Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Sept. 16, 1998)
George, Ira’s influence is ever present in today’s society
George and Ira Gershwin are as
familiar to the American public as a
If you’ve ever heard “Who could
ask for anything more?” resonate from
your television, then you’ve heard the
Gershwins’ song “I’ve Got Rhythm.”
But the Gershwins’ music pervades
more than just commercials. Theater
and film also have capitalized on the
melodies and lyrics of the two brothers.
As a result, most people can hum the
melody to songs like “Let’s Call the
Whole Thing Off” and “They Can’t
Take That Away From Me.”
Thanks to songs like these, the
music of the Gershwins has become an
integral part of the American musical
“There’s a not a person alive who
doesn’t know a Gershwin song,” says
Maureen McGovern, a vocalist who
performs Gershwin tunes around the
McGovern, in collaboration with
the Lincoln Symphony, will perform
this Saturday in an all-Gershwin show.
The concert is a celebration of what
would have been George Gershwin’s
100th birthday on Sept 26.
__ « v a •
vjcuxgc auu ua vjcxsiiwui grew up
in Brooklyn, N.Y., in die early 1900s.
Although Ira was originally the studious
one interested in music, that all changed
when the family bought a piano. At 15,
George dropped out of high school to
become a song plugger in Tin Pan Alley.
His job consisted of playing other peo
pled songs to increase their popularity.
In 1919, George became a sensation
when A1 Jolson played the songwriter’s
first hit, “Swanee.” Gershwin was then
hired to write for musical revues.
Eventually, George went on to col
laborate with his brother on numerous
works. George composed the music and
Ira wrote the lyrics. After George’s
death in 1937, Ira continued to write
lyrics and collaborate with artists such
as Jerome Kern and Harold Arien.
The brothers’ major contribution
was the creation of an original
American music form.
Jeth Mills, die executive director of
the Lincoln Symphony, said George
Gershwin accomplished this by synthe
sizing Broadway, classical, popular and
ethnic music forms.
“He created something purely
American,” Mill said. “He cranes from
Russian immigrant stock and, as such,
AuioiHui ruyinms. xxiese were so sig
nificant to American popular music,
particularly in the 1920s, and have real
ly been the hallmark of the development
of American music in the 20* century”
Mills said this synthesis gave
George’s music a timeless, classic qual
ity, even though he was known mainly
as a popular music composer in his day.
McGovern, who has performed the
Gershwins’ music around the world,
said the classic nature of the their music
can be seen by the ability of audiences
everywhere to sing along to their songs.
“I don’t think 50 years from now,
we’ll be sitting around campfires
singing rap songs,” McGovern said.
Considering the immensity of
George Gershwin’s legacy, it’s impor
tant to note that die composer died in
1937 at die age of 38 from a brain tumor.
“Can you imagine the potential of
what the man would have done?”
This weekend’s show explores what
the man did accomplish in his relatively
The first half of the program will
feature the Lincoln Symphony conduct
ed by McGovern’s music conductor,
Lee Musiker. The symphony will play a
variety of Gershwin orchestrations
including selections from “Girl Crazy”
and “An American in Paris.” The first
half will also include a trio playing jazz
improvisations of Gershwin songs and
Musiker playing variations on “I Got
Rhythm” on piano.
McGovern will take the helm for the
second part of the show, accompanied
by the symphony in a tribute to George
and Ira Gershwin. McGovern will
devote her first numbers to Ira
“Ira is the unsung hero of the duo.
As a lyricist, he was literate, funny and
romantic. It’s my chance to give due
tribute to his genius beyond George,”
After that, she will sing some of the
duo’s best knownsoags - such as “How
Long Has This Been Going On,”
“Fascinating Rhythm” and “They Can’t
Take That Away From Me”
McGovern, whose musical career
has spanned recordings, concerts,
Broadway, film, television and radio,
has a lengthy history with the
Gershwins’ music. In 1987, she per
formed George Gershwin’s music on
the PBS-BBC special “Celebrating
Gershwin,” which marked the 50“
anniversary of the composer’s death.
