem. Cohan used these beliefs in his first attempts on Broadway. His first musical, The Governor's Son, was produced in 1901. All of the important roles in the play were acted by members of his family. The play lasted for thirty-two performances. Later road performances were much more successful. In 1903, Cohan tried again with Running for Office. This musical also did better on the road than it did on Broadway.

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The 1900's
             The 1900's


United States
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