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Join Us in Celebrating Ira Gershwin’s Birthday

Join Us in Celebrating Ira Gershwin’s Birthday

Today is the birthday of famed Broadway songwriter Ira Gershwin.

Along with his brother George, Ira Gershwin (1896-1983) was a famous songwriter that wrote songs and scores for many musicals and major motion pictures.  While his younger brother composed, Ira put lyrics to the music, delighting audiences and inspiring singers and actors alike with his funny and memorable lyrics.  In honor of this famed lyricist’s birthday, let’s enjoy these fun facts about Ira Gershwin’s life.

  • Ira Gershwin was born Israel Gershvin. In his youth, Ira went by “Izzy” and he always thought his true name was Isadore.  It wasn’t until 1928 when he applied for a passport when he learned that his actual name was “Israel.”
  • Ira was the eldest of four siblings. His brother and musical partner, George, was born when he was two.  And another brother (Arthur) and sister (Frances) soon followed suit.
  • His first published song was entitled “You May Throw All the Rice You Desire but Please Friends, Throw No Shoes.” The song was published under the pseudonym Arthur Francis, a combination of the names of his two youngest siblings.
  • In 1932, Ira won the Pulitzer Prize along with writers George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind for the musical score of the comedy Of Thee I Sing. This was the first time a Pulitzer Prize went to a songwriter and it was the first time a musical comedy was honored with such distinction.  This award brought respect to musical comedy as an art form.
  • Ira was very shy and private person. He famously insisted that if it weren’t for his brother George, he would have ended up a bookkeeper.

Ira was also witty.  Some of his famous quotes:

  • “Nice work if you can get it, And you can get it if you try.
  • Old age adds to the respect due to virtue, but it takes nothing from the contempt inspired by vice; it whitens only the hair.
  • The way you wear your hat, The way you sip your tea, The mem’ry of all that— No, no! They can’t take that away from me.”

We at The Maria Sanchez Show invite you to celebrate the birthday of this illustrious songwriter by enjoying these fun facts about his life.  Don’t forget to check out our latest program, Shadow Politics with Senator Michael D. Brown. Tune in on Sundays at 4:00 p.m. PST/7:00 p.m. EST.

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