Spring Auction 2018
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“Shall We Dance” was Released in May 1937 by RKO. Music and lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin. This is one of only three motion picture scores that George and Ira did. 2 pages in mint condition, 2nd page signed in bold ink signatures by Both George and Ira. After spending several years at work on PORGY AND BESS, George decided that he and Ira should seek work in Hollywood and signed to write the scores for three pictures in 1936/37. SHALL WE DANCE was the first and it re-teamed George and Ira with their old friends, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. In fact, it was on a visit to rehearsals for the Gershwins’ GIRL CRAZY in 1930 that Astaire met Rogers, who was in the show. In Hollywood, George had to confront the notion that he had gone “highbrow.” After his success with his concert works and PORGY AND BESS, many studio executives were afraid that he would be unwilling to write in a so-called “popular” vein again. The songs that George and Ira wrote for SHALL WE DANCE, A DAMSEL IN DISTRESS and THE GOLDWYN FOLLIES prove they needn’t have worried. Irving Berlin was known to have remarked on several occasions that the songs written by the Gershwins in Hollywood in 1936/37 were among the best written — by anyone. There does certainly seem to be a new richness and maturity to their work during this period, which unfortunately, was George’s last. He died unexpectedly on July 11, 1937 after an operation to remove a brain tumor.
Rare! George & Ira Gershwin signed contract for Shall We DanceRare! George & Ira Gershwin signed contract for Shall We Dance
Rare! George & Ira Gershwin signed contract for "Shall We Dance"
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