Chapter

Here To Stay: 1936–1938

Philip Fuma

in Ira Gershwin

Published in print October 1997 | ISBN: 9780195115703
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199853144 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195115703.003.0008
Here To Stay: 1936–1938

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The prospect of doing an Astaire–Rogers picture is what that ultimately lured the Gershwin brothers to Hollywood. One of their closest friends in California, the pianist Oscar Levant, observed that for George, there was “a considerable problem of adjustment, after the freedom of Porgy, to the more precise definitions of the popular song.” Nonetheless, according to Alec Wilder, “the writing of his more ambitious compositions did not cause his songs to become too complex for popular appeal. George's music moved even closer to Ira's lyrics, and the songs that emerged from that coalescence of music and words were perfect for the casual elegance that had become Fred Astaire's stylistic trademark. But before their new style emerged to produce the great standards they would write, the Gershwins wrote several songs that mark the transition from their recent work on Broadway.

Keywords: Ira Gershwin; George Gershwin; songwriting; films; Hollywood

Chapter.  9206 words. 

Subjects: Popular Music

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