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George Gershwin: His Life and Work

Howard Pollack

Published in print:
2007
Published Online:
May 2012
ISBN:
9780520248649
eISBN:
9780520933149
Item type:
book
Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:
10.1525/california/9780520248649.001.0001
Subject:
Music, History, American

This biography of George Gershwin (1898–1937) unravels the myths surrounding one of America's most celebrated composers and establishes the enduring value of his music. Gershwin created some of the ... More


Gershwin and His Family

Howard Pollack

in George Gershwin: His Life and Work

Published in print:
2007
Published Online:
May 2012
ISBN:
9780520248649
eISBN:
9780520933149
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:
10.1525/california/9780520248649.003.0001
Subject:
Music, History, American

George Gershwin's parents were Moishe (Morris) Gershovitz and Rosa Bruskin. They changed the family name to Gershvin (later spelled Gershwin) well before their children rose to fame. Neither Morris ... More


The Long, Long Night: 1954–1983

Philip Fuma

in Ira Gershwin: The Art of the Lyricist

Published in print:
1997
Published Online:
September 2011
ISBN:
9780195115703
eISBN:
9780199853144
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195115703.003.0013
Subject:
Music, Popular

Ira Gershwin effectively “quit as a songwriter in 1954.” On the one hand it seems strange that a lyricist, still in his fifties and at the height of his career, would withdraw from songwriting. By ... More


Gershwin the Man

Howard Pollack

in George Gershwin: His Life and Work

Published in print:
2007
Published Online:
May 2012
ISBN:
9780520248649
eISBN:
9780520933149
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:
10.1525/california/9780520248649.003.0011
Subject:
Music, History, American

Gershwin liked the accoutrements of wealth, but did not care as much about money as his brother Ira, in whose hands he often left business matters. Considering the sedentary life of a composer, ... More


Working Methods

Howard Pollack

in George Gershwin: His Life and Work

Published in print:
2007
Published Online:
May 2012
ISBN:
9780520248649
eISBN:
9780520933149
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:
10.1525/california/9780520248649.003.0010
Subject:
Music, History, American

According to Ira, George Gershwin was a composer of enormous facility, bursting with ideas. At the same time, Gershwin worked enormously hard, pointing out that a composer needed to be self-critical ... More


Bidin' My Time: 1896–1917

Philip Fuma

in Ira Gershwin: The Art of the Lyricist

Published in print:
1997
Published Online:
September 2011
ISBN:
9780195115703
eISBN:
9780199853144
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195115703.003.0001
Subject:
Music, Popular

With their fusion of passionate energy and laconic wit, the songs of George and Ira Gershwin are distinctively individual creations, standing out in a popular medium whose products are often ... More


That Certain Feeling: 1924–1927

Philip Fuma

in Ira Gershwin: The Art of the Lyricist

Published in print:
1997
Published Online:
September 2011
ISBN:
9780195115703
eISBN:
9780199853144
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195115703.003.0003
Subject:
Music, Popular

The Jazz Age came to full-blown adolescence at 3pm on February 12, 1924, at New York's Aeolian Hall. Until the wail of Ross Gorman's clarinet glissando opened the premiere performance of Rhapsody in ... More


Fun To Be Fooled: 1934–1936

Philip Fuma

in Ira Gershwin: The Art of the Lyricist

Published in print:
1997
Published Online:
September 2011
ISBN:
9780195115703
eISBN:
9780199853144
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195115703.003.0007
Subject:
Music, Popular

When George Gershwin plunged into the composition of Porgy and Bess in 1934, Ira Gershwin also struck out in a new artistic direction. The twin failures of Pardon My English and Let 'Em Eat Cake had ... More


Boy Wanted: 1918–1924

Philip Fuma

in Ira Gershwin: The Art of the Lyricist

Published in print:
1997
Published Online:
September 2011
ISBN:
9780195115703
eISBN:
9780199853144
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195115703.003.0002
Subject:
Music, Popular

“Boy Wanted”, featuring in the musical A Dangerous Maid, was a catalogue song in the mold of Gilbert and Sullivan patter numbers, where four girls “list” the qualities they are looking for in a boy, ... More


Here To Stay: 1936–1938

Philip Fuma

in Ira Gershwin: The Art of the Lyricist

Published in print:
1997
Published Online:
September 2011
ISBN:
9780195115703
eISBN:
9780199853144
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195115703.003.0008
Subject:
Music, Popular

The prospect of doing an Astaire–Rogers picture is what that ultimately lured the Gershwin brothers to Hollywood. One of their closest friends in California, the pianist Oscar Levant, observed that ... More


