Saturday January 20, 2018 8:26 pm

"MR.MUSIC" - America's most popular and beloved composer
GEORGE GERSHWIN: Highlights of his life and times  
Born Jacob Gershvin on September 26, 1898...
… to Rose and Morris Gershvin (originally Gershovitz) at 242 Snediker Ave. Brooklyn, NY. (Gershovitz was probably changed to Gershvin by an immigration official upon Morris’ arrival from Russia.) At home the children are called by their American names. Thus Jacob becomes George; he later changes the family name to Gershwin and the rest follow suit. George grows up with older brother Ira and younger siblings Arthur and Frances in the predominantly Jewish Lower East side of Manhattan. And contrary to tales about their poverty, the Gershwins are a respectable, middle-class family and the children are reasonably well provided for.

Now, let’s track the events in the years of Gershwin’s youth…




Spanish-American War ends.

1900: gershwin-Hamburgd William McKinley, Republican, is elected US President;Paris Metro opens;
hamburger goes on sale for the first time in the US – in New Haven, Connecticut.
1901: gershwin-victoria gershwin-nobel Queen Victoria dies; Pres. McKinley is assasinated by Polish anarchist; Theodore Roosevelt takes over; Ragtime sweeps US; first Nobel Prizes are awarded; Marconi sends first transatlantic telegraph message.
1902: gershwin-pepsi is founded; gershwin-carusoEnrico Caruso makes first recording ;first Cadillac is made.
1903: gershwin-hershey Chocolate factory opens in Pennsylvania; Ford Motor Co. is founded; Wright brothers make first powered flight at Kitty Hawk, NC.
1904: gershwin-peterpan2 premieres in London; New York subway opens – 150,000 people ride on first day; Theodore Roosevelt is reelected; iced tea is concocted out of desperation.
1905: gershwin-einstein Aspirin goes on sale in Britain; first nickelodeon opens in Philadephia; Einstein publishes papers on the Special Theory of Relativity, photoelectric effect, and Brownian motion.
1906: gershwin-kelloggs San Francisco earthquake kills 1000; Mercedes Auto Co. is founded;William Kellogg founds cereal company.
1907: gershwin-desmoiselles First washing machine is marketed; first Ziegfeld Follies opens; Harley and Davidson set up motorcycle company; Picasso paints the first cubist painting– Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.
1908: the FBI is set up; William Howard Taft is elected US President; GENERAL MOTORS is established; Ford’s Model T is put into production; the tea bag is invented.
1909: first electric toaster goes on sale; Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde premieres; Ballet Russes premieres in Paris.
1910: gershwin-tango2 Boy Scouts of America is founded; tango the rage in US and Europe; the MET broadcasts Caruso on radio; Halley’s Comet passes within 13 million miles of earth; Thomas Edison demos talking picture.

In 1910, the Gershwins acquire a piano for Ira’s music lessons, but George takes over. He tries out various piano teachers for 2 years, then is introduced to Charles Hambitzer – who becomes his mentor (and would remain so until Hambitzer’s death in 1918). Hambitzer teaches George conventional piano technique, introduces him to the European masters, and encourages him to attend orchestral concerts. (At home following such concerts, young George would attempt to reproduce at the keyboard the music he had heard.)

1911: Supreme Court dissolves JD ROCKEFELLER’S Standard Oil Trust;Irving Berlin’s Alexander’s Ragtime Band sweeps US.
1912: gershwin-titanic Arizona becomes 48th state; Woodrow Wilson is elected President; first ready-made mayonnaise goes on sale at Richard Hellmann’s NY deli; Fox and Universal Pictures are founded; Dixieland Jazz Band opens in New Orleans; Titanic sinks.

- ©GJCajipe/FanFaire

Leave a reply

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On PinterestVisit Us On Youtube