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Influenced generations of composers and songwriters across the globe


George Gershwin was born in New York City on September 26, 1898, as "Jacob Gershvin" - a child of a Russian immigrant whose original name was Gershovitz but adapted to the Americanized "Gershwin".

He grew up in New York City and his precocious talent for music started early on a piano bought for his older brother Ira. After attending New York City public schools, he dropped out of high school to become a musician. At the age of 16 he worked as a song plugger for a Tin Pan Alley publisher and soon after he was hired as the rehearsal pianist for a new musical Miss 1917 by Jerome Kern and Victor Herbert. By 1919, he had a huge hit song of his own, "Swanee" with a lyric by Irving Caesar. Al Jolson sang it in a show called Sinbad and the song took off, selling more than a million copies of sheet music and more than two million phonograph recordings. And from there on, he moved from success to success, producing a catalog of over a thousand songs, most of which have achieved status as standards in American Popular song.

In the early years of his career, Gershwin's songs had been inserted into other people's shows, but in 1919 he wrote his first complete Broadway score, La, La Lucille with lyrics by Buddy De Sylva. His Broadway musicals to follow, majority written with brother Ira, included Lady, Be Good! (1924, including "Fascinating Rhythm"), Tip Toes (1925, including "Sweet and Low Down"), Oh Kay! (1926, including "Clap Yo' Hands", "Do-Do-Do", "Maybe", and "Someone To…

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Discography Highlights

RHAPSODY IN BLUE George Gershwin
New World Music Co.

WB Music Corp.

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