George and Ira Gershwin

gershwin2September 26, 1898 – July 11, 1937
December 6, 1896 – August 17, 1983

The mere utterance of few names in American music make as immediate and complete of an impact as the name “Gershwin”.

The composer/lyricist brothers (George/Ira, respectively) had a profound influence on music in the early 1900’s. George’s body of work covers everything from Classical to Popular, with stops on Broadway and in opera along the way. The younger Gershwin landed his first music job shilling songs in New York’s fabled Tin Pan Alley at the age of 15. Ira waited a little longer, but by the time the brothers teamed up for the first time with 1924’s Lady Be Good, their golden touch was evident. The duo would go on to write 11 stage musicals (spawning many more reviews after their deaths) and introduce to the world classic standards like “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” “Nice Work if You Can Get It,” “Embraceable You,” “They Can’t Take Away From Me,” “Someone To Watch Over Me,” “I Got Rhythm,” etc. etc. etc… Just for good measure, they also wrote the ridiculously popular American Opera Porgy and Bess. George’s work in Classical music spawned the hits “Rhapsody in Blue” and “An American in Paris.”

Their lasting contributions to music far outweighed the time they worked together. In 1937, after less than 20 years in the business, George died rather suddenly from a brain tumor. After taking a few years off in the wake of losing his brother, Ira once again went back to work, writing lyrics for composers like Harold Arlen and Jerome Kern. He left Broadway but continued writing for films in Hollywood. Ira died in California at the age of 86, some 46 years after his brother. They are interred together in a family mausoleum in their native New York.

Burial

Westchester Hills Cemetery – Hastings-on-Hudson, NY

Specific Location

Near the entrance to the cemetery, the Gershwin mausoleum is the third one on your right as you enter.

westchester_gershwin

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