Ira Gershwin was best known as the older brother of George Gershwin. Ira started his career in 1918 under the pen name of Arthur Francis. It was not until 1924 that Ira and George began a collaboration that would prove one of the most successful and prolific in history.
Their first collaborations were for the Broadway shows: Lady, Be Good! (1924), Tip Toes (1925), Oh Kay! (1926), Funny Face (1927), Rosalie (1928,) Strike Up the Band (1930), Girl Crazy (1930), Delicious (1931), and Of Thee I Sing (1931), which was the first musical to win the Pulitzer prize.
In 1931, the two brothers headed to Hollywood producing a movie score of Delicious, for Fox Studios, starring Janet Gaynor. They returned to New York again working on Broadway producing Pardon My English (1933), and Let 'Em Eat Cake (1933).
In 1935, Ira, in collaboration with Dubose Heyward, wrote the words to George Gershwin's music for Porgy and Bess, a work that straddles the world of opera and Broadway. Many consider it the greatest American opera written to date.
In 1937, Ira and George accepted a contract from RKO and headed back to Hollywood. Among the movies they wrote scores for were Shall We Dance (1937) and A Damsel in Distress (1937).
Both before and after George's premature death in 1938, Ira Gershwin collaborated with many other great composers, as well, including Vernon Duke Ziegfeld Follies of 1936, Kurt Weill Lady in the Dark (1941) , Jerome Kern Cover Girl (1944), and Harold Arlen A Star Is Born (1954).
Ira retired at the age 58. He died in Beverly Hills, California on August 17, 1983. On Dec. 6, 1996, Ira was the first lyricist to be honored by a special tribute performance on the centennial observance of his birth, in New York's Carnegie Hall.
Some of Ira's Great Songs include:
Fascinating Rhythm    ·   The Man I Love    ·   Someone To Watch Over Me
's Wonderful    ·   How Long Has This Been Going On
I've Got A Crush On You    ·   But Not For Me    ·   Embraceable You
Bidin' My Time    ·   I Got Rhythm    ·   Of Thee I Sing
It Ain't Necessarily So    ·   I Got Plenty O' Nuthin
Let's Call the Whole Thing Off    ·   They Can't Take That Away From Me
A Foggy Day    ·   Nice Work If You Can Get It    ·
Long Ago and Far Away
The Man That Got Away    ·
I Can't Get Started With You
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