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George GershwinHis Life and Work$
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Howard Pollack

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780520248649

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520248649.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

The Popular Pianist

The Popular Pianist

(p.61) Chapter Four The Popular Pianist
George Gershwin

Howard Pollack

University of California Press

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

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