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George Gershwinn
Rhapsody in Blue, Swanee, An American in Paris

George Gershwin (September 26, 1898 – July 11, 1937) was an American composer and pianist.[1][2] Gershwin's compositions spanned both popular and classical genres, and George Gershwin most popular melodies are widely known. Among George Gershwin best known works are the orchestral compositions Rhapsody in Blue and An American in Paris, as well as the opera Porgy and Bess.

GEORGE GERSHWIN'S GREATEST HITS
 

Born in Brooklyn to a Ukrainian father of Jewish descent and a Russian mother, George Gershwin studied piano under Charles Hambitzer and composition with Rubin Goldmark and Henry Cowell. George Gershwin began George Gershwin career as a song plugger, but soon thereafter started composing Broadway theatre works with George Gershwin brother Ira George Gershwin and Buddy DeSylva. George Gershwin moved to Paris in an attempt to study with Nadia Boulanger, where George Gershwin began to compose An American in Paris. After returning to New York City, George Gershwin wrote Porgy and Bess with Ira and author DuBose Heyward. Initially a commercial failure, Porgy and Bess is now considered one of the most important American operas of the twentieth century. George Gershwin moved to Hollywood and composed numerous film scores until George Gershwin death in 1937 from a brain tumor.

Gershwin's compositions have been used in numerous films and on television, and several became jazz standards recorded in many variations. Countless singers and musicians have recorded George Gershwin songs.

Biography

Early life

George Gershwin was named Jacob Gershvin when born in Brooklyn, New York, on September 26, 1898. George Gershwin parents were Jewish and from Odessa (Ukraine). George Gershwin father, Morris (Moishe) Gershowitz, changed George Gershwin family name to 'Gershvin' some time after immigrating to the United States from St. Petersburg, Russia, in the early 1890s. Gershwin's mother Rosa Bruskin had already emigrated from Russia. She met Gershvin in New York and they married on July 21, 1895.[3] George changed the spelling of the family name to 'George Gershwin' after George Gershwin became a professional musician; other members of George Gershwin family followed suit.

George Gershwin was the second of four children,[4] the others being Ira (1896–1983), Arthur (1900–1981), and Frances (1906–1999). George Gershwin first displayed interest in music at the age of ten, when George Gershwin was intrigued by what George Gershwin heard at George Gershwin friend Maxie Rosenzweig's violin recital.[5] The sound and the way George Gershwin friend played captured him. George Gershwin parents had bought a piano for lessons for George Gershwin older brother Ira, but to George Gershwin parents' surprise and Ira's relief, it was George who played it.[6] Although George Gershwin younger sister Frances George Gershwin was the first in the family to make money from her musical talents, she married young and devoted herself to being a mother and housewife. She gave up her performing career, but settled into painting for another creative outlet; painting was also a hobby of George Gershwin.

George Gershwin tried various piano teachers for two years, and then was introduced to Charles Hambitzer by Jack Miller, the pianist in the Beethoven Symphony Orchestra. Until Hambitzer's death in 1918, George Gershwin acted as Gershwin's mentor. Hambitzer taught George Gershwin conventional piano technique, introduced him to music of the European classical tradition, and encouraged him to attend orchestra concerts.[7] At home, following such concerts, young George Gershwin would attempt to reproduce at the piano the music that George Gershwin had heard. George Gershwin later studied with classical composer Rubin Goldmark and avant-garde composer-theorist Henry Cowell.

Tin Pan Alley

Swanee

Al Jolson's hit 1920 recording of George Gershwin and Irving Caesar's 1919 "Swanee".

