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Wendell H. Mills II | George and Ira Gershwin

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Easy Listening: American Popular Song Pop: Piano Moods: Featuring Piano
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George and Ira Gershwin

by Wendell H. Mills II

Acclaimed pianist Wendell H. Mills II presents his own solo piano arrangements of the best songs written by the legendary songwriting team of George and Ira Gershwin.
Genre: Easy Listening: American Popular Song
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. The Man I Love
3:36 $0.99
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2. Someone to Watch over Me
4:12 $0.99
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3. S'wonderful
2:53 $0.99
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4. I've Got a Crush on You
2:51 $0.99
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5. Bidin' My Time
3:53 $0.99
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6. But Not for Me
3:20 $0.99
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7. Embraceable You
3:50 $0.99
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8. I Got Rhythm
2:35 $0.99
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9. Of Thee I Sing
2:32 $0.99
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10. Bess, You Is My Woman
4:15 $0.99
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11. It Ain't Necessarily So
3:53 $0.99
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12. My Man's Gone Now
3:25 $0.99
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13. Summertime
2:50 $0.99
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14. I Loves You Porgy
3:07 $0.99
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15. A Foggy Day
3:26 $0.99
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16. Nice Work If You Can Get It
3:28 $0.99
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17. Let's Call the Whole Thing Off
3:41 $0.99
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18. They Can't Take That Away from Me
3:43 $0.99
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19. Love Is Here to Stay
3:36 $0.99
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20. Love Walked In
3:18 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
This is one of a series of Solo Piano Albums featuring pianist Wendell H. Mills II playing the best songs written by legendary popular composers. In this album he creates his own stylish solo piano arrangements of the best songs written by the songwriting team of George and Ira Gershwin.

George Gershwin (1898-1937) was an American composer and pianist who composed music for 18 stage and screen Musicals with his lyricist brother Ira Gershwin (1896-1983). They collaborated from 1921 until George’s premature death in 1937 and were responsible for the award-winning musicals Porgy and Bess, Of Thee I Sing, and Girl Crazy among others. To honor the Gershwin brothers' contributions to musical theater, the Gershwin Theater opened on Broadway in 1972 and is devoted to showing the top musicals of the day. In 1985 George and Ira Gershwin joined a select group of only three other songwriters to be awarded the Congressional Gold Medal. In 2007, the Library of Congress created The Gershwin Prize, named after George and Ira, to recognize the profound and positive effect of popular music on culture.

After leaving school in his mid-teens, for ten years George Gershwin worked as a staff pianist and song plugger for Jerome H. Remick, was a rehearsal pianist for Dillingham-Ziegfeld, played concerts at Aeolian Hall producing around 130 piano rolls, published his first national hit “Swanee” with the lyricist Irving Caesar, wrote songs yearly for the George White Scandals, went under contract with Max Dreyfus producers, produced his first Broadway songs with William Daly and Buddy DeSylva, and wrote the famous jazz symphony "Rhapsody In Blue", all before becoming involved full time with his brother Ira. In 1921 Ira Gershwin (using the pseudonym Arthur Francis, his two other siblings' names) became involved in the music business and started a small collaboration with his brother George on the score for A Dangerous Maid. However, it wasn't until 1924 that Ira became involved with George full time under his own name, writing with him until George's untimely death in 1938.

From 1924-1933, George and Ira wrote 13 Broadway musicals together producing numerous song standards such as "Someone To Watch Over Me" and “But Not For Me" which brought them to the forefront as popular songwriters. During this full-time collaboration with Ira, George Gershwin found time to compose his six complex classical works "Rhapsody In Blue” 1924, "Concerto In F" 1925, “Three Preludes For Piano" 1926, “An American In Paris” 1928, “Second Rhapsody” 1931, and “Cuban Overture” 1932. In 1935, George and Ira, along with the author Dubose Heyward, wrote the folk/jazz opera Porgy and Bess which is considered a groundbreaking classic unveiling the harsh realities of segregation. Porgy and Bess produced many hit songs including "It Ain't Necessarily So" and "Summertime".

After Porgy and Bess, George and Ira moved to Hollywood to compose for film and got an Oscar nomination for best song "They Can't Take That Away from Me”. In 1937 while writing music for their third film, George was stricken with a brain tumor and died quite unexpectedly shortly after surgery at the age of 38. After George Gershwin’s untimely death, Ira continued to work with the composer giants Kurt Weill, Jerome Kern, Harold Arlen, and Arthur Schwartz until 1946 in theater, and until 1954 in film. He spent the rest of his life working on the Gershwin family archives.

In 1945 the Hollywood film Rhapsody In Blue about George Gershwin’s life starred Robert Alda as George Gershwin and Herbert Rudley as Ira. In 1951 many of George and Ira's songs as well as George's classical symphonies were featured in the Hollywood film An American In Paris which won six Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Musical Score. In 1959 Ira Gershwin published his book Lyrics on Several Occasions which contains many anecdotes about the Gershwin brothers' collaboration. In 2012 the pianist Michael Feinstein published the book The Gershwins and Me about his collaboration with Ira on the Gershwin archives. In 2015 the film An American In Paris was made into a Broadway Musical and received 12 Tony Award nominations including Best Musical.

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