Ira Gershwin ( 1896-1983 )Certainly one of the most gifted and successful American lyricists. Born Israel Gershwin on December 6, 1896 in New York City of Russian-Jewish immigrant parents whose original name had been Gershovitz. He attended City College of New York and worked at odd jobs until his brother, George, already on his way to success, asked Ira to write lyrics for him. Their collaboration would result in one of the most successful music teams ever in American popular music. In the early years, Ira used the pseudonym Arthur Francis. The brothers' first success was "The Real American Folk Song" used in Ladies First, 1918. Together, they produced music for more than 20 Broadway musicals and motion pictures until George's untimely death in 1937. After that, Ira continued to work, collaborating with other great talents of the entertainment industry, including Moss Hart, Kurt Weill, Jerome Kern, Harry Warren and Harold Arlen. Ira Gershwin was the first lyricist to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize, for Of Thee I Sing, (1932), with his brother George. He continued writing until his death in Beverly Hills, California on August 17, 1983. Some of his best-known works, in addition to those listed below, include: "S'Wonderful", "The Man I Love", Porgy and Bess and "Long Ago and Far Away". The Warner Brothers film Rhapsody in Blue (1945), though not totally accurate, is a tribute to the works of George and Ira Gershwin.
| George Gershwin |
Telephone: (902) 698-9848