George Gershwin Birthday (September 26th)

George Gershwin Birthday (September 26th)

George Gershwin was American composer, who was born on 26th September, 1898. He wrote large number of the theatrical and the vocal works in the teamwork with his senior brother, Ira Gershwin, who was the lyricist. He composed songs for the classical and the Broadway concert hall. He also wrote the famous songs with the success.

Most of the compositions of the Gershwin were used on the television and were also used in the large number of the films. The numerous of his compositions became the jazz standards. Ella Fitzgerald, Jazz zinger recorded the large number of songs of him on the Gershwin Songbook in the year 1959. Countless musicians and singers have recorded the songs of the him which includes the Louis Armstrong, Art Tatum, Fred Astaire, Bobby Darin, Al Jolson, Herbie Hancock, Madonna, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Judy Garland, Sublime, Maureen Mc Govern, Patti Austin, Julie Andrews, Janis Joplin, Nina Simone, sting, Natalie Cole, Barbra Streisand, The Residents, Marni Nixon, Sam Cooke and Billie Holiday. He was died on 11th July, 1937.

George Gershwin Early Life:

George Gershwin was born in New York in Brooklyn and was named as Jacob Gershowitz to the Ukrainian Jewish migrant parents.Morris Gershowitz, his father changed the name of the family to the Gershvin from the Gershowitz sometimes after migrating from the St. Petersburg from Russia. His mother Rosa Bruskin was already migrated from Russia and married to Gershowitz later after 4 years. Later on he changed spellings of the Gershvin to Gershwin when George Gershwin became the specialized musician.

George Gershwin was second among his four siblings. At the age of 10 years, he shows his interest in the music. He was very much intrigued by the music that he heard from his friend Max Rosen’s, the violin performer. The way and the sound Max played the violin captured him most. His parents brought the piano for his elder brother Ira Gershwin but for the brother’s relief and for the parent’s surprise, he played the piano.

Tin Pan Alley:

At age of 15, George Gershwin quit the school and establishes his first occupation as the performer in the Tin Pan Alley which allowed him to earn $15 per week. The first published song of him was the “When You Want ‘Em you can’t get’ Em, when you’ve Got’ Em you don’t want’ Em. This song was published when he was 17 years old in the year 1916, which helped him to earn the total amount of $%, though it was promised that he will be played more. The novelty rag, “Rialto Ripples” in the year 1917 was the commercial success. In the year 1919 he scored first big domestic hit with song “Swanee”. Together George and Ira in the year 1924, collaborated on musical humor, Lady be Good that included some of the future standards as the Lady be Good and the Fascinating Rhythm.

Musical Influence and Style:

George Gershwin was very much influenced by the French composers of early 20th century. Maurice Ravel was very much impressed by the George’s commenting and abilities.He said that personally he find George most interesting, the way in which handle the melodies and rhythms. He also said that he had heard about the work of the George Gershwin and found his work very intriguing.


The compositions of George Gershwin are as under:


  • Rhapsody in Blue in the year 1924
  • Piano Concerto in F in the year 1925
  • An American in Paris in the year 1928
  • Second Rhapsody in the year 1931
  • Cuban Overture in the year 1932
  • Variations on “I got Rhythm” in the year 1934
  • Catfish Row in the year 1936

Solo Piano:

  • Preludes for Piano in the year 1926
  • George Gershwin’s Songbook in the year 1932
  • London Musicals:
  • Primrose in the year 1924

Broadway Musicals:

  • George White’s scandals from the year 1902-1924
  • Lady, Be good in the year 1924
  • Tip- Toes in the year 1925
  • Tell me more! In the year 1925
  • Song of the flame in the year 1925
  • Oh! Kay in the year 1926
  • Funny Face in the year 1927
  • Strike up the band in the year 1927
  • Rosalie in the year 1928
  • Show girl in the year 1929
  • Girl crazy in the year 1930
  • My one and only in the year 1983
  • Crazy for you in the year 1992


The following are some of the films for which George wrote the original scores:

  • Delicious
  • The Goldwyn Follies
  • The Shocking Miss Pilgrim
  • A Damsel in Distress
  • Shall We Dance