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George Gershwin blossomed as an accompanist before his talent as a songwriter opened the way to Broadway where he fashioned his own brand of American music.
He composed a run of musical comedies, with his brother Ira as lyricist, and several classical works while he became a favoured guest in New York social circles.
His 1924 Rhapsody in Blue was an instant classic rooted in in his absorption of African American music.
A decade later came Porgy and Bess, his magnum opus.
The brothers left New York to write songs for Hollywood-but their work was cut short when George developed a brain tumour and died at thirty-eight. Richard Crawford traces the arc of Gershwin's remarkable life, seamlessly blending colourful anecdotes with a discussion of Gershwin's unforgettable oeuvre.
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