One of her four albums, “Naughty
Baby” was a live, in-studio concert of
Gershwin classics. Currently,
McGovern has eight to 10 Gershwin
shows that she performs around the
The Maureen McGovern/Lincoln
Symphony concert runs Saturday at 8
p.m. Tickets are $35, $31, $27 for adults
and half-price for students. For tickets,
call the Lied Center Box Office at (402)
MTV affords student writers new chance
mum irom page 11
about following her dream.
“The thing about writing when you
get older is that itfc kind of a scary thing to
admit that you want to write because so
many other people are doing it,” Troy
said in a phone interview from Colorado.
Despite the fact that MTV may be
die worst of culprits when it comes to
distracting would-be readers, Troy
claims its attempts to publish younger,
unknown fiction-writers is a good step.
*1 think it’s a fantastic opportunity
for people my age, because it’s hard to
forgo a secure career to follow some
thing just because it% your dream,” Troy
said. “What I see this contest doing is
telling young writers that it’s a good
tiling for you to write and not to just go
get a more secure job right away.”
Anxiety of influence
In their quest to justify their profes
sion, many writers seem to be not only
questioning whether to write or not, but
also what to write. According to Riley,
answering this question is of utmost
• «»**»• « fV.
$ ■■ ... , ; , , ^ ^ ^
“Writing was destined to be hard
because you’re going to have a huge
amount of competition,” Riley said.
“The downside is that some writers are
manipulating their style to better suit the
new audience. You get a beautiful prod
uct if you don’t consider what the audi
' Writing for an audience weaned on
moving pictures and catchy sound cre
ates a host of problems, once someone
has decided he has die will to write.
The struggle between remaining
true to your art and the desire for an
audience divides hopeful writers.
For Mallorey and others, an author’s
livelihood depends on his ability to
adapt to the times.
“It’s powerfully shaped me and to a
certain extent, it’s just the way I think -
get it said quickly and strip it down to
the bare essentials,” Mallorey said.
He said writers need to create com
pelling stories, ones that are interesting
to young audiences in both style and
He said there was a difference
between writers who chum out popular
novels and those who are more interested
in the literary aspects of the written word.
According to Riley, those writers
will have to consider die competition
they face in order to avoid being
drowned out by the zooming distrac
tions of the information superhighway.
“For more literary writers to carve
out their niche, 1 think (literature) will
have to find a new place for itselfT Riley
said. “It can’t compete with the narra
tive of film, and I think writers will have
to rethink what they have to offer that’s
unique from film.”
Despite this somewhat gloomy mes
sage, writers continue to write. They
write poems, they write novels, they
write short stories, and they write
screenplays. They write because,
according to Riley, “It’s just something
that’s in my Wood.” And no matter where -
society goes, writers will keep writing.
“Even if I’m not succeeding, I’ll still
be doing it because it’s important to
me,” Mallorey said. “In 10 years if I’m
still not successful, I’ll just keep telling
myself‘I’m just a late bloomer.’”
R«t Assured. B< Insured.
Your University Health Center,
together with GM Southwest of
Dallas,IX, offers UNL students a com
prehensive and affordable medical
insurance plan specifically designed to suit the needs
of undergraduate and graduate students. The plan offers students:
* An annual premium of only $3991
* Convenient services of the University Health Center (15th & U Sts.)
for initial treatment! . ,
* Dependent coverage is also available!
Brochures and applications are available at the University Health
Center, International Affairs Office or by mail. Enrollment is open until
9/20/98. Questions? Call our 24-hour information line at 472-7437.
Lessons from 7 -8
Dance Music from 8 on
' ..;h p I
The first HuskerFury meeting is scheduled for
Thursday, September 17th at 6;30 p.m.
at the Devanev
For more information contact me ___
at 472*9939 or huaketfury e huskt» o.unledu.
HuskerFury la open to every fuH-time student, except student-athletes.
Buy any of
P AC KAG E S
packages can be split between two people
Offer ends September 30, 1998
• si-' ,s* ''..* ' ?-' y*./«• t?? a\ s£v ■■ r ,.;■ >^r;*5$29H^B
Powered by Open ONI