Anthony Dominick Benedetto, known professionally as Tony Bennett, is an American singer of traditional pop standards, big band, show tunes, jazz. He is a painter, having created works under the name Anthony Benedetto that are on permanent public display in several institutions, he is the founder of the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria, New York. Born and raised in Astoria to an Italian-American family, Bennett began singing at an early age, he fought in the final stages of World War II as a U. S. Army infantryman in the European Theater. Afterward, he developed his singing technique, signed with Columbia Records and had his first number-one popular song with "Because of You" in 1951. Several top hits such as "Rags to Riches" followed in early 1953, he refined his approach to encompass jazz singing. He reached an artistic peak in the late 1950s with albums such as The Beat of My Heart and Basie Swings, Bennett Sings. In 1962, Bennett recorded his signature song, "I Left My Heart in San Francisco".
His career and his personal life experienced an extended downturn during the height of the rock music era. Bennett staged a comeback in the late 1980s and 1990s, putting out gold record albums again and expanding his reach to the MTV Generation while keeping his musical style intact, he remains a popular and critically praised recording concert performer in the 2010s. He has won 19 Grammy Awards and two Emmy Awards, was named an NEA Jazz Master and a Kennedy Center Honoree. Bennett has sold over 50 million records worldwide. Anthony Dominick Benedetto was born on August 3, 1926, in the Astoria neighborhood of New York City's Queens borough to grocer John Benedetto and seamstress Anna Suraci. In 1906, John had emigrated from Podàrgoni, a rural eastern district of the southern Italian city of Reggio Calabria. Anna had been born in the U. S. shortly after her parents emigrated from the Calabria region in 1899. Other relatives came over as well as part of the mass migration of Italians to America. Tony grew up with an older sister, an older brother, John Jr.
With a father, ailing and unable to work, the children grew up in poverty. John Sr. instilled in his son a love of art and literature and a compassion for human suffering, but died when Tony was 10 years old. The experience of growing up in the Great Depression and a distaste for the effects of the Hoover Administration would make the child a lifelong Democrat. Bennett grew up listening to Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby as well as jazz artists such as Louis Armstrong, Jack Teagarden, Joe Venuti, his Uncle Dick was a tap dancer in vaudeville, giving him an early window into show business, his Uncle Frank was the Queens borough library commissioner. By age 10 he was singing, performed at the opening of the Triborough Bridge, standing next to Mayor Fiorello La Guardia who patted him on the head. Drawing was another early passion of his. S. 141 and anticipated a career in commercial art. He began singing for money at age 13, performing as a singing waiter in several Italian restaurants around his native Queens.
He attended New York's School of Industrial Art where he studied painting and music and would appreciate their emphasis on proper technique. But he dropped out at age 16 to help support his family, he worked as a copy boy and runner for the Associated Press in Manhattan and in several other low-skilled, low-paying jobs. However, he set his sights on a professional singing career, returning to performing as a singing waiter and winning amateur nights all around the city, having a successful engagement at a Paramus, New Jersey, nightclub. Benedetto was drafted into the United States Army in November 1944, during the final stages of World War II, he did basic training at Fort Robinson as part of becoming an infantry rifleman. Benedetto ran afoul of a sergeant from the South who disliked the Italian from New York City and heavy doses of KP duty or BAR cleaning resulted. Processed through the huge Le Havre replacement depot, in January 1945, he was assigned as a replacement infantryman to the 255th Infantry Regiment of the 63rd Infantry Division, a unit filling in for the heavy losses suffered in the Battle of the Bulge.
He moved across France, into Germany. As March 1945 began, he joined the front line and what he would describe as a "front-row seat in hell."As the German Army was pushed back to its homeland and his company saw bitter fighting in cold winter conditions hunkering down in foxholes as German 88 mm guns fired on them. At the end of March, they crossed the Rhine and entered Germany, engaging in dangerous house-to-house, town-after-town fighting to clean out German soldiers. During his time in combat, Benedetto narrowly escaped death several times; the experience made him a pacifist. I just said,'This is not life; this is not life.'" At the war's conclusion he was involved in the liberation of a Nazi concentration camp near Landsberg, where some American prisoners of war from the 63rd Division had been held. Benedetto stayed in Germany as part of the occupying force, but was assigned to an informal Special Services band unit that would entertain nearby American forces, his dining with a black friend from high school – at a time when the Army was still racially segregated – led to his being demoted and reassigned to Graves Registration Service duties.
