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Show TunesThe Songs, Shows, and Careers of Broadway’s Major Composers$
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Steven Suskin

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195314076

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195314076.001.0001

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George Gershwin

George Gershwin

Born: September 26, 1898, Brooklyn, New York

Died: July 11, 1937, Beverly Hills, California

(p.54) George Gershwin
Show Tunes

Steven Suskin

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the work of George Gershwin. Gershwin grew up in Manhattan, where his Russian immigrant father ran through a succession of unsuccessful businesses. Gershwin displayed a sudden musical aptitude at the age of eleven, quitting school four years later to work as a song plugger for Tin Pan Alley publisher Jerome H. Remick. A highly distinctive pianist, Gershwin began supplementing his income by making player-piano rolls. He also began writing music, his first published song being the 1916 When You Want ’Em, You Can’t Get ’Em (When You’ve Got ’Em, You Don’t Want ’Em) (lyrics by Murray Roth).

Keywords:   George Gershwin, composers, Broadway musicals, player-piano rolls, show tunes, pianist

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