Sing Me Not a Ballad: 1941–1945

Philip Fuma

in Ira Gershwin: The Art of the Lyricist

Published in print:
1997
Published Online:
September 2011
ISBN:
9780195115703
eISBN:
9780199853144
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195115703.003.0010
Subject:
Music, Popular

Soon after the completion of Lady in the Dark Ira and Leonore purchased a house in Beverly Hills. After the ceaseless moves of the Gershwin household during his boyhood, Ira finally could settle into ... More


Changing My Tune: 1946–1951

Philip Fuma

in Ira Gershwin: The Art of the Lyricist

Published in print:
1997
Published Online:
September 2011
ISBN:
9780195115703
eISBN:
9780199853144
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195115703.003.0011
Subject:
Music, Popular

At his death, George Gershwin left a legacy of dozens of completed songs, for which words could still be set, and stacks of tunebooks with many more songs sketched in fragmentary form. On top of this ... More


From Morris Gest's Midnight Whirl (1919) to The Perfect Fool (1921)

Howard Pollack

in George Gershwin: His Life and Work

Published in print:
2007
Published Online:
May 2012
ISBN:
9780520248649
eISBN:
9780520933149
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:
10.1525/california/9780520248649.003.0013
Subject:
Music, History, American

Morris Gest's Midnight Whirl was Gershwin's first revue to appear on Broadway. In 1919, Gershwin also recorded his Novelette in Fourths for piano, presumably written that year. He wrote another ... More


Gershwin and Popular Music and Jazz after 1920

Howard Pollack

in George Gershwin: His Life and Work

Published in print:
2007
Published Online:
May 2012
ISBN:
9780520248649
eISBN:
9780520933149
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:
10.1525/california/9780520248649.003.0009
Subject:
Music, History, American

Popular composers and lyricists flocked to George and his brother, Ira, in part because of the sympathetic interest they showed toward colleagues. George further assisted his songwriting friends by ... More


Ira Gershwin: “Gershwin on Gershwin” (1944)

Robert Wyatt and John Andrew Johnson

in The George Gershwin Reader

Published in print:
2007
Published Online:
October 2011
ISBN:
9780195327113
eISBN:
9780199851249
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195327113.003.0079
Subject:
Music, Popular

This chapter presents the text of Ira Gershwin's reply to criticism on his brother George's fitness as a composer and his use of the Schillinger method of composition, which was published in 1944. ... More


“Gershwin Bros.” (1925)

Robert Wyatt and John Andrew Johnson

in The George Gershwin Reader

Published in print:
2007
Published Online:
October 2011
ISBN:
9780195327113
eISBN:
9780199851249
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195327113.003.0006
Subject:
Music, Popular

This chapter discusses the success of George and Ira Gershwins during the 1920s. George composed the tunes while Ira wrote the lyrics. George's success was attributed to the commercial success of ... More


Necessarily So: 1933–1935

Philip Fuma

in Ira Gershwin: The Art of the Lyricist

Published in print:
1997
Published Online:
September 2011
ISBN:
9780195115703
eISBN:
9780199853144
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195115703.003.0006
Subject:
Music, Popular

In 1926, during one of his frequent insomniac nights, George Gershwin picked up DuBose Heyward's best-selling novel Porgy, hoping it would help him fall asleep. Instead, he was inspired by the ... More


From The Goldwyn Follies (1938) to Kiss Me, Stupid (1964)

Howard Pollack

in George Gershwin: His Life and Work

Published in print:
2007
Published Online:
May 2012
ISBN:
9780520248649
eISBN:
9780520933149
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:
10.1525/california/9780520248649.003.0036
Subject:
Music, History, American

After the Gershwins completed A Damsel in Distress, they started work in mid-May on the picture The Goldwyn Follies for Samuel Goldwyn, which had its world premiere in Miami on January 28, 1938. The ... More


Sweeping the Country: 1930–1933

Philip Fuma

in Ira Gershwin: The Art of the Lyricist

Published in print:
1997
Published Online:
September 2011
ISBN:
9780195115703
eISBN:
9780199853144
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195115703.003.0005
Subject:
Music, Popular

Neither book nor lyrics could save Strike Up the Band, which never made it out of Philadelphia, closing “out of town” in 1927. But despite this failure, Edgar Selwyn clung to his dream of ... More


Lonelier and Tougher: 1951–1954

Philip Fuma

in Ira Gershwin: The Art of the Lyricist

Published in print:
1997
Published Online:
September 2011
ISBN:
9780195115703
eISBN:
9780199853144
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195115703.003.0012
Subject:
Music, Popular

“The Man That Got Away” was Ira Gershwin's last great standard, coming exactly thirty years after “The Man I Love,” their themes of innocent longing and bitter loss neatly bracketing a career devoted ... More


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