Alexander Dubin was an American lyricist. He is best known for his collaborations with the composer Harry Warren. Al Dubin came from a Russian Jewish family that emigrated to the United States from Switzerland when he was two years old, he grew up in Philadelphia. Between ages of thirteen and sixteen, Dubin played hookey from school in order to travel into New York City to see Broadway musical shows. At age 14 he began writing special material for a vaudeville entertainer on 28th Street between 5th and Broadway in New York City, otherwise known as Tin Pan Alley. Dubin was accepted and enrolled at Perkiomen Seminary in September 1909, but was expelled in 1911, after writing their Alma Mater. After leaving Perkiomen, Dubin got himself a job as a singing waiter at a Philadelphia restaurant, he tried selling them to area publishing firms. During this time, Dubin met composer Joe Burke. Together they wrote the song "Oh, Mister Moon", published by M. Witmark & Sons. In 1917, Dubin was drafted at Camp Upton in Yaphank, Long Island, served as a private in the 305th Field Artillery of the 77th Division, known as New York's own.
During his service, he wrote the song "They Didn’t Think We'd Do it, But We Did" with composer Fred Rath and published by the 77th Division. On his first weekend pass, Dubin went to see a show at the Majestic Theater in New York City. There he met Broadway singer Helen McClay, they were married on March 19, 1921, at the Church of St. Elizabeth in New York City, after Dubin converted to the Catholic faith and McClay was granted an annulment of her first marriage; the year they married, Dubin was accepted in ASCAP in 1921. Known for his larger-than-life persona, Dubin struggled with alcohol and drugs, fell on hard times in the 1940s. Estranged from his wife, Dubin struggled to find work both in New York; the last show Dubin was contracted to work on was Laffing Room Only, with composer Burton Lane. Dubin provided only a title for this production, "Feudin' and a Fightin'", for which he received 25 percent credit. Dubin spent the remainder of the last few years of his life at the Empire Hotel, alone and in ill-health.
On February 8, 1945, he collapsed on the street after having taken a large quantity of doctor-prescribed barbiturates. He was admitted to the Roosevelt Hospital for barbiturate poisoning and pneumonia, died on February 11, 1945. Famed newspaper personality Walter Winchell made the announcement of his death on the radio. On his passing, Dubin was interred in the Holy Cross Cemetery in California. Dubin sold his first set of lyrics for two songs "Prairie Rose" and "Sunray", in 1909 to the Whitmark Music Publishing Firm. In 1925, Dubin met the composer Harry Warren, to become his future collaborator at Warner Bros. studio in Hollywood. The first song they collaborated on was titled, "Too Many Kisses in the Summer Bring Too Many Tears in the Fall", but it was another song written with Joseph Meyer that same year that became Dubin's first big hit, "A Cup of Coffee, a Sandwich and You". Warner Bros. purchased the publishing firms of Witmark and Harms, since Dubin was under contract to Harms, Warner Bros. inherited his services.
In 1929 Dubin wrote "Tiptoe through the Tulips" with composer Joe Burke for the film Gold Diggers of Broadway. In 1932, Dubin teamed with composer Harry Warren on the movie musical 42nd Street, starring Ruby Keeler, Dick Powell, Warner Baxter and Bebe Daniels, with dance routines sequenced by legendary choreographer Busby Berkeley; the songwriting team of Warren and Dubin contributed four songs: "42nd Street", "You're Getting to Be a Habit with Me", "Young and Healthy" and "Shuffle Off to Buffalo". Between 1932 and 1939, Dubin and Warren wrote 60 hit songs for several Warner Bros. movie musicals, including Gold Diggers of 1933, Footlight Parade starring James Cagney, Roman Scandals starring Eddie Cantor, Dames, Go Into Your Dance and Wonder Bar, both starring Al Jolson. The song "Lullaby of Broadway", written by Warren and Dubin for the musical film, Gold Diggers of 1935, won the 1936 Academy Award for Best Original Song. In 1980, producer David Merrick and director Gower Champion adapted the 1933 film 42nd Street into a Broadway musical that won The Tony Award for Best Musical in 1981.
