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Ira Gershwin

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Primary Instrument: Composer/conductor

Born: December 6, 1896 | Died: August 17, 1983    

Ira Gershwin

Ira Gershwin was born in New York City, the son of a Russian Jewish immigrant, on December 6, 1896. The older brother of George Gershwin, he attended Townsend Harris High School in New York City where one of his closest friends and fellow students was E.Y. “Yip” Harburg. The two worked together writing lyrics and Ira started his career in 1918 under the pen name of Arthur Francis. It was not until 1924 that Ira and George began a collaboration that would prove one of the most successful and prolific in history.

Their first collaborations were for Broadway: Lady, Be Good! (1924, including “Fascinating Rhythm” and, although it was cut from the show, “The Man I Love”), Tip Toes (1925, including “Sweet and Low Down”), Oh Kay! (1926, including “Clap Yo' Hands”, “Do-Do-Do”, “Maybe”, and “Someone To Watch Over Me”), Funny Face (1927, including '”S Wonderful”), Rosalie (1928, including “How Long Has This Been Going On”), Show Girl (1929, including “Liza”), Strike Up the Band (1930, including “I've Got A Crush On You” and “Soon”), Girl Crazy (1930, including “But Not For Me”, “Embraceable You”, “Bidin' My Time”, and “I Got Rhythm”), Delicious (1931, including “Blah Blah Blah. “), Of Thee I Sing (1931, the first musical to win the Pulitzer Prize and which included “Of Thee I Sing”, “Love Is Sweeping The Country”, and “Who Cares”)....
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