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GEORGE GERSHWIN, MUSICALS, AND THE HIATUS YEARS 
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Fresh Face
Fresh Face

Joined: Thu Dec 25, 2008 10:20 pm
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Location: George Town Tasmania Australia
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Post GEORGE GERSHWIN, MUSICALS, AND THE HIATUS YEARS
In the late 1910s, Gershwin met songwriter and music director William Daly. The two collaborated on the Broadway musicals Piccadilly to Broadway (1920) and For Goodness' Sake (1922), and jointly composed the score for Our Nell (1923).

Gershwin defined a new musical idiom and is now considered one of America’s great composers. One of the music critics interviewed in the program I watched today(1) referred to Gershwin as a true artist because he “stole material from others fearlessly” and integrated it into his repertoire. This same critic called Gershwin a genius because he both drew on his ethnic and musical tradition but also rose above it. -Ron Price with thanks to (1)“Walk On By: The Story of Pop Song,” ABC TV, 9:30-10:30 pm, December 9th 2004.

That’s what makes a great poet, too:
the tradition and something new.
The stuff creeps out of my head
and I try to catch it, torture it
into some kind of shape, a music
for an age or just some ideas
as I play my part in the greatest
drama in the world’s history.

I’m lost in wonder as I write
and interminably play with1
the coinage of words lifting
the common world into rivers
where it flows2 to the sea and
becomes one with all that is,
all that was and all that will be.3

1 G.H. Mead in The Trial of Curiosity: Henry James, William James and the Challenge of Modernity, Oxford UP, Oxford, 1991, p.35.
2 William Carlos Williams in William Carlos Williams On Younger Poets, editor J.E. Breslin, New Directions Books, 198591934), p.22.
3 The last twenty years of George Gershwin’s life(1917-1937) coincided with what are often called the hiatus years by the Baha’i community which I have now been associated with for 60 years. These hiatus years were the years from the completion of the Tablets of the Divine Plan to their formal implementation in 1937 in the Seven Year Plan(1937-1944). The first jazz record was released in 1917 by Victor. On March 8th 1917, the date when the last Tablet was completed, the February Revolution, the first stage of the Russian Revolution, broke out in Petrograd. In 1937 Gershwin went to Hollywood and when the Seven Year Plan opened in April 1937 he was experiencing the first severe headaches that would lead to his death in July 1937. They were a busy two decades.

Ron Price
11/12/’04 to 8/2/’13

_________________
married for 46 years, a teacher for 35, a writer and editor for 14, and a Baha'i for 54(in 2013)


Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:18 am
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