The book for the show was written by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble and featured a score that incorporated Warren and Dubin songs from various movie musicals including 42nd Street, Dames, Go Into Your Dance, Gold Diggers of 1933 and Gold Diggers of 1935. Dubin was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970. Charlot Revue – revue – featured co-lyricist for "A Cup of Coffee, a Sandwich and You" White Lights – musical – co-lyricist Streets of Paris – revue – lyricist Keep Off the Grass – revue – co-lyricist Star and Garter – revue – featured lyricist for "Robert the Roue" Sugar Babies – revue – co-lyricist 42nd Street – musical – lyricist The Show of Shows Gold Diggers of Broadway Sally Oh Sailor Beware Hold Everything She Couldn't Say No 42nd Street Footlight Parade Roman Scandals Gold Diggers of 1933 Moulin Rouge Wonder Bar Dames Twenty Million Sweethearts Go Into Your Dance Gold Diggers of 1935 Broadway Gondolier Stars Over Broadway Shipmates Forever Gold Diggers of 1937 Mr. Dodd Takes the Air Gold Diggers in Paris Garden of the Moon Streets of Paris Stage Door Canteen "A Cup of Coffee, a Sandwich, You" – lyrics by Al Dubin and Billy Rose, music by Joseph Meyer.
"Tiptoe through the Tulips" – Joe Burke. "Forty-Second Street" – 42nd Stre
The Lady Is a Tramp
"The Lady Is a Tramp" is a show tune from the 1937 Rodgers and Hart musical Babes in Arms, in which it was introduced by former child star Mitzi Green. This song is its strict etiquette and phony social pretensions, it has become a popular music standard. The song appears in the film version of Babes in Arms in an instrumental version only. Early recordings from 1937 include one by Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra, Midge Williams and Her Jazz Jesters, Sophie Tucker, Bernie Cummins on the Vocalion records label. Lena Horne recorded the song with the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studio Orchestra on March 30, 1948, her performance appeared in the film "Words and Music, a fictionalized biography of the partnership of Rodgers and Hart. The song was used in the film version of Pal Joey starring Frank Sinatra, Rita Hayworth and Kim Novak. Joey Evans sings the song to Vera Simpson as he tries to entice the wealthy widow Simpson into financing Evans's dream of owning his own night club, it was recorded by Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Buddy Greco, Bing Crosby and Pat Suzuki in the 1950s and Shirley Bassey in the 1960s, becoming a signature song for Sinatra.
Sinatra sang the song with new lyrics as "The Gentleman Is a Champ" at tribute events for Spiro Agnew and Orson Welles. Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga recorded a version of this song for his 2011 album Duets II. Bennett praised Gaga's performance in the song, saying that she is a real "jazz lady", they performed the song live on ABC's Thanksgiving special dedicated to, directed and hosted by Gaga, entitled A Very Gaga Thanksgiving. They were the opening number. Bennett said, "I see in Lady Gaga a touch of theatrical genius, she is creative and productive, I think as time goes on she might be America's Picasso. I think she's going to become as big as Elvis Presley." The song though not released, got to enter the Japan Hot 100 chart, where it managed to reach the top 40. It entered the top 200 extension to the UK Singles Chart. Following the single, Bennett drew a sketch of Gaga naked for the January 2012 issue of Vanity Fair, auctioned for $30,000; the money Born This Way Foundation. The song as well as its music video received critical acclaim for both Bennett and Gaga's vocals as well as for the simplicity of the video, which departed from Gaga's previous efforts.
The song received praise from both E! and MTV. Other critics expressed hopes that Gaga would release her own jazz music after this successful effort; the duo filmed a music video for the track. The video shows Bennett and Gaga singing "The Lady Is a Tramp" together in a studio in front of music stands; the video received positive critical reception. Lady and the Tramp, a animated, feature film targeted for children Babes in Arms songs
A Grammy Award, or Grammy, is an award presented by The Recording Academy to recognize achievements in the music industry. The annual presentation ceremony features performances by prominent artists, the presentation of those awards that have a more popular interest; the Grammys are the second of the Big Three major music awards held annually. It shares recognition of the music industry as that of the other performance awards such as the Academy Awards, the Emmy Awards, the Tony Awards, the Game Awards; the first Grammy Awards ceremony was held on May 4, 1959, to honor and respect the musical accomplishments by performers for the year 1958. Following the 2011 ceremony, the Academy overhauled many Grammy Award categories for 2012; the 61st Annual Grammy Awards, honoring the best achievements from October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018, were held on February 10, 2019, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The Grammys had their origin in the Hollywood Walk of Fame project in the 1950s; as the recording executives chosen for the Walk of Fame committee worked at compiling a list of important recording industry people who might qualify for a Walk of Fame star, they realized there were many more people who were leaders in their business who would never earn a star on Hollywood Boulevard.
