Arthur Gershwin

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Arthur Gershwin (March 14, 1900 November 19, 1981) was one of the four Gershwin family siblings of American musical fame. Although he was a composer, he was not a professional musician, and made his living as a stockbroker. [1]


He was born in New York City and was the third of the four Gershwin siblings. His siblings were Ira, George, and Frances.

Notable compositions

Arthur composed the two-act musical A Lady Says Yes (1945), which is set in 1545 and 1945 and takes place in Venice, Washington D.C., and China. [2] It ran on Broadway from January 10 to March 25, 1945, at the Broadhurst Theatre and had 87 performances. [3]

His song "Invitation to the Blues" with lyrics by Doris Fisher, was used in the film Tootsie (1982) and has been recorded by Julie London. [2]


He married Judy Lane, a singer with the Xavier Cugat Orchestra, in the 1940s, and had one child; Marc George Gershwin, who is a trustee of the George Gershwin Trust, along with his sons Adam, Todd, and Alex Gershwin. [4]

Arthur said in a 1972 interview with Robert Kimball and Alfred Simon that when he was a child, he was George's pal and went around with him more than Ira did. [5]

Frances said of Arthur that he played by ear and "his rhythm wasn't that great." She used to tease him. "He was really very funny – he was the funny one of the family ... a natural comedian." "When [the other brothers] introduced him, he would say, 'Yes, I'm the unknown Gershwin.'" [1]

George wrote in one of his last letters to his mother (May 19, 1937), "How is brother Arthur these days? I am glad to hear that he is writing a lot of tunes and I hope that he can find a market for some of them." [2]

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  1. 1 2 Vivian Perlis, Libby Van Cleve (2005) Composer's voices from Ives to Ellington, Yale University Press
  2. 1 2 3 "Meet the siblings: Arthur Gershwin". The non-bloggish blog. Retrieved 2023-08-21.
  3. "Arthur Gershwin – Broadway Cast & Staff | IBDB". Retrieved 2023-08-21.
  4. Lewis, Randy; Times, Los Angeles (2010-08-16). "Brian Wilson waxes rhapsodic on Gershwin". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2023-08-21.
  5. Robert Kimball and Alfred Simon (1973) The Gershwins, Atheneum, New York