Ira Gershwin

Ira Gershwin, originally Israel Gershovitz, born on December 6, 1896, and passing away on August 17, 1983, was an eminent American lyricist renowned for his collaboration with his younger brother, composer George Gershwin. Together, they crafted some of the most enduring songs in the English language throughout the 20th century. Their partnership yielded over a dozen Broadway productions, featuring timeless classics such as “I Got Rhythm,” “Embraceable You,” “The Man I Love,” and “Someone to Watch Over Me.” Additionally, Ira, alongside DuBose Heyward, contributed to the libretto of George’s opera, “Porgy and Bess.”

Despite the overwhelming success of the Gershwin brothers’ joint ventures, Ira’s individual creative contributions often stand underestimated. Following George’s untimely demise in 1937, Ira’s prowess in songwriting continued to shine. He collaborated with esteemed composers like Jerome Kern, Kurt Weill, Harry Warren, and Harold Arlen, producing additional hit songs that resonated with audiences.

Ira’s significance transcends his musical compositions. His critically acclaimed 1959 publication, “Lyrics on Several Occasions,” blending elements of autobiography and annotated anthology, stands as a pivotal resource for studying the artistry of lyricism during the golden age of American popular music. Through his enduring contributions, Ira Gershwin secured his place as a luminary in the realm of songwriting and musical theater.

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