Born on this date in 1898 in Brooklyn, New York was George Gerwishin, who would become the most imporatant classical, jazz and musical theater composers of the early 20th Century.. He started on Tin Pan Alley writing popular music, and jingles shortly before he would shape the world’s soundtrack at the such works as Blue Monday, Lady Be Good, Oh Kay!, Funny Face, Strike Up The Band, Rhapsody In Blue, An American In Paris and Porgy and Bess. With his brother Ira, he would write Girl Crazy, Showgirl, and Of Thee I Sing for which they would win the Pulitzer Prize. Throughout the years there would be many versions of these Gerwishin shows, as well as modern day musicals written to a jukebox of Gershwin tunes, namely My One And Only, Crazy For You, and mostly recently, Nice Work If You Can Get It starring Mathew Broderick, and Kelli O’Hara. The Gershwin Theater on Broadway (formerly the Uris), that currently houses Wicked, was rechristened to honor the Gershwin brothers on June 5, 1983, during that year’s Tony Awards ceremony. George Gershwin was responsible for shaping the musical landscape of our country, and the world. He died prematurely in 1937 in Los Angeles at age 38. Who knows where today’s music would be without him, but luckily we don’t have to worry about that. Happy Birthday George, wherever you are.
Click to below to see RARE FOOTAGE of George Gershwin:
George Gershin playing “I Got Rhythm”.
“George and Ira Gershwin In Their Own Words”
“Rhapsody In Blue/ An American In Paris”