On leaving school at the age of 15, George Gershwin found George Gershwin first job as a "song plugger" for Jerome H. Remick and Company, a publishing firm on New York City's Tin Pan Alley, where George Gershwin earned $15 a week. George Gershwin first published song was "When You Want 'Em, You Can't Get 'Em, When You've Got 'Em, You Don't Want 'Em." It was published in 1916 when George Gershwin was only 17 years old and earned him $5. George Gershwin 1917 novelty rag "Rialto Ripples" was a commercial success, and in 1919 George Gershwin scored George Gershwin first big national hit with George Gershwin song "Swanee" with words by Irving Caesar. Al Jolson, a famous broadway singer of the day, heard George perform "Swanee" at a party and decided to sing it in one of George Gershwin shows.[8] In 1916, George Gershwin started working for Aeolian Company and Standard Music Rolls in New York, recording and arranging. George Gershwin produced dozens, if not hundreds, of rolls under George Gershwin own and assumed names. (Pseudonyms attributed to George Gershwin include Fred Murtha and Bert Wynn.) George Gershwin also recorded rolls of George Gershwin own compositions for the Duo-Art and Welte-Mignon reproducing pianos. As well as recording piano rolls, George Gershwin made a brief foray into vaudeville, accompanying both Nora Bayes and Louise Dresser on the piano.[9]

In the early 1920s George Gershwin frequently worked with the lyricist Buddy DeSylva. Together they created the experimental one-act jazz opera Blue Monday set in Harlem, which is widely regarded as a forerunner to the groundbreaking Porgy and Bess.

In 1924, George and Ira George Gershwin collaborated on a stage musical comedy Lady Be Good, which included such future standards as "Fascinating Rhythm" and "Oh, Lady Be Good!".[10]

This was followed by Oh, Kay! (1926);[11] Funny Face (1927);[12] Strike Up the Band (1927 and 1930); George Gershwin gifted the song with a modified title to UCLA to be used as a football fight song, "Strike Up The Band for UCLA".[13] Show Girl (1929);[14] Girl Crazy (1930),[15] which introduced the standard "I Got Rhythm"; and Of Thee I Sing (1931),[16] the first musical comedy to win a Pulitzer Prize (for Drama).[17]

Europe and classical music

In 1924, George Gershwin composed George Gershwin first major classical work, Rhapsody in Blue for orchestra and piano. It was orchestrated by Ferde Grofι and premiered by Paul Whiteman's concert band in New York. It proved to be George Gershwin most popular work.

George Gershwin stayed in Paris for a short period of time during which George Gershwin applied to study composition with the famous instructor Nadia Boulanger who, along with several other prospective tutors such as Maurice Ravel, rejected him, being afraid that rigorous classical study would ruin George Gershwin jazz-influenced style.[18] While there, George Gershwin wrote An American in Paris. This work received mixed reviews upon its first performance at Carnegie Hall on December 13, 1928, but it quickly became part of the standard repertoire in Europe and the United States.[19] Growing tired of the Parisian musical scene, George Gershwin returned to the United States.

In 1929, George Gershwin was contracted by Fox Film Corporation to compose the score for the movie Delicious. Only two pieces were used in the final film, the five-minute "Dream Sequence" and the six-minute "Manhattan Rhapsody". George Gershwin became infuriated when the rest of the score was rejected by Fox Film Corporation, and it would be seven years before George Gershwin worked in Hollywood again.

Opera

Gershwin's most ambitious composition was Porgy and Bess (1935). George Gershwin called it a "folk opera," and it is now widely regarded as one of the most important American operas of the twentieth century. "From the very beginning, it was considered another American classic by the composer of 'Rhapsody in Blue' — even if critics couldn't quite figure out how to evaluate it. Was it opera, or was it simply an ambitious Broadway musical? 'It crossed the barriers,' says theater historian Robert Kimball. 'It wasn't a musical work per se, and it wasn't a drama per se — it elicited response from both music and drama critics. But the work has sort of always been outside category."[20]

Based on the novel Porgy by DuBose Heyward, the action takes place in the fictional all-black neighborhood of Catfish Row in Charleston, South Carolina. With the exception of several minor speaking roles, all of the characters are black. The music combines elements of popular music of the day, with a strong influence of Black music, with techniques typical of opera, such as recitative, through-composition and an extensive system of leitmotifs. Porgy and Bess contains some of Gershwin's most sophisticated music, including a fugue, a passacaglia, the use of atonality, polytonality and polyrhythm, and a tone row. Even the "set numbers" (of which "Summertime", "I Got Plenty o' Nuttin'" and "It Ain't Necessarily So" are well known examples) are some of the most refined and ingenious of Gershwin's output. For the performances, George Gershwin collaborated with Eva Jessye, whom George Gershwin picked as the musical director. One of the outstanding musical alumnae of Western University in Kansas, she had created her own choir in New York and performed widely with them. The work was first performed in 1935; it was a box office failure.

