In September, 1937, two months after the sudden death of GEORGE GERSHWIN, an historic Memorial Concert was held in the Hollywood Bowl.

With the generous consent of Ira Gershwin, a live recording of the concert was made available. Hollywood paid tribute to the great Gershwin in the grand style only Hollywood could muster – a concert involving 7 conductors, half a dozen singers and a full symphony orchestra.

The program was broadcast live throughout the world. On the night of the concert, traffic near the Hollywood Bowl was at a standstill – 22,000 attended.

Al Jolson began the concert and said, “I am proud indeed to be the first one to raise my voice in tribute…..”

Al sang “Swanee” : Oscar Levant played “Concerto in F” : Fred Astaire  sang “They Cant Take That Away from Me” : Lily Pons did “Summertime”.

The unforgettable performance for me was Gladys Swarthout singing “The Man I Love”, in a rich,deep voice with a beautiful, slow arrangement of the classic song.

What a night it must have been. If only it had been filmed….if only.

But there is a unique and memorable live recording to listen to.

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