The music executives decided to rectify this by creating an award given by their industry similar to the Oscars and the Emmys. This was the beginning of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. After it was decided to create such an award, there was still a question of, they settled on using the name of the invention of Emile Berliner, the gramophone, for the awards, which were first given for the year 1958. The first award ceremony was held in two locations on May 4, 1959 - Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills California, Park Sheraton Hotel in New York City, 28 Grammys were awarded; the number of awards given grew and fluctuated over the years with categories added and removed, at one time reaching over 100. The second Grammy Awards held in 1959, was the first ceremony to be televised, but the ceremony was not aired live until the 13th Annual Grammy Awards in 1971; the gold-plated trophies, each depicting a gilded gramophone, are made and assembled by hand by Billings Artworks in Ridgway, Colorado.
In 1990 the original Grammy design was revamped, changing the traditional soft lead for a stronger alloy less prone to damage, making the trophy bigger and grander. Billings developed a zinc alloy named grammium, trademarked; the trophies with the recipient's name engraved on them are not available until after the award announcements, so "stunt" trophies are re-used each year for the broadcast. By February 2009, a total of 7,578 Grammy trophies had been awarded; the "General Field" are four awards. Record of the Year is awarded to the performer and the production team of a single song if other than the performer. Album of the Year is awarded to the performer and the production team of a full album if other than the performer. Song of the Year is awarded to the writer/composer of a single song. Best New Artist is awarded to a promising breakthrough performer who releases, during the Eligibility Year, the first recording that establishes the public identity of that artist; the only two artists to win all four of these awards are Christopher Cross, who won all four in 1980, Adele, who won the Best New Artist award in 2009 and the other three in 2012 and 2017.
Other awards are given for performance and production in specific genres, as well as for other contributions such as artwork and video. Special awards are given for longer-lasting contributions to the music industry; because of the large number of award categories, the desire to feature several performances by various artists, only the ones with the most popular interest - about 10 to 12, including the four General Field categories and one or two categories in the most popular music genres - are presented directly at the televised award ceremony. The many other Grammy trophies are presented in a pre-telecast'Premiere Ceremony' earlier in the afternoon before the Grammy Awards telecast. On April 6, 2011, The Recording Academy announced a drastic overhaul of many Grammy Award categories for 2012; the number of categories was cut from 109 to 78. The most important change was the elimination of the distinction between male and female soloists and between collaborations and duo/groups in various genre fields.
Several categories for instrumental soloists were discontinued. Recordings in these categories now fall under the general categories for best solo performances. In the rock field, the separate categories for hard rock and metal albums were combined and the Best Rock Instrumental Performance category was eliminated due to a waning number of entries. In R&B, the distinction between best contemporary R&B album and other R&B albums has been eliminated, they now feature in general Best R&B Album category. In rap, the categories for best rap soloist and best rap duo or group have been merged into the new Best Rap Performance category; the most eliminations occurred in the roots category. Up to and including 2011, there were separate categories for various regional American music forms, such as Hawaiian music, Native American music and Zydeco/Cajun music. Due to the low number
Edgar Yipsel "Yip" Harburg was an American popular song lyricist and librettist who worked with many well-known composers. He wrote the lyrics to the standards "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?", "April in Paris", "It's Only a Paper Moon", as well as all of the songs in The Wizard of Oz, including "Over the Rainbow". He was known for the social commentary of his lyrics, as well as his liberal sensibilities, he championed racial and gender union politics. He was an ardent critic of religion. Harburg, the youngest of four surviving children, was born Isidore Hochberg on the Lower East Side of New York City on April 8, 1896, his parents, Lewis Hochberg and Mary Ricing, were Yiddish-speaking Orthodox Jews who had emigrated from Russia. He adopted the name Edgar Harburg, came to be best known as Edgar "Yip" Harburg, he attended Townsend Harris High School, where he and Ira Gershwin, who met over a shared fondness for Gilbert and Sullivan, worked on the school paper and became lifelong friends. According to his son Ernie Harburg and Irish dramatist George Bernard Shaw taught his father, a "democratic socialist, sworn challenger of all tyranny against the people, that'humor is an act of courage' and dissent".
