GERSHWIN MEMORIAL CONCERT

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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