Chapter

The Popular Pianist

Howard Pollack

in George Gershwin

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780520248649
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520933149 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520248649.003.0004
The Popular Pianist

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Song plugging provided a training ground of sorts, and a number of the leading songwriters of the time, including not only Gershwin but Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, and Vincent Youmans, began their careers as pluggers or staff pianists for music publishers. Pluggers were usually pianists or singers or both, and naturally had to be able to put over a song. Gershwin worked for Jerome Remick, primarily as a pianist, often teaming up with singer Ben Bloom; but he also performed songs himself, as he would for his entire career. In time, he emerged as one of the most celebrated pianists of his age, with many distinguished observers testifying to his achievement in this area. Nearly all of Gershwin's piano rolls were advertised as some kind of dance music, including the waltz and the one-step, but mostly the foxtrot.

Keywords: song plugging; Jerome Remick; Ben Bloom; pianist; piano rolls; foxtrot

Chapter.  8114 words. 

Subjects: American Music

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