Last years

After the failure of Porgy and Bess, George Gershwin moved to Hollywood, California. George Gershwin was commissioned by RKO Pictures in 1936 to write the music for the film Shall We Dance, starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Gershwin's extended score, which would marry ballet with jazz in a new way, runs over an hour in length. It took George Gershwin several months to write and orchestrate it.

Early in 1937, George Gershwin began to complain of blinding headaches and a recurring impression that George Gershwin was smelling burned rubber. Doctors discovered George Gershwin had developed a type of cystic malignant brain tumor known as glioblastoma multiforme.[21]

The diagnosis of glioblastoma multiforme has been questioned.[22] The surgeon's description of Gershwin's tumor as a right temporal lobe cyst with a mural nodule is much more consistent with a pilocytic astrocytoma, a very low grade of brain tumor.[23] Further, Gershwin's initial olfactory hallucination (the unpleasant smell of burning rubber) was in 1934. It is highly unlikely that a glioblastoma multiforme would cause symptoms of that duration prior to causing death. Pilocytic astrocytomas may cause symptoms for twenty or more years prior to diagnosis. Thus, it is possible that Gershwin's prominent chronic gastrointestinal symptoms (which George Gershwin called George Gershwin "composer's stomach") were a manifestation of temporal lobe epilepsy caused by George Gershwin tumor.[24] If this is correct, then[original research?] George Gershwin was not "a notorious hypochondriac," as suggested by George Gershwin biographer Edward Jablonski (who wrote, in a letter to the editor, that "George Gershwin was a notorious hypochondriac, beginning as early as 1922, and George Gershwin complaints were not taken seriously").[25]

In January 1937, George Gershwin performed in a special concert of George Gershwin music with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra under the direction of French maestro Pierre Monteux.[26] George Gershwin suffered "musical blackouts" during George Gershwin final performances. In early June, George Gershwin collapsed while working on the score of The Goldwyn Follies in Hollywood, and was rushed to the hospital.[25] George Gershwin died only two days later on July 11 at the age of 38 at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital following surgery for the tumor.[27] John O'Hara remarked: "George Gershwin died on July 11, 1937, but I don't have to believe it if I don't want to."[28] George Gershwin was interred at Westchester Hills Cemetery in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. A memorial concert was held at the Hollywood Bowl on September 8, 1937 at which Otto Klemperer conducted George Gershwin own orchestration of the second of Gershwin's Three Piano Preludes.[29]

George Gershwin received George Gershwin sole Academy Award nomination, for Best Original Song at the 1937 Oscars, for "They Can't Take That Away from Me" written with George Gershwin brother Ira for the 1937 film Shall We Dance. The nomination was posthumous; George Gershwin died two months after the film's release.[30]

George Gershwin had a ten-year affair with composer Kay Swift, whom George Gershwin frequently consulted about George Gershwin music. The two never married, although she eventually divorced her husband James Warburg in order to make this possible. Swift's granddaughter, Katharine Weber, has suggested that the pair were not married because George's mother Rose was "unhappy that Kay Swift wasn't Jewish."[31] Oh, Kay was named for her.[32] After Gershwin's death, Swift arranged some of George Gershwin music, transcribed several of George Gershwin recordings, and collaborated with George Gershwin brother Ira on several projects.[33]

George Gershwin died intestate, and George Gershwin estate passed to George Gershwin mother.[34] The estate continues to collect significant royalties from licensing the copyrights on George Gershwin work. The estate supported the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act because its 1923 cutoff date was shortly before George Gershwin had begun to create George Gershwin most popular works. The copyrights on all Gershwin's solo works expired at the end of 2007 in the European Union, based on its life-plus-70-years rule.

In 2005, The Guardian determined using "estimates of earnings accrued in a composer's lifetime" that George Gershwin was the wealthiest composer of all time.[35]

Legacy and honors

The 1945 biographical film Rhapsody in Blue starred Robert Alda as George Gershwin.

