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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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Gershwin and Popular Music and Jazz after 1920

Gershwin and Popular Music and Jazz after 1920

(p.157) Chapter Nine Gershwin and Popular Music and Jazz after 1920
George Gershwin

Howard Pollack

University of California Press

Popular composers and lyricists flocked to George and his brother, Ira, in part because of the sympathetic interest they showed toward colleagues. George further assisted his songwriting friends by introducing them to lyricists, publishers, and producers, and by sometimes finding work for them as arrangers or rehearsal pianists. His influence on popular music spread beyond national boundaries, most immediately to England. Gershwin found his own heir in Harold Arlen, who became not only a good friend but, along with Vernon Duke, probably as much of a protege as he ever had. At the heart of nearly all of Gershwin's writings about jazz lay the hope and conviction that such music could form the basis of an enduring art music. Meanwhile, Gershwin retained the highest regard for the two heroes of his youth, Jerome Kern and Irving Berlin.

Keywords:   popular music, Broadway, Ira Gershwin, rehearsal pianists, England, Harold Arlen, Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, Vernon Duke, art music

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