Berlin, Irving. (Extracted from Bruce Catton, "He Wanted to Murder the Bugler," American Heritage, August 1967, p 51)
Right in the center of all this was a young man who, like a great many of his fellow Americans in 1918, suddenly found himself wearing the khaki uniform of a draftee: Irving Berlin, then (and for a half century to come) America's best-known writer of popu lar songs Berlin had already begun to devote his considerable talents to helping his country sing its way to war.
He remembers that "somebody in Washington had suggested that he write a song that would spur recruiting, and he produced "For Your Country and My Country" in response. Then he had set the whole nation chuckling and singing with a song that is still remembered-"They Were All Out of Step but Jim." When he got into the Army the War Department promptly realized that in this doughboy it possessed an uncommon asset, and it set to work to make use of him Berlin was assigned to duty at Camp Upton, at Yaphank on Long Island..."