After World War I, Harburg returned to New York and graduated from City College, which Ira Gershwin had attended with him, in 1921. After Harburg married and had two children, he started writing light verse for local newspapers, he became a co-owner of Consolidated Electrical Appliance Company, but the company went bankrupt following the crash of 1929, leaving Harburg "anywhere from $50,000 – $70,000 in debt," which he insisted on paying back over the course of the next few decades. At this point and Ira Gershwin agreed that Harburg should start writing song lyrics. Gershwin introduced Harburg to Jay Gorney, who collaborated with him on songs for an Earl Carroll Broadway review: the show was successful and Harburg was engaged as lyricist for a series of successful revues, including Americana in 1932, for which he wrote the lyrics of "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" to the tune of a lullaby Gorney had learned as a child in Russia. This song swept the nation. Harburg was a staunch critic of an atheist.
He wrote a poem entitled "Atheist" that summarized his views on religion. Harburg and Gorney were offered a contract with Paramount: in Hollywood, Harburg worked with composers Harold Arlen, Vernon Duke, Jerome Kern, Jule Styne, Burton Lane, wrote the lyrics for The Wizard of Oz, one of the earliest known "integrated musicals," for which he won the Academy Award for Best Music, Original Song for "Over the Rainbow." Of his work on The Wizard of Oz, his son Ernie Harburg has said: So anyhow, Yip wrote all the dialogue in that time and the setup to the songs and he wrote the part where they give out the heart, the brains and the nerve, because he was the final script editor. And he—there were eleven screenwriters on that—and he pulled the whole thing together, wrote his own lines and gave the thing a coherence and unity which made it a work of art, but he doesn't get credit for that. He gets lyrics by E. Y. Harburg, you see, but he put his influence on the thing. Working in Hollywood did not stop Harburg's career on Broadway.
In the 1940s, he wrote a series of "book" musicals with social messages, including the successful Bloomer Girl, set during the Civil War, about temperance and women's rights activist Amelia Bloomer. Harburg's best known Broadway show, Finian's Rainbow was, in its original production the first Broadway musical with a racially integrated chorus line, features his "When the Idle Poor Become the Idle Rich." It was made into a film in 1968 starring Fred Astaire and Petula Clark, directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Although never a member of the Communist Party he had been involved in radical groups, he was blacklisted. Harburg was named in a pamphlet Red Channels: The Report of Communist Influence in Radio and Television. "As the writer of the lyric of the song'God's Country', I am outraged by the suggestion that somehow I am connected with, believe in, or am sympathetic with Communist or totalitarian philosophy", he wrote to the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1950. He was unable to travel abroad during this period.
With a score by Sammy Fain and Harburg's lyrics, the musical Flahooley satirized the country's anti-communist sentiment, but it closed after forty performances at the Broadhurst Theatre on Broadway. The New York critics were dismissive of the show, although it had been a success during its earlier pre-Broadway run in Philadelphia. In 1966, songwriter Earl Robinson sought Harburg's help for the song "Hurry Sundown"; the song was not used in the film. It was, recorded by Peter and Mary for their 1966 album The Peter and Mary Album; the song was released as a single in 1967, reached #37 on the Billboard Easy Listening chart. It was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Folk Recording, he died in a head-on colli
Victor August Herbert was an English- and German-raised American composer and conductor. Although Herbert enjoyed important careers as a cello soloist and conductor, he is best known for composing many successful operettas that premiered on Broadway from the 1890s to World War I, he was prominent among the tin pan alley composers and was a founder of the American Society of Composers and Publishers. A prolific composer, Herbert produced two operas, a cantata, 43 operettas, incidental music to 10 plays, 31 compositions for orchestra, nine band compositions, nine cello compositions, five violin compositions with piano or orchestra, 22 piano compositions and numerous songs, choral compositions and orchestrations of works by other composers, among other music. In the early 1880s, Herbert began a career as a cellist in Vienna and Stuttgart, during which he began to compose orchestral music. Herbert and his opera singer wife, Therese Förster, moved to the U. S. in 1886 when both were engaged by the Metropolitan Opera.
