George Gershwin

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Born: September 26, 1898 | Died: July 11, 1937    Primary Instrument: Composer/conductor

George Gershwin

George Gershwin was born Jacob Gershowitz in Brooklyn in 1898, the second of four children from a close-knit immigrant family. He began his musical career as a song-plugger on Tin Pan Alley, but was soon writing his own pieces. Gershwin's first published song, “When You Want ‘Em, You Can't Get ‘Em,” demonstrated innovative new techniques, but only earned him five dollars. Soon after, however, he met a young lyricist named Irving Ceaser. Together they composed a number of songs including “Swanee,” which sold more than a million copies.

In the same year as “Swanee,” Gershwin collaborated with Arthur L. Jackson and Buddy De Sylva on his first complete Broadway musical, La, La Lucille. Over the course of the next four years, Gershwin wrote forty-five songs; among them were “Somebody Loves Me” and “Stairway to Paradise,” as well as a twenty-five-minute opera, “Blue Monday.” Composed in five days, the piece contained many musical clichés, but it also offered hints of developments to come....
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Rhapsody in Blue (for piano and orchestra, 1924)
Piano Concerto in F (1925)
An American in Paris (for orchestra, 1928)
Second Rhapsody (1931)
Cuban Overture (1932)
Variations on "I Got Rhythm" (for piano and orchestra) (1934)
Catfish Row (1936)

London Musicals

Primrose (1924)

Broadway Musicals

George White's Scandals (1920-1924)
Lady, Be Good (1924)
Tip-Toes (1925)
Song of the Flame (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)
Crazy for You (1992


Porgy and Bess (1935)

Original Films Scores

Delicious (1931)
Shall We Dance (1937)
The Goldwyn Follies (1938)
The Shocking Miss Pilgrim (1947)

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