Wednesday, July 11, 2007
WITHOUT GEORGE -- 70 YEARS
On this day seventy years ago, we lost one of the greatest composers of all time to a brain tumor. George Gerswin was thirty eight years young when he died. Most people do not know that the song "Our Love Is Here To Stay" was a melody that George had completed for an MGM musical. There was no lyric. Four weeks after George's death, his still gieving brother Ira finally completed the lyric at the insistence of the MGM studios-- they were under a deadline and needed that song completed. So Ira completed that beautiful lyric not as a love song for a girl, but in testimony and tribute to his older brother whom he loved, wrote with and was so dedi9cated to. Amazing little tidbit. Of course, George Gershwin will continue to influence our lives musically for a long time to come. His "Rhapsody In Blue" and "An American In Paris" are simply mind blowing. And his opera Porgy and Bess is a pure classic. Yes, Gerorge had an ego that sometimes put people off, but he was also very kind and could be an amazing friend. The amazing Oscar Levant --who was a contemporary of George for years once askedc him "George, if you could come back and live again, would you come back and still be in love with yourself?" Funny-- considering Oscar was the most mazing character in his own right. I notice where "Footloose" is being remade as a full movie musical to star the new young heart throb from the upcoming "Hairspray" -- that should make my old friend Dean Patchford happy and Kenny Loggins too! Michael Gore will be pleased as well. Well, "The Traveling Companion" re-write is about 90% done (still a little editing and tweaking) We cut any song that was not advancing the plot and cut it from 127 pages down to 109. Good news! New songs include "I Was Thinking of My Heart" and "It Must Be Destiny"