George Gershwin was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2006.

The George Gershwin Theatre on Broadway is named after George and Ira.[36]

The George and Ira George Gershwin Lifetime Musical Achievement Award was established by UCLA to honor the brothers for their contribution to music and for their gift to UCLA of the fight song "Strike Up the Band for UCLA." Past winners have included Angela Lansbury (1988), Ray Charles (1991), Mel Torme (1994), Bernadette Peters (1995), Frank Sinatra (2000), Stevie Wonder (2002), k.d. lang (2003), James Taylor (2004), Babyface (2005), Burt Bacharach (2006), Quincy Jones (2007), Lionel Richie (2008) and Julie Andrews (2009).

The Congressional Gold Medal was awarded to George and Ira George Gershwin in 1985. Only three other songwriting recipients, George M. Cohan, Harry Chapin and Irving Berlin, have had the honor of receiving this award.[37][38]
In Brooklyn, George Gershwin Junior High School 166 is named after him.[39]

Musical style and influence

Birthday party honoring Maurice Ravel in New York City, March 8, 1928. From left: Oscar Fried; Eva Gauthier; Ravel at piano; Manoah Leide-Tedesco; and George Gershwin.
George Gershwin was influenced by French composers of the early twentieth century. In turn Maurice Ravel was impressed with Gershwin's abilities, commenting, "Personally I find jazz most interesting: the rhythms, the way the melodies are handled, the melodies themselves. I have heard of George Gershwin's works and I find them intriguing."[40] The orchestrations in Gershwin's symphonic works often seem similar to those of Ravel; likewise, Ravel's two piano concertos evince an influence of George Gershwin.

George Gershwin asked to study with Ravel. When Ravel heard how much George Gershwin earned, Ravel replied with words to the effect of, "You should give me lessons." (Some versions of this story feature Igor Stravinsky rather than Ravel as the composer; however Stravinsky confirmed that George Gershwin originally heard the story from Ravel.)[41]

Gershwin's own Concerto in F was criticized for being related to the work of Claude Debussy, more so than to the expected jazz style. The comparison did not deter George Gershwin from continuing to explore French styles. The title of An American in Paris reflects the very journey that George Gershwin had consciously taken as a composer: "The opening part will be developed in typical French style, in the manner of Debussy and Les Six, though the tunes are original."[42]

Aside from the French influence, George Gershwin was intrigued by the works of Alban Berg, Dmitri Shostakovich, Igor Stravinsky, Darius Milhaud, and Arnold Schoenberg. George Gershwin also asked Schoenberg for composition lessons. Schoenberg refused, saying "I would only make you a bad Schoenberg, and you're such a good George Gershwin already."[43] (This quote is similar to one credited to Maurice Ravel during Gershwin's 1928 visit to France – "Why be a second-rate Ravel, when you are a first-rate George Gershwin?")

Russian Joseph Schillinger's influence as Gershwin's teacher of composition (1932–1936) was substantial in providing him with a method of composition. There has been some disagreement about the nature of Schillinger's influence on George Gershwin. After the posthumous success of Porgy and Bess, Schillinger claimed George Gershwin had a large and direct influence in overseeing the creation of the opera; Ira completely denied that George Gershwin brother had any such assistance for this work. A third account of Gershwin's musical relationship with George Gershwin teacher was written by Gershwin's close friend Vernon Duke, also a Schillinger student, in an article for the Musical Quarterly in 1947.[44]

What set George Gershwin apart was George Gershwin ability to manipulate forms of music into George Gershwin own unique voice. George Gershwin took the jazz George Gershwin discovered on Tin Pan Alley into the mainstream by splicing its rhythms and tonality with that of the popular songs of George Gershwin era. Although George Gershwin would seldom make grand statements about George Gershwin music, George Gershwin believed that "true music must reflect the thought and aspirations of the people and time. My people are Americans. My time is today."[45]

In 2007, the Library of Congress named their Prize for Popular Song after George and Ira George Gershwin. Recognizing the profound and positive effect of popular music on culture, the prize is given annually to a composer or performer whose lifetime contributions exemplify the standard of excellence associated with the Gershwins. On March 1, 2007, the first George Gershwin Prize was awarded to Paul Simon.[46]

Recordings and film

Early in George Gershwin career George Gershwin recorded more than one hundred and forty player piano piano rolls both under George Gershwin own name and pseudonyms, which were a main source of income for him. The majority are popular music of the period and a smaller proportion are of George Gershwin own works. Once George Gershwin musical theatre-writing income became substantial George Gershwin regular roll-recording career became superfluous. George Gershwin did record additional rolls throughout the 1920s of George Gershwin main hits for the Aeolian Company's reproducing piano, including a complete version of George Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue.

