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 (Ira, George, Arthur, and Frances).

Notable compositions[edit]

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 Jan 10, 1945 to Mar 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]

Arthur is buried in Westchester Hills Cemetery, Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.[6]


  1. ^ a b Vivian Perlis, Libby Van Cleve (2005) Composer's voices from Ives to Ellington, Yale University Press
  2. ^ a b c The non-bloggish blog
  3. ^ Internet Broadway Database
  4. ^ Los Angeles Times (August 16, 2010) Randy Lewis, "Brian Wilson waxes rhapsodic on Gershwin".
  5. ^ Robert Kimball and Alfred Simon (1973) The Gershwins, Atheneum, New York
  6. ^ Find a Grave

External links[edit]