Sing The Songs of George & Ira Gershwin

Play-Along (Book+Accompaniment CD)

Play-Along (Book+Accompaniment CD)




Product Code: MMOCD2101
Artist: George & Ira Gershwin
Publisher: Music Minus One
Publisher SKU: MMOCD2101
Instrumentation: Vocal

Among the biggest successes for the Gershwins were Lady Be Good (from which came “Fascinatin’ Rhythm”), Oh Kay (which debuted “Someone To Watch Over Me”), Strike Up The Band, Funny Face, Show Girl, Girl Crazy and Of Thee I Sing. Two of Gershwin’s songs, “I Got rhythm” and “Lady Be Good,” utilized chord changes that became among the most common and popular in jazz. Gershwin, who could play very good stride piano, always admired the top jazz pianists and dozens of his songs were adopted and frequently recorded by jazz musicians in his lifetime. If Gershwin had only written such popular songs for Broadway productions as “Somebody Loves Me,” “The Man I Love” and “I’ve Got A Crush On You,” he would still be famous today. But Gershwin was rarely content to stand still. In 1924 he composed “Rhapsody In Blue” for Paul Whiteman’s orchestra. The piece was revolutionary in blending together the feeling of jazz, and a general bluesiness with classical music. At that point, jazz had rarely shared the stage much less a lengthy piece with classical music. Gershwin performed the classic work with Whiteman’s band at its debut (improvising a few cadenzas that had not been fully written yet) and he appeared on the Rhapsody’s first two recordings. Gershwin also composed such extended classical works as “Concerto In F,” “An American In Paris,” “Second Rhapsody” and “Cuban Overture.” In the early 1920s, Gershwin had written a one-act opera Blue Monday that was considered so far ahead of its time that it was only performed once during the era. In 1935 he wrote the first successful jazz/folk opera, “Porgy And Bess.” The score included several songs that became standards, most notably “Summertime,” “It Ain’t Necessarily So” and “I Loves You Porgy.” Whether it was appearing as a host of a couple of radio series, writing for films, or performing in public, George Gershwin seemed to be everywhere during the 1930s. Throughout the last 20 years of his life, he was a whirlwind of activity, almost as if he knew that he only had a limited amount of time in which to achieve his life’s work. He spent his last year in Hollywood, writing the music for the Fred Astaire films Shall We Dance (which included “Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off” and “They Can’t Take That Away From Me”) and Damsel In Distress. The world was shocked when, after a relatively short period of worsening health, George Gershwin died in 1937 from a brain tumor. He was just 38. One can only speculate as to the many great works (in both popular music and classical) that were never composed because of Gershwin’s premature death. But looking at it the opposite way, one must be very thankful that Gershwin wrote so much. In his short life he composed such memorable songs as the cheerful “Bidin’ My Time,” the heartfelt love song “I’ve Got A Crush On You,” the offbeat “But Not For Me” and the exuberant “S’ Wonderful,” not to mention the always tricky “Fascinatin’ Rhythm.” George Gershwin’s musical legacy is so strong and his accomplishments so vast that he will always be rated as one of America’s greatest composers.


Somebody Loves Me
The Man I Love
Bidin' My Time
Someone To Watch Over Me
I've Got A Crush On You
But Not For Me
S' Wonderful
Fascinatin' Rhythm