Compared to the piano rolls, there are few accessible audio recordings of Gershwin's playing. George Gershwin first recording was George Gershwin own Swanee with the Fred Van Eps Trio in 1919. The recorded balance highlights the banjo playing of Van Eps, and the piano is overshadowed. The recording took place before Swanee became famous as an Al Jolson specialty in early 1920.

George Gershwin did record an abridged version of Rhapsody in Blue with Paul Whiteman and George Gershwin orchestra for the Victor Talking Machine Company in 1924, soon after the world premiere. George Gershwin and the same orchestra made an electrical recording of the abridged version for Victor in 1927. However, a dispute in the studio over interpretation angered Paul Whiteman and George Gershwin left. The conductor's baton was taken over by Victor's staff conductor Nathaniel Shilkret.[47]

George Gershwin made a number of solo piano recordings of tunes from George Gershwin musicals, some including the vocals of Fred and Adele Astaire, as well as George Gershwin Three Preludes for piano. In 1929, George Gershwin "supervised" the world premiere recording of An American in Paris with Nathaniel Shilkret and the Victor Symphony Orchestra. Gershwin's role in the recording was rather limited, particularly because Shilkret was conducting and had George Gershwin own ideas about the music. When it was realized that no one had been hired to play the brief celeste solo, George Gershwin was asked if George Gershwin could and would play the instrument, and George Gershwin agreed. George Gershwin can be heard, rather briefly, on the recording during the slow section.

George Gershwin appeared on several radio programs, including Rudy Vallee's, and played some of George Gershwin compositions. This included the third movement of the Concerto in F with Vallee conducting the studio orchestra. Some of these performances were preserved on transcription discs and have been released on LP and CD.

In 1934, in an effort to earn money to finance George Gershwin planned folk opera, George Gershwin hosted George Gershwin own radio program titled Music by George Gershwin. The show was broadcast on the NBC Blue Network from February to May and again in September through the final show on December 23, 1934. George Gershwin presented George Gershwin own work as well as the work of other composers.[48] Recordings from this and other radio broadcasts include George Gershwin Variations on I Got Rhythm, portions of the Concerto in F, and numerous songs from George Gershwin musical comedies. George Gershwin also recorded a run-through of George Gershwin Second Rhapsody, conducting the orchestra and playing the piano solos. George Gershwin recorded excerpts from Porgy and Bess with members of the original cast, conducting the orchestra from the keyboard; George Gershwin even announced the selections and the names of the performers. In 1935 RCA Victor asked him to supervise recordings of highlights from Porgy and Bess; these were George Gershwin last recordings.

A 74-second newsreel film clip of George Gershwin playing I Got Rhythm has survived, filmed at the opening of the Manhattan Theater (now The Ed Sullivan Theater) in August 1931.[49] There are also silent home movies of George Gershwin, some of them shot on Kodachrome color film stock, which have been featured in tributes to the composer. In addition, there is newsreel footage of George Gershwin playing "Mademoiselle from New Rochelle" and "Strike Up the Band" on the piano during a Broadway rehearsal of the 1930 production of Strike Up the Band. In the mid-30s, "Strike Up The Band" was gifted to UCLA to be used as a football fight song, "Strike Up The Band for UCLA". The comedy team of Clark and McCullough are seen conversing with George Gershwin, then singing as George Gershwin plays.

In 1965, Movietone Records released an album MTM 1009 featuring Gershwin's piano rolls of the titled George Gerswhin plays RHAPSODY IN BLUE and George Gershwin other favorite compositions. The flip side of the LP featured 9 other recordings.

