Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Ira Gershwin (December 6, 1896)

George and Ira Gershwin

Ira Gershwin was the lyricist for many of his famous brother George's songs. He also collaboraed with Kurt Weill and Moss Hart on Lady in the Dark, with Jerome Kern, and with Harold Arlen. He shared a Pulitzer Prize for Of Thee I Sing.

George and Ira Gershwin were raised as Jews in New York, but though their Jewishness is widely known and always included in their biographies, I've found nothing indicating that they recognized direct Jewish influence or inspiration for their work. Why were so many Jews successful in creating the American brand of theater music and so many popular songs of the early and mid-20th century? I've also never seen a plausible explanation. It just happened!

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