Edit

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (11) | Personal Quotes (10)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 6 December 1896New York City, New York, USA
Date of Death 17 August 1983Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, USA  (heart disease)
Birth NameIsrael Gershowitz
Height 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Legendary, prolific composer, songwriter and author, educated at Townsend Harris Hall, City College of New York, and Columbia University. He began his career as a contributor to newspaper columns, and also worked for a touring carnival. His Broadway stage scores include "Two Little Girls in Blue" (written under the pseudonym 'Arthur Francis'), "Lady Be Good", "Tell Me More", "Tip-Toes", "Oh, Kay", "Funny Face", "Rosalie", "Treasure Girl", "Show Girl", "Strike Up the Band", "Girl Crazy", "Of Thee I Sing" (Pulitzer Prize, 1932), "Let 'Em Eat Cake", "Life Begins at 8:40", "Ziegfeld Follies of 1936", "Lady in the Dark", and "Park Avenue". Joining ASCAP in 1920, his chief musical collaborators was his brother George Gershwin, and also included Lewis Alter, Harold Arlen, Vernon Duke, Jerome Kern, Joseph Meyer, Sigmund Romberg, Arthur Schwartz, Harry Warren, Richard Whiting, Kurt Weill, Burton Lane, Vincent Youmans, Philip Charig, and E. Y. 'Yip' Harburg. His popular-song compositions include "The Real American Folk Song", "Oh, Me! Oh, My!", "Dolly", "I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise", "Fascinating Rhythm", "So Am I", "Oh, Lady Be Good", "The Half of It Dearie Blues", "Little Jazz Bird", "The Man I Love", "Kickin' the Clouds Away", "Looking for a Boy", "These Charming People", "That Certain Feeling", "Sweet and Low-Down", "Sunny Disposish", "Dear Little Girl", "Maybe", "Clap Yo' Hands", "Do Do Do", "Someone to Watch Over Me", "Strike Up the Band", "Let's Kiss and Make Up", "Funny Face", "'S Wonderful", "My One and Only", "He Loves and She Loves", "The Babbitt and the Bromide", "How Long Has This Been Going On?", "The One I'm Looking For", "I've Got a Crush on You", "Oh So Nice", "Where's the Boy, Here's the Girl", "Liza", "Soon", "Bidin' My Time", "Could You Use Me?", "Embraceable You", "Sam and Delilah", "I Got Rhythm", "But Not for Me", "Boy! What Love Has Done to Me!", "I Am Only Human After All", "Cheerful Little Earful", "Blah-Blah-Blah", "Wintergreen for President", "Love Is Sweeping the Country", "Of Thee I Sing (Baby)", "Who Cares?", "Hello, Good Morning", "Lorelei", "Isn't It a Pity?", "My Cousin in Milwaukee", "Mine", "You're a Builder-Upper", "Fun to be Fooled", "What Can You Say in a Love Song?", "Let's Take a Walk Around the Block", "I Got Plenty o' Nuttin'", "Bess, You Is My Woman Now", "It Ain't Necessarily So", "I Loves You, Porgy", "There's a Boat dat's Leavin' Soon for New York", "Island in the West Indies", "I Can't Get Started", "That Moment of Moments", "By Strauss", "Beginner's Luck", "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off", "Shall We Dance", "They All Laughed", "They Can't Take That Away from Me", "A Foggy Day", "Nice Work if You Can Get It", "I Was Doing All Right", "Love Is Here to Stay", "Love Walked In", "Spring Again", "One Life to Live" and many more.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Hup234!

Spouse (1)

Leonore Gershwin (14 September 1926 - 17 August 1983) (his death)

Trivia (11)

Older brother of composer George Gershwin.
Mentor to singer Michael Feinstein.
Served as best man at the wedding of Vincente Minnelli and Judy Garland. Minnelli and Garland named their daughter Liza Minnelli after Gershwin's song "Liza (All the Clouds'll Roll Away)".
His musical, "Lady in the Dark", performed at the Royal National Theatre, Lyttelton, was nominated for the 1998 Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for Best New Musical of the 1997 season.
His musical, "Lady in the Dark", was awarded the 1997 London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Musical.
Godfather of Liza Minnelli
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume One, 1981-1985, pages 317-320. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1998.
His wife's name was Leonore Strunsky (1900-1991).
George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin were awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 7083 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
Won the 1932 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for the musical "Of Thee I Sing" collaborating with George S. Kaufman, Morrie Ryskind, and George Gershwin.
George Gershwin and his musical, "Porgy and Bess", at the Court Theatre in Chicago, Illinois was nominated for the 2011 Equity Joseph Jefferson Award for Production of a Musical (Large).

Personal Quotes (10)

[Of the music written by Ira and George Gershwin, especially 'Summertime'] I never realized how good our music was until I heard Ella Fitzgerald sing it.
Given a fondness for music, a feeling for rhyme, a sense of whimsy and humor, an eye for the unbalanced sentence, an ear for the current phrase, and the ability to imagine oneself a performer trying to put over the number in progress - given all this, I still would say it takes four or five years collaborating with knowledgeable composers to become a well-rounded lyricist.
I read a book about the occupation of Denmark. The author told all about how the Nazis would do their regular propaganda broadcasts on the radio, with the fanfares and the music, and whenever they'd finished doing their regular stuff, the underground radio would come on immediately afterward and play 'It Ain't Necessarily So'.
[on DuBose Heyward] All his fine and poetic lyrics were set to music by George with scarcely a syllable being changed - an aspect of this composer's versatility not generally recognized. These many years [later] I can still shake my head in wonder at the reservoir of musical inventiveness, resourcefulness, and craftsmanship George could dip into. And no fraternal entrancement - my wonderment.
A career of lyric-writing isn't one that anyone can muscle in on; that if the lyricist who lasts isn't a W.S. Gilbert he is at least literate and conscientious; that even when his words at times sound like something off the cuff, lots of hard work and exper9ience have made them so.
I guess I've always considered perfection, or as close as I can come to it, my armor. And I know that even if the lyric failed I had done my very best.
It sounds like a pompous word but George inspired me. He was always full of new ideas, and he was so good a musician that I could do things with lyrics that I couldn't do with just a songwriter. I'm not just interested in writing songs. I like to do things with a twist - things that you might call artistic.
You know, I always avoided George when I could because he would ask me what I was doing, tell me to get busy, and all that...I always felt that if George hadn't been my brother and pushed me into lyric-writing, I'd have been contented to be a bookkeeper.
Lyrics are written up to public taste, and that's a high target... The words mustn't be precious or condescending...A writer can't get away with the 'blue/you' sort of stuff any longer...A good lyric should be rhymed conversation.
Lyric writing, like tea-tasting and hitting the chimes for half-hour station announcements, has become a profession. A precarious profession, no doubt - in that the east side marriage broker has as yet put no valuation on, one that is looked down on as a racket in some literary fields, but one which nevertheless requires a certain dexterity with words and a feeling for music on the one hand, and on the other, the infinite patience of the gem-setter, compatibility with the composer and an understanding of the various personalities in the cast.

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page