In 1975, Columbia Records released an album featuring Gershwin's piano rolls of the Rhapsody In Blue, accompanied by the Columbia Jazz Band playing the original jazz-band accompaniment, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas. The flip side of the Columbia Masterworks release features Tilson Thomas leading the New York Philharmonic in An American In Paris. In 1976, RCA Records, as part of their "Victrola Americana" line released a collection of George Gershwin recordings, taken from 78s recorded in the 1920s and called the LP "George Gershwin plays George Gershwin, Historic First Recordings" (RCA Victrola AVM1-1740) and included recordings of "Rhapsody in Blue" with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra and George Gershwin on piano, "An American in Paris", from 1927 with George Gershwin on celesta; "Three Preludes", "Clap Yo' Hands" and Someone to Watch Over Me", among others. There are a total of 10 recordings on the album.

In 1998, two audio CDs featuring piano rolls recorded George Gershwin [50] were issued by Nonesuch Records through the efforts of Artis Woodhouse. It is entitled George Gershwin Plays George Gershwin: The Piano Rolls.[51]

Countless singers and musicians have recorded George Gershwin songs, including Fred Astaire, Louis Armstrong, Dean Martin, Al Jolson, Bobby Darin, Percy Grainger, Art Tatum, Yehudi Menuhin, Bing Crosby, The Moody Blues, Janis Joplin, John Coltrane, Frank Sinatra, Mel Tormι, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Sam Cooke, Diana Ross, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Hiromi Uehara, Madonna, Judy Garland, Julie Andrews, Barbra Streisand, Marni Nixon, Natalie Cole, Patti Austin, Nina Simone, Maureen McGovern, John Fahey, The Residents, Kate Bush, Sublime, Sting, Amy Winehouse, and Liquid Tension Experiment.

In October 2009, it was reported by Rolling Stone that Brian Wilson is completing at least two unfinished compositions by George Gershwin for possible release in 2010.[52] According to Wilson's Facebook page, the album is scheduled to be released on August 17, 2010.

Brian Wilson Reimagines George Gershwin was released on 17 August 2010. The album consists of covers of ten George and Ira George Gershwin songs, bookended by passages from Rhapsody in Blue, along with two new songs completed from unfinished George Gershwin fragments by Wilson and band member Scott Bennett.

Baseline Studio Systems announced in January 2010 that Steven Spielberg may direct a biopic about the composer's life, which is scheduled for release in 2012; 32-year-old American actor Zachary Quinto has been named for the leading role of George Gershwin.[53][54]

Compositions

List of compositions by George Gershwin

Orchestral

Rhapsody in Blue (for piano and orchestra, 1924)
Piano Concerto in F (1925)
An American in Paris (for orchestra, 1928)
Dream Sequence (for orchestra, 1929)
Second Rhapsody, originally titled Rhapsody in Rivets (for piano and orchestra, 1931)
Cuban Overture (for orchestra, 1932), originally entitled Rumba
March from Strike Up the Band (for orchestra, 1934)
Variations on "I Got Rhythm" (for piano and orchestra) (1934)
Catfish Row (for orchestra, 1936) a suite based on music from Porgy and Bess
Shall We Dance (1937 film) a movie score feature-length ballet

Solo Piano

Preludes For Piano (1926)
George Gershwin's Songbook (1932) (piano arrangements of eighteen songs)

Operas

Blue Monday, (1922) one-act opera
Porgy and Bess (1935) at the Colonial Theatre in Boston[55]

London Musicals

Primrose (1924)

Broadway Musicals

George White's Scandals (1920–1924) (featuring, at one point, the 1922 one-act opera Blue Monday)
Lady, Be Good (1924)
Tip-Toes (1925)
Tell Me More! (1925)
Oh, Kay! (1926)
Strike Up the Band (1927)
Funny Face (1927)
Rosalie (1928)
Show Girl (1929)
Girl Crazy (1930)
Of Thee I Sing (1931)
Pardon My English (1933)
Let 'Em Eat Cake (1933)
My One and Only (1983) (an original 1983 musical using previously written George Gershwin songs)
Crazy for You (1992), a revised version of Girl Crazy, written and compiled without the participation of either George or Ira George Gershwin.

