Delishious – A Gershwin News Update
June 27, 2022
Some news from the world of George and Ira Gershwin.
Discover the life and music of George Gershwin in The Gershwin Project, an Australian radio program originally broadcast in 2008 and now available on the audio site Mixcloud. The twenty-six half-hour episodes combine music with period commentary. You’ll hear the voice of Ira Gershwin talking about his brother, and timeless performances by, among others, Al Jolson, Rosemary Clooney, Michael Feinstein, Oscar Levant, Ethel Merman, Ella Fitzgerald, Barbra Streisand, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire, Liza Minnelli, Judy Garland, and Sarah Vaughan.
June 10, 2022, marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of Frances Ethel Gumm, better known to the world as Judy Garland, one of the foremost interpreters of the Gershwin songbook. The acclaimed singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright, who released a recording of his recreation of Garland’s epic 1961 Carnegie Hall concert in 2007, returns with Rufus Does Judy at Capitol Studios, a new disc taken from his 2021 performance at the famed Hollywood recording studio. Included are two George and Ira Gershwin numbers, “A Foggy Day” and “How Long Has This Been Going On,” as well as “The Man That Got Away” (music by Harold Arlen).
Actress Karen Fukuhara discusses singing and dancing to the Gershwins’ iconic number “I Got Rhythm” in a scene from the fifth episode of the current, third, season of Amazon Prime’s popular adventure series, The Boys.
The screenwriter Sonya Levien, who co-wrote the screenplay for the 1931 Gershwin movie musical Delicious, as well as the story for the 1945 George Gershwin biopic Rhapsody in Blue, was the subject of a recent blog post from the Huntington Library in San Marino, California, which holds the papers of Levien and her husband, the writer Carl Hovey. Included is a previously unseen photograph of Levien, the Gershwins, and screenwriter and playwright Guy Bolton taken during the making of Delicious in Hollywood.
A selection of recent recordings and books that may be of interest to Gershwin aficionados follows.
Michael Feinstein’s new recording Gershwin Country, featuring the Ambassador of the Great American Songbook in eleven duets with fellow music luminaries, has rocketed to the top of charts! The disc, on which Michael is joined by Rosanne Cash, Brad Paisley, Dolly Parton, Lyle Lovett, Vince Gill, and Alison Krauss, is available from Craft Recordings. Gershwin Country also includes a rare vocal appearance by Liza Minnelli, who acted as the Executive Producer of the collection.
The Letters of Oscar Hammerstein II is the culmination of years of painstaking investigation by Mark Eden Horowitz, a Senior Music Specialist in the music division of the Library of Congress, and the co-author of Sondheim on Music. Horowitz scoured through thousands of pages of unpublished correspondence from and to the celebrated lyricist of, among many others, Show Boat, The Sound of Music, Oklahoma, and The King and I. This monumental volume is a must for musical theater enthusiasts.
— Michael Owen