Delishious – A Gershwin News Update
February 28, 2022
A glimpse at news from the world of George and Ira Gershwin.
On March 9, 2022, The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song will be awarded to singer/songwriter Lionel Richie at a gala concert in Washington, DC. Richie, who has sold more than 125 million records worldwide during his storied career, has hit the top of the charts as a solo artist and as a member of The Commodores. He is also the winner of an Oscar, a Golden Globe, and four Grammy Awards, and was a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2017. The concert honoring Richie will be televised on PBS on May 17 (check your local listings for times in your area).
Robert Kimball, the Artistic Advisor to the estates of Ira Gershwin and Cole Porter, has written a memoir about his years working as an aide to Republican New York Congressman John V. Lindsay during the bipartisan fight for Civil Rights legislation in the 1960s. Crisis and Compromise: The Rescue of the 1964 Civil Rights Act is published by RiverGrove Books.
Watch Audra McDonald and Norm Lewis sing “Bess, You Is My Woman Now” in an archival clip from the 2011 premiere production of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess at American Repertory Theater.
Sarge Aborn, the long-time head of Tams-Witmark Music Library, the firm that has licensed George and Ira Gershwin’s stage musicals for many decades, recently announced his retirement. Aborn followed in the footsteps of his namesake grandfather Sargent Aborn and his father Louis in running the firm, which is now a part of Concord Theatricals. We thank Sarge for his work on our behalf and wish him well.
“River Run,” the luxury estate in Westport, Connecticut, of Frances Gershwin and her husband, Leopold Godowsky Jr., is on the market for just under $8 million.
George Gershwin is a character in Good Night, Oscar, a new play by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doug Wright about the pianist Oscar Levant. The show, which stars Sean Hayes as Levant, debuts on March 12 at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago.
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 11 duets with fellow music luminaries including Rosanne Cash, Brad Paisley, Dolly Parton, Lyle Lovett, Vince Gill, and Alison Krauss, is now available from Craft Recordings. The disc also includes a rare vocal appearance by Liza Minnelli, who also acted as the Executive Producer of the collection.
“The Man That Got Away” by Ira Gershwin and Harold Arlen is featured on Out of the Dark – The Film Noir Project, a new recording on Ghostlight Records by Broadway leading lady Melissa Errico.
Violinist Daniel Hope’s new Deutsche Grammophon disc America features a five-movement Gershwin Suite for solo violin, jazz trio, and string orchestra, as well as a performance of “My Ship” as part of an American Song-Suite of tunes by Kurt Weill.
Mitchell James Kaplan’s historical fiction has won rave reviews and literary awards and his latest novel, Rhapsody, ponders the artistic and personal relationship between George Gershwin and Kay Swift.
— Michael Owen