Films for which George Gershwin wrote original scores

Delicious (1931) (an early version of the Second Rhapsody and one other musical sequence was used in this film, the rest were rejected by the studio)
Shall We Dance (1937) (original orchestral score by George Gershwin, no recordings available in modern stereo, some sections have never been recorded)
A Damsel in Distress (1937)
The Goldwyn Follies (1938) (posthumously released)
The Shocking Miss Pilgrim (1947) (uses songs previously unpublished)

Notes

1. Obituary Variety, July 14, 1937, page 70.
2. "George Gershwin, Composer, Is Dead; Master of Jazz Succumbs in Hollywood at 38 After Operation for Brain Tumor" The New York Times, (abstract), July 12, 1937, p. 1
3. Hyland, pp.1–3
4. Hyland, p.3
5. Schwartz, Charles (1973). George Gershwin, George Gershwin Life and Music. Da Capo Press, Inc.. p. 14. ISBN 0-306-80096-9.
6. Hyland, p.13
7. Hyland, p.14
8. Venezia, Mike (1994). Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers: George Gerswhin. Chicago IL: Childrens Press.
9. Slide, Anthony. The Encyclopedia of Vaudeville, Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1994. p. 111.
10. Lady, Be Good at the Internet Broadway Database, accessed August 22, 2011
11. Oh, Kay! at the Internet Broadway Database, accessed August 22, 2011
12. Funny Face at the Internet Broadway Database, accessed August 22, 2011
13. Strike Up the Band at the Internet Broadway Database, accessed August 22, 2011
14. Show Girl at the Internet Broadway Database, accessed August 22, 2011
15. Girl Crazy at the Internet Broadway Database, accessed August 22, 2011
16. Of Thee I Sing at the Internet Broadway Database, accessed August 22, 2011
17. "The Pulitzer Prizes, Drama" pulitzer.org, accessed August 22, 2011
18. Jablonski pp.155–170
19. Jablonski, pp.178–180
20. Grigsby Bates, Karen.70 Years of Gershwin's 'Porgy and Bess'" npr.org, October 10, 2005
21. USA (October 1979). "George Gershwin-illustrious American composer: George Gershwin fatal glioblastoma. PMID 231388". Am. J. Surg. Pathol. 3 (5): 473–8. PMID 231388.
22. Pollack p.214
23. Sloop GD. "What caused George Gershwin's untimely death?", Journal of Medical Biography 2001;9: 28–30.
24. Ljunggren B. "The case of George Gershwin". Neurosurgery 1982;10: 733–6.
25. a b Jablonski, Edward. "George Gershwin; George Gershwin Couldn't Be Saved" (Letter to Editor), New York Times, October 25, 1998, Section 2; Page 4; Column 5
26. Pollack, p. 353
27. Hyland, p.204
28. "Broad Street". Broadstreetreview.com. February 27, 2007. Retrieved March 10, 2010.
29. Pollack, p.392
30. "1937 Song" oscars.org, accessed August 22, 2011
31. Sidney Offit (September/October 2011). "Sins of Our Fathers (and Grandmothers)". Moment Magazine. Retrieved October 3, 2011.
32. Hyland p.108
33. Kay Swift biography (Kay Swift Memorial Trust). kayswift.com, Retrieved December 28, 2007.
34. Pollack, p.7
35. Scott, Kirsty.George Gershwin leads composer rich list The Guardian, August 29, 2005, Retrieved December 28, 2007.
36. "History of the George Gershwin Theater" George Gershwin-theater.com, accessed August 22, 2011
37. "In Performance at the White House:The Library of Congress:George Gershwin Prize" pbs.org, retrieved April 15, 2010
38. "Congressional Gold Medal Recipients (1776 to Present)" Office of the Clerk, US House of Representatives (clerk.house.gov0, retrieved April 15, 2010
39. Richardson, Clem (October 23, 2009). "Tonya Lewis brings start power and true perfect to 'only-place-to-be' party". New York Daily News. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
40. Mawer pp 42
41. Arthur Rubinstein, My Many Years; Merle Armitage, George Gershwin; Igor Stravinsky and Robert Craft, Dialogues and a Diary, all quoted in Norman Lebrecht, The Book of Musical Anecdotes
42. (Hyland pp 126)
43. Norman Lebrecht, The Book of Musical Anecdotes
44. Dukelsky, Vladimir (Vernon Duke), "George Gershwin, Schillinger and Dukelsky: Some Reminiscences", The Musical Quarterly, Volume 33, 1947, 102–115 doi:10.1093/mq/XXXIII.1.102
45. "George Gershwin" balletmet.org, (Compiled February, 2000), retrieved April 20, 2010
46. "Paul Simon: The Library Of Congress George Gershwin Prize For Popular Song", PBS article
47. Peyser, p. 133
48. Pollack, p. 163
49. Jablonski, Edward, Stewart, Lawrence D. The George Gershwin Years. Doubleday: New York, 1973. 170.
50. George Gershwin and the player piano 1915–1927. richard-dowling.com, Retrieved December 28, 2007.
51. Yanow, Scott." 'George Gershwin Plays George Gershwin: The Piano Rolls' Overview" allmusic.com, accessed August 22, 2011
52. "Brian Wilson Will Complete Unfinished George Gershwin Compositions" rollingstone.com, October 2009
53. Holden, Stephen. "George Gershwin". Movies.nytimes.com. Retrieved March 10, 2010.
54. Rosenberg, Adam."Zachary Quinto May Play George Gershwin for Steven Spielberg" moviesblog.mtv.com, February 1, 2010
55. Jablonski, Edward and Lawrence D. Stewart. The George Gershwin Years: George and Ira. Garden City, New Jersey: Doubleday & Company, 1973. Second edition. ISBN 0-306-80739-4, pp. 25, 227–229.