In the U. S. Herbert continued his performing career, while teaching at the National Conservatory of Music and composing, his most notable instrumental compositions were his Cello Concerto No. 2 in E minor, Op. 30, which entered the standard repertoire, his Auditorium Festival March. He led the Pittsburgh Symphony from 1898 to 1904 and founded the Victor Herbert Orchestra, which he conducted throughout the rest of his life. Herbert began to compose operettas in 1894, producing several successes, including The Serenade and The Fortune Teller; some of the operettas that he wrote after the turn of the 20th century were more successful: Babes in Toyland, Mlle. Modiste, The Red Mill, Naughty Marietta and Eileen. After World War I, with the change of popular musical tastes, Herbert began to compose musicals and contributed music to other composers' shows. While some of these were well-received, he never again achieved the level of success that he had enjoyed with his most popular operettas. Herbert was born Victor Augustus Muspratt on the island of Guernsey to Frances "Fanny" Muspratt and August Herbert, of whom nothing is known.
From 1853, Fanny was separated from her first husband, Frederic Muspratt, who divorced her when he found out that she had conceived Herbert by another man. Although his mother told Herbert that he had been born in Dublin, he believed this all his life, research has disproved it. Herbert had no memory or knowledge of his half-sister Angela Lucy Winifred Muspratt and never knew his half-brother, who died in 1856. Herbert was baptized in mid-1859 in the Lutheran church in Germany, his mother took him and Angela to France and to England, where she and Frederic Muspratt were divorced in 1862 on the grounds of her adultery. Herbert and his mother lived with his maternal grandparents from 1862 to 1866 in Sevenoaks, England, his grandfather was the Irish novelist, playwright and composer, Samuel Lover, who encouraged Herbert in his creative endeavors. The Lovers welcomed a steady flow of musicians and artists to their home. Herbert joined his mother in Stuttgart, Germany in 1867, a year after she had married a German physician, Carl Schmidt of Langenargen.
In Stuttgart he received a strong liberal education at the Eberhard-Ludwigs-Gymnasium, which included musical training. Herbert planned to pursue a career as a medical doctor. Although his stepfather was related by blood to the German royal family, his financial situation was not good by the time Herbert was a teenager. Medical education in Germany was expensive, so Herbert focused instead on music, he studied the piano and piccolo but settled on the cello, beginning studies on that instrument with Bernhard Cossmann from age 15 to age 18. He attended the Stuttgart Conservatory. After studying cello, music theory and composition under Max Seifritz, Herbert graduated with a diploma in 1879. Before studying with Cossmann, Herbert was engaged professionally as a player in concerts in Stuttgart, his first orchestra position was as a flute and piccolo player, but he soon turned to the cello. By the time he was 19, Herbert had received engagements as a soloist with several major German orchestras, he played in the orchestra of the wealthy Russian Baron Paul von Derwies for a few years and, in 1880, was a soloist for a year in the orchestra of Eduard Strauss in Vienna.
Herbert joined the court orchestra in Stuttgart in 1881. There he composed his first pieces of instrumental music, playing the solos in the premieres of his first two large-scale works, the Suite for cello and orchestra, Op. 3 and the Cello Concerto No. 1, Op. 8. In 1883, Herbert was selected by Johannes Brahms to play in a chamber orchestra for the celebration of the life of Franz Liszt 72 years old, near Zurich. In 1885 Herbert became romantically involved with Therese Förster, a soprano who had joined the court opera for which the court orchestra played. Förster sang several leading roles at the Stuttgart Opera in 1885 through the summer of 1886. After a year of courtship, the couple married on 14 August 1886. On 24 October 1886, they moved to the United States, as they both had been hired by Walter Damrosch and Anton Seidl to join the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Herbert was engaged as the opera orchestra's principal cellist, Förster was engaged to sing principal roles with the Met.
