In the East River near Mary Erin’s penthouse home, her father once almost drowned when she was eight years old. When rescued, he was found still clutching the penny he had earned selling newspapers that day.
Barrett wrote that he often appeared to be “an unstable and uncertain man.” .
Still, hit after hit came out. Between his twenties and his sixties, he wrote about 1,500 songs.
Barrett has come to see her father’s compulsions as a product of her insecurities and toughness from her childhood in the ghetto. He’s a ‘street fighter’, ‘quiet and stubborn rather than loud-fighting’, and ‘turning his back on the wall, writing, composing, negotiating and getting out of the corner’ There was not.
Born Mary Erin Berlin on November 25, 1926 in Manhattan, she grew up in a different world. Her childhood memories included her dinner parties with Mr. and Mrs. Astaire, Mr. and Mrs. Goldwyn, Mr. and Mrs. Capras and Mr. and Mrs. Somerset Maugham.
She sometimes had to chase her father for attention and felt alienated by her parents’ fame — her mother, Erin McKay, was an heiress and popular novelist — Mary Erin felt less resentment than charmed by her fortune. One annoyed friend told her to stop doing it.