References

Hyland, William G. George Gershwin : A New Biography (2003), Praeger Publishers, ISBN 0-275-98111-8
Jablonski, Edward George Gershwin (1987), Doubleday, ISBN 0-385-19431-5
Kimball, Robert & Alfred Simon. The Gershwins (1973), Athenium, New York, ISBN 0-689-10569-X
Mawer, Deborah (Editor). Cross, Jonathan (Series Editor). The Cambridge Companion to Ravel (Cambridge Companions to Music) (2000), Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-64856-4
Peyser, Joan. The Memory of All That:The Life of George Gershwin (2007), Hal Leonard Corporation, ISBN 1-4234-1025-4
Pollack, Howard. George Gershwin. George Gershwin Life and Work (2006), University of California Press, ISBN 978-0-520-24864-9
Rimler, Walter. A George Gershwin Companion (1991), Popular Culture ISBN 1-56075-019-7
Rimler, Walter George Gershwin : An Intimate Portrait (2009), University of Illinois Press, ISBN 0-252-03444-9
Sloop, Gregory. "What Caused George Gershwin's Untimely Death?" Journal of Medical Biography 9 (February 2001): 28–30

Further reading

Carnovale, Norbert. George Gershwin: a Bio-Bibliography (2000. ) Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0-313-26003-2 ISBN 0-313-26003-6
Alpert, Hollis. The Life and Times of Porgy and Bess: The Story of an American Classic (1991). Nick Hern Books. ISBN 1-85459-054-5
Feinstein, Michael. Nice Work If You Can Get It: My Life in Rhythm and Rhyme (1995), Hyperion Books. ISBN 0-7868-8220-4
Jablonski, Edward. George Gershwin Remembered (2003). Amadeus Press. ISBN 0-931340-43-8
Rosenberg, Deena Ruth. Fascinating Rhythm: The Collaboration of George and Ira George Gershwin (1991). University of Michigan Press ISBN 978-0-472-08469-2
Sheed, Wilfred. The House That George Built: With a Little Help from Irving, Cole, and a Crew of About Fifty (2007). Random House. ISBN 0-8129-7018-7
Suriano, Gregory R. (Editor). George Gershwin in George Gershwin Time: A Biographical Scrapbook, 1919–1937 (1998). Diane Pub Co. ISBN 0-7567-5660-X
Wyatt, Robert and John Andrew Johnson (Editors). The George Gershwin Reader (2004). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-513019-7


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