During the voyage to America and his wife became friends with their fellow passenger and future conductor at the Metr
Ira Gershwin was an American lyricist who collaborated with his younger brother, composer George Gershwin, to create some of the most memorable songs of the 20th century. With George he wrote more than a dozen Broadway shows, featuring songs such as "I Got Rhythm", "Embraceable You", "The Man I Love" and "Someone to Watch Over Me", he was responsible, along with DuBose Heyward, for the libretto to George's opera Porgy and Bess. The success the Gershwin brothers had with their collaborative works has overshadowed the creative role that Ira played, his mastery of songwriting continued, after the early death of George. He wrote additional hit songs with Kurt Weill, Harry Warren and Harold Arlen, his critically acclaimed 1959 book Lyrics on Several Occasions, an amalgam of autobiography and annotated anthology, is an important source for studying the art of the lyricist in the golden age of American popular song. Gershwin was born in New York City, the oldest of four children of Morris and Rose Gershovitz, who were Russian Jews, born in St Petersburg, who had emigrated to the US in 1891.
Ira's siblings were George and Frances. Morris changed the family name to "Gershwine". Shy in his youth, Ira spent much of his time at home reading, but from grammar school through college he played a prominent part in several school newspapers and magazines, he graduated in 1914 from Townsend Harris High School, a public school for intellectually gifted students, where he met Yip Harburg, with whom he enjoyed a lifelong friendship and a love of Gilbert and Sullivan. He dropped out; the childhood home of Ira and George Gershwin was in the center of the Yiddish Theater District, on the second floor at 91 Second Avenue, between East 5th Street and East 6th Street. They frequented the local Yiddish theaters. While George began composing and "plugging" in Tin Pan Alley from the age of 18, Ira worked as a cashier in his father's Turkish baths, it was not until 1921. Alex Aarons signed Ira to write the songs for his next show, Two Little Girls in Blue produced by Abraham Erlanger, along with co-composers Vincent Youmans and Paul Lannin.
So as not to appear to trade off George's growing reputation, Ira wrote under the pseudonym "Arthur Francis", after his youngest two siblings. His lyrics were well received, allowing him to enter the show-business world with just one show; the same year, the Gershwins collaborated for the first time on a score. It was not until 1924 that Ira and George teamed up to write the music for what became their first Broadway hit Lady, Be Good. Once the brothers joined forces, their combined talents became one of the most influential forces in the history of American Musical Theatre. "When the Gershwins teamed up to write songs for Lady, Be Good, the American musical found its native idiom." Together, they wrote the music for four films. Some of their more famous works include "The Man I Love", "Fascinating Rhythm", "Someone to Watch Over Me", "I Got Rhythm" and "They Can't Take That Away from Me", their partnership continued until George's sudden death from a brain tumor in 1937. Following his brother's death, Ira waited nearly three years before writing again.
After this temporary retirement, Ira teamed up with accomplished composers such as Jerome Kern. Over the next 14 years, Gershwin continued to write the lyrics for many film scores and a few Broadway shows, but the failure of Park Avenue in 1946 was his farewell to Broadway. As he wrote at the time, "Am reading a couple of stories for possible musicalization but I hope I don't like them as I think I deserve a long rest."In 1947, he took 11 songs George had written but never used, provided them with new lyrics, incorporated them into the Betty Grable film The Shocking Miss Pilgrim. He wrote comic lyrics for Billy Wilder's 1964 movie Kiss Me, although most critics believe his final major work was for the 1954 Judy Garland film A Star Is Born. American singer and musical historian Michael Feinstein worked for Gershwin in the lyricist's latter years, helping him with his archive. Several lost musical treasures were unearthed during this period, Feinstein performed some of the material. Feinstein's book The Gershwins and Me: A Personal History in Twelve Songs about working for Ira, George and Ira's music was published in 2012.
According to a 1999 story in Vanity Fair, Ira Gershwin's love for loud music was as great as his wife's loathing of it. When Debby Boone—daughter-in-law of his neighbor Rosemary Clooney—returned from Japan with one of the first Sony Walkmans, Clooney gave it to Michael Feinstein to give to Ira, "so he could crank it in his ears, you know, and he said,'This is wonderful!' And he called his broker and bought Sony stock!" Three of Ira Gershwin's songs were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song, though none won. Along with George S Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind, he was a recipient of the 1932 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Of Thee I Sing. In 1988 UCLA established The George and Ira Gershwin Lifetime Musical Achiev