Frances Gershwin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Frances "Frankie" Gershwin
Birth name Frances Godowsky Gershwin
Born (1906-12-06)December 6, 1906
Manhattan, New York
Died January 18, 1999(1999-01-18) (aged 92)
Manhattan, New York
Occupation(s) Singer
Instruments Violin
Years active 1928–1983

Frances "Frankie" Gershwin (December 6, 1906 – January 18, 1999), was an American singer.


She was born in Manhattan, New York, the younger sister of George, Ira and Arthur Gershwin. She was the first of the Gershwin family to perform as a child, and she brought home a good sum of money for the time.[1][2]

She married Leopold Godowsky, Jr. co-inventor (with Leopold Mannes) of Kodachrome color photography. Godowsky was also first violinist with the Los Angeles and San Francisco Symphony Orchestras and performed with his father, the world-renowned pianist Leopold Godowsky.

Frances and Leopold had four children; listed in order from oldest to youngest they are: Alexis Gershwin, Leopold Godowsky III, Georgia Keidan and Nadia Natali. All four children have been involved in the performing and fine arts. Nadia's daughter, Francesca Gershwin, has made a point to follow in her footsteps: She trained in theater in ancestral homeland of the Gershwin family, in Moscow, Russia. Francesca actively promotes the musical and theatrical legacy of George Gershwin, Frances' older brother, as well as keeping the memories of her grandmother Frankie alive.[3]

The film Rhapsody in Blue came out in 1945, but Frankie and her third brother Arthur were not included in this semi-fictionalized version of George's life.

Frances traveled to Europe with her brother George and performed at parties with him. She also performed briefly on Broadway. After she married, she continued her artistic activities, at one point winning a French painting award. In her later years, she returned to singing again and recorded the album For George And Ira in 1973.

Gershwin mausoleum in Westchester Hills Cemetery[4]

Her final resting place is the Gershwin Mausoleum, along with her husband, brothers, and parents.