Thursday, September 26, 2013

September 26: Composer George Gershwin was born on this day in 1898...


... he died from a brain tumor on July 11, 1937.
Porgy & Bess

Born  "Jacob Gershowitz" in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Russian immigrants,  George formed half of a prolific composing duo- along with older brother Ira- that produced some of the most memorable Broadway shows including "Porgy and Bess."

In 1924, George and Ira Gershwin collaborated on a musical comedy Lady Be Good, which included such future standards as "Fascinating Rhythm" and "Oh, Lady Be Good!." This was followed by Oh, Kay! (1926), Funny Face (1927), Strike Up the Band (1927 and 1930), Show Girl (1929), Girl Crazy (1930) (which introduced the standard "I Got Rhythm"), and Of Thee I Sing (1931); the first musical comedy to win a Pulitzer Prize.

Among the many, many songs they wrote included the popular standards "The Man I Love," "They Can't Take That Away From Me," "Embraceable You,"  and "Someone to Watch Over Me." Woody Allen's movie "Manhattan," featured a Gershwin soundtrack.

The Congressional Gold Medal was awarded to George and Ira Gershwin in 1985. Only two other songwriting recipients, Harry Chapin, and Irving Berlin have had the honor of receiving this award.

Press links below to view You Tube video performances:

-- "I Got Rhythm" (Gene Kelly in "An American in Paris")
-- "The Man I Love" (Ella Fitzgerald)
-- "They Can't Take That Away From Me" (Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers)
-- Opening from "Manhattan" (Woody Allen)
-- "Summertime" "Porgy and Bess"


HIGHLY Recommended (From Amazon): 

George Gershwin: Ultimate Collection/VariousGershwin Plays Gershwin: The Piano RollsManhattan (1979 Film)

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