Talk:George Gershwin

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Image copyright status[edit]

Who is who in the photo? By the way, what's the copyright status of that image? --Robert Merkel.

I don't get it; the copyright in the EU expires in 2007 because that's 70 years after the death of George (1937), making all his works public domain. In the US, this counts as "a work of 'corporate authorship'" and is therefore protected for 95 years from publishing (2019 for 1924 works through 2027 for 1932 works). Why does it count as a work of corporate authorship? Shouldn't it be like with H. G. Wells, whose works were put in the public domain at the end of 1996 (50 years after death) in the US, but extended to 70 years in EU by then, making it PD in early 2017?? --Gabbe 19:03 Jan 10, 2003 (UTC)

Major Classical works[edit]

I'm inclined to remove:

from the list of "most famous" classical works. I don't think they are nearly as famous as the other entries. Gershwin's classical output was not that great. If these remain, perhaps we should change the heading and remove "most famous" Samuel Wantman 07:08, 3 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Removed "most famous" -- Samuel Wantman 08:46, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

birth name[edit]

What's the source for his birth name? According to John Warthen Struble's A History of American Classical Music, he was born "Jacob Gershvin, second son of Rose and Morris Gershvin (né Gershovitz), at 242 Snediker Avenue...". This article says he was born Jacob Gershowitz (note the w, as opposed to the v that Struble gives, but even that only for his father's birth name). Tuf-Kat 02:40, September 8, 2005 (UTC)

I've come here to ask the same question. We currently say: His father, Morris (Moishe) Gershowitz, changed his family name to 'Gershvin' some time after immigrating to the United States from St. Petersburg, Russia in the early 1890s.
Read in isolation, that would suggest the name change from Gershowitz to Gershvin happened after the time Morris arrived in the USA but before the time George was born. But that is gainsaid by the fact that George's birth name was Gershowitz, not Gershvin. So, the change must have happened after George's birth. That's if it really is the case that he was born Gershowitz (as opposed to Gershvin).
If so, this means George was born Jacob Gershowitz, then became Jacob Gershvin when his father changed the family name, then became George Gershwin by his own choice, then other members of the family changed their name again, to Gershwin, to match George's name. We really should spell out that sequence of events, because at the moment it's far from clear what happened when. -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 13:40, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
I went ahead and changed the article along the lines indicated by JackofOz because what was written did not make any sense and I found two other pages on the Web which, though not definitive references, would seem to confirm this more logical interpretation:
http://www.infoplease.com/biography/var/georgegershwin.html
http://www.accuracyproject.org/cbe-gershwin,george.html
(Unfortunately, I was not logged in when I did it.)
DrHow (talk) 02:38, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

Musical Style and Influence[edit]

There are two Gershwin-asking-for-lessons anecdotes. These include the one listed here and another ("I would only make you a second-rate X, and you are such a good Gershwin already!"), which are often matched with Ravel, Schoenberg, Verese, etc., and not just Stravinsky. Check the accuracy and source, please.

It's generally thought that the 'second-rate' comment was made by Ravel to Gershwin.Mysterysociety 14:11, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Also, there is strong evidence for Joseph Schillinger's "large and direct influence" on Gershwin's musical output circa 1932, something that the current reference to a Gershwin biography by William Hyland attempts to rebuke. This evidence includes, but isn't limited to, (1) an article written by Gershwin's friend Vernon Duke (Vladimir Dukelsky) for the Musical Quarterly from 1947, titled, "Gershwin, Schillinger, and Dukelsky: Some Reminiscences," (2) a memoir by Schillinger's wife, and (3) a Musical Quarterly article from 1994 titled, "Theory and Practice in Porgy and Bess: The Schillinger-Gershwin Connection," by Paul Nauert. If Schillinger's students and loved ones, Gershwin's friends and colleagues, and modern scholars and historians find a "large and direct [Schillinger] influence," then it seems the accuracy of this portion of the wikipedia article should be called into question.

The reference in the opening paragraph to George going to Paris to study with Nadia Boulanger is misleading as such studies did not take place. I'd be in favor of removing the reference altogether and explaining the issue in the body potentially, but to include it towards the top of the entry suggests error. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Claguem (talkcontribs) 05:24, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

Rhapsody in Blue?[edit]

No mention in the bio of the details surrounding the composition of Gershwin's most famous orchestral piece, Rhapsody in Blue? Someone with this knowledge please supply the biographical info on Gershwin's creation of this work.

Arkhamite 18:10, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

I too find it inexcusable to disregard the composition that ultimately played a vital role in accelerating Gershwin's career and popularity. The article fails to even mention its origination, let alone present its avant-garde style. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ncsavaro (talkcontribs) 07:14, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

OK, but you could add what you just said to the article - it's OK to complain, but you are also welcome to improve it. I can't because I'm no expert enough, I would rephrase it in the wrong way. --Blaisorblade (talk) 22:20, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

Additionally what about Leonard Bernstein? He directed the most famous recording of "Rhapsody in Blue", which "are considered definitive by many" (source: Wikipedia), and not once is he mentioned in the article (which lists many other interpreters of his works). --Blaisorblade (talk) 22:20, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

Recent edit[edit]

Edit as of 02:25, 5 June 2006 by anon sourced here Cdyson37 (T) 10:14, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Shiite and Sufi influences[edit]

An anonymous editor has twice added that Gershwin was influenced by Shiite and Sufi music. Without any evidence and because it kills the flow of the paragraph, I have removed it. --Usgnus 17:57, 6 July 2006 (UTC)

Levant[edit]

The Oscar Levant remark quoted sounds likely, and characteristic (he certainly told stories about Gershwin's ego), but it could still use a citation.

