Saturday, September 24, 2016

Birthday Boy, George G!

 George Gershwin,
born Jacob Gershwine in Brooklyn, New York in 1889.
Absolutely no musical interests til the age of 10,
when he went to a friend's violin recital.
After that, he took over the piano at home
(a relief to older brother, Ira...he was the one they bought it for!).
Song plugger, vaudeville accompanist, song writer...
Al Jolson heard him playing his creation, "Swanee",
at a party in 1919, and voila! 
 Geroge with long time love,
Kay Swift,
who is the Kay in "Oh, Kay!"
 They never married.

...and with Ginger on the set of
"Shall We Dance?"

 George Guetary,
in a memorable scene with 2 foot tall headresses
and light up stairs (to Paradise!):
An American In Paris. 
Below, George is ready for his closeup! 

 Crazy For You, 1992
loosely based on Girl Crazy, 1930,
incorporated Gershwin goodies from many of his shows.
It starred Harry Groener (a top a bevy of pink)...

 ...Bruce Adler,
who played Bela Zangler... 

 ...and Jodi Benson,
here in a low dip with Harry.

 RKO Producer, Pan Berman, performed a miracle 
and lured the Gershwin Brothers to Hollywood to write the score for
"Shall We Dance",
their 2nd (and what would be their last) movie musical.
They had scored the movie "Delishious" back in 1931,
but most of their work was rejected.
 Gershwin (at right) was denied music lessons from 
Maurice Ravel (seated at the piano):
Ravel said, "Why become a second-rate Ravel,
when you're already a first-rate Gershwin?"
 This photo was supposedly taken on March 8, 1928,
at a Ravel birthday party.
(Behind Ravel is composer/conductor,
Manoah Leide-Tedesco.)

With brother Ira (Israel) Gershwin,
the lyricist sublime for so many of George's works.

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