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Walter Rimler's Blog

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  These pieces were introduced by George Gershwin at the Hotel Roosevelt in New York City on December 4, 1926. In a March 1925 article in Vanity Fair, critic Carl Van Vechten said that Gershwin was working on a suite of twenty-four piano preludes, to be called The Melting Pot. As it turned out...
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  This song by George and Ira Gershwin was introduced by Adele Astaire at the Lady, Be Good! tryout in Philadelphia on November 17, 1924. It began its complicated history in April of 1924 when Gershwin entered the main idea in his musical notebook. At first he and Ira thought it might serve...
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  This song was introduced by Gertrude Lawrence in Oh, Kay! At the Imperial Theatre in New York City on November 9, 1926. George Gershwin originally planned this as an up-tempo number but chanced to play it slowly one day and realized it was a ballad. The title was suggested by lyricist Howard...
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A Sight of Contempt I have reluctantly come to the conclusion that my dog thinks I'm a jerk. Here's what happened: We were taking it easy, lying on the bed, and I got the idea to take hold of her tail and do some of her wagging for her. After all, all, why shouldn't I lend a hand? Besides, I didn'...
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Green Mondays Here's an idea about how to get the economy going. On Mondays everyone buys a gift for someone. If you don't have much money don't spend much but spend something. Buy something that someone you know will like, even if it's just their favorite candy bar. Or buy something someone you...
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  DuBose Heyward was the sole author of the “Summertime” lyric. Lately, the Gershwin publishers have added the names of Ira Gershwin and Dorothy Heyward to its sheet music. But if you look at the original sheet music, it had only DuBose Heyward’s name. Here is the background. DuBose Heyward...
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  George Gershwin's I Got Rhythm Variations This piece for piano and orchestra was introduced by George Gershwin, piano, and the Reisman Symphony Orchestra, Charles Previn conducting, in Symphony Hall in Boston on January 14, 1934. In January and February of 1934 Gershwin allowed an old friend...
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Stephen Sondheim has made an important statement about the new revamped and "re-imagined" production of Porgy and Bess. It can be found at:   http://t.co/vBpA2VV
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The Gershwins' “Blah-Blah-Blah” This song was introduced by El Brendel and Janet Gaynor in Delicious, released by Fox Film Corporation on December 3, 1931. Originally called “Lady of the Moon” and written in 1928 for a Ziegfeld operetta entitled East is West, both the song and the show were...
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This song was introduced by Max Hoffman, Jr. in Strike Up the Band at the Shubert Theatre in New York City on September 5, 1927. Jerry Goff sang it in the 1930 revival of the show. George Gershwin had written and rejected four march tunes before coming up with this one. According to Ira, it was...
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This piece for orchestra was introduced by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra at Lewisohn Stadium in New York City on August 16, 1932, Albert Coates conductor. In the spring of 1932, Gershwin began studying with musical theorist Joseph Schillinger, who gave him lessons with such titles as “...
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The Gershwins' “Nice Work if You Can Get It" This song was introduced by Fred Astaire, Jan Duggan, Mary Dean and Pearl Amatore in A Damsel in Distress, a film released by RKO on November 19, 1937. George first jotted down he core of this tune in July of 1930. In his notebook it appears after “...
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Gershwin Rarity: In the Mandarin's Orchid Garden Originally written in 1928 for the unproduced operetta East is West, this was published in 1930 as the Gershwins' only concert aria or art song. Performances have been very rare but Ira Gershwin had the satisfaction of learning that a Los Angeles...
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In their wisdom, the Gershwin heirs have decided to commission a new version of Porgy and Bess (“re-imagine” is their word). They've hired playwright Suzan-Lori Parks to give DuBose Heyward's libretto a makeover, while composer Diedre Murray has generously agreed to lend George Gershwin a helping...
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George Gershwin's An American in Paris Tone poem for orchestra. When Gershwin first visited Paris in 1923 he was given a tour of the city by two friends: lyric writer Buddy DeSylva and Cartier's executive Jules Glaezner. As the trio was passing through the Arc de Triomphe and heading down the...
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