George Gershwin’s Song-Book.

"the handsomest producer of all time": FIRST EDITION OF GEORGE GERSHWIN’S SONG-BOOK; INSCRIBED BY HIM to Broadway Composer and Producer Alfred Aarons

George Gershwin’s Song-Book.


Item Number: 98472

New York: Random House, 1932.

First edition of Gershwin’s classic songbook. Quarto, original cloth, with 18 color illustrations by Constantin Alajalov. Association copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “For Alfred Aarons – the handsomest producer of all time. With my best wishes, George Gershwin, Jan. 1933.” The recipient Alfred E. Aarons was the Broadway composer and producer, whose son Alex produced La La Lucille, Lady be Good, Tip Toes, and most of Gershwin’s other musicals into the 1930s. In very good condition, lacking the rare dust jacket. An exceptional association copy, scarce and desirable signed and with noted provenance.

American composer and pianist George Gershwin’s orchestral compositions spanned the genres of popular, jazz, and classical music and are now considered to be some of the most important musical works of the twentieth century. Gershwin began his career composing Broadway theatre works with his brother Ira Gershwin and soon became a major figure in musical theatre in New York City and later Hollywood. Gershwin's classic Song-Book is illustrated with full-page color lithographic plates after Constantin Alajalov, and includes such Gershwin standards as “Swanee,” “Fascinating Rhythm,” “That Certain Feeling,” “The Man I Love,” “Strike Up the Band,” and “I Got Rhythm,” among others. “In one of his few prose writings, George provided an introduction for the song book. What is most important… is that it contained the original published version of each song, followed side by side by George’s ‘improvised’ versions of the songs” (Carnovale, 14).

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