A Levant remark that might be more worthy of mention: Levant says that shortly before his death, Gershwin had mentioned to him too projects he intended to take on: a musical setting of the Gettysburg Address and an opera based on Die Golem (Oscar Levant, The Unimportance of Being Oscar, Pocket Books 1969 (reprint of G.P. Putnam 1968), p. 117. ISBN 0-671-77104-3.) - Jmabel | Talk 06:46, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

First paragraph's title[edit]

I believe 'Headline text' to be not a very stylish title for the first paragraph. Yet due to my lack of English vocabulary, I cannot think of a more proper one. Any suggestions?

illness[edit]

It should a point to note in the article, that the illness of Gershwin, received a diagnose of mental disease and that prevent other clinical analysis. As a peculiarity of psychiatry it is that it is not required any proof or any clinical test so that psychiatrists are sure of their diagnose. However this prevent to receive a valid diagnose when there is something else (because the psychiatrists do not want to pass the client to a doctor that is not a psychiatrist and because they are used to consider any patient's complain as a mere confirmation of their diagnose rather showing the need to do more investigation. Moreover, since it is usually that psychiatric patients do not improve but only get worse (and one should wonder what is the utility of the psychiatry at this point), the lack of any improvements does not lead the psychiatrists to put under review their diagnose.

A point that should put into evidence is that Gershwin could have been saved if the psychiatrists had not shown themselves sure about the diagnose and discouraged Gershwin to perform more invasive biological tests. 82.52.81.177 20:28, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

No treatment could have been effective against such an aggressive tumor, such as what was discovered at surgery, though.

media file is TERRIBLE[edit]

The media file of Gershwin's Prelude No.2 is one of the worst recordings I have ever heard. Many of the most important notes are played WRONG. Not only is it played BADLY, it is also played WRONG!!! I think it would be better to remove the media file, rather than give people the false impression that Gershwin was a fool. The media file is NOT an accurate representation of Gershwin's work, and therefore should not be on display.

Broken infobox[edit]

The infobox has been broken for ages. Here it is. Please fix it and return it to the article if you know how. Æthelwold 00:36, 7 August 2007 (UTC)


George Gershwin
Born September 26 1898
Brooklyn, New York, USA
Died July 11, 1937(1937-07-11) (aged 38)
Hollywood, California, USA

Death problems[edit]

To clarify the reference that Gershwin died "during surgery" -- doctors began operating on Gershwin after midnight, July 11, 1937. The surgery lasted five hours and he appeared to be doing well when he was returned to his room but his temperature spiked dramatically as did his blood pressure. He died at 10:35 a.m. on July 11. —Preceding unsigned comment added by OwenBrooke (talkcontribs) 13:38, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

On the page, it says that George died from a Brain Tumor during surgery, but I have two books that say he died the morning after. One of the books is titled 'Introducing Gershwin' by Roland Vernon.

Composer project review[edit]

I've reviewed this article as part of the Composers project review of its B-class articles. This article is B-class; there's plenty to like here, but I did find some issues. My detailed review is on the comments page; questions and comments should be left here or on my talk page. Magic♪piano 01:45, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

Surname change[edit]

The text seems to say that Gershwin senior changed the surname - and then that it was done by G himself when he became a professional musician. The latter sounds more likely, actually - but does someone have a definitive source for this???--Soundofmusicals (talk) 01:39, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

See "Birth Name" above. DrHow (talk) 02:42, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

Family origins[edit]

According to this article, his father immigrated from St. Petersburg. According to the Russian Wikipidea his family came from Belarus. According to the Ukrainian article, his father came from Odessa, Ukraine. Is there a way to confirm? All of these may be true, with the father being originally from Ukraine and later immigrating from Russia. It would be nice to trace the origins of his lineage. Should we say that he came from the USSR? USchick (talk) 02:38, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Of course not, as the USSR didn't exist at the time. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 03:09, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Mabey we can insert a footnote that it was Russian Empire at the time? — Mariah-Yulia • Talk to me! 11:32, 11 January 2010 (UTC)

Why "American"?[edit]

America is Not a Country: please put "United States" instead. Thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Tonifa (talkcontribs) 02:41, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

United States#Etymology. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 04:10, 17 March 2010 (UTC)

Children: none[edit]

That's just insensitive. Obviously if he had kids, they would be mentioned in the article, so no need to rub in the fact that he died childless in the infobox. I'm removing it. 24.189.90.68 (talk) 08:57, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

Popular/Classical[edit]

I have reverted a thoughtful, good faith edit about Gershwin's popular and classical works. Gershwin's classical works being strongly jazz influenced is not really outside the classical tradition, in that he shares this with a number of other (particularly French) composers of the early 20th century. His popular music (like the great bulk of popular music of the twenties and thirties) is essentialy in the music theatre tradition. Apart from its consistent very high quality there is nothing "classical" about it - the idiom is very much that of ordinary popular music of the time. The only work that might almost be said to be intermediate between classical and popular is really Porgy and Bess - and even this is actually very problematic. Anyway - just felt that in context, although hte changes were well meant they were not an improvement on the original. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 01:02, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

Random list[edit]

The article has an essentially random list selected from the "Countless singers and musicians"; one could put absolutely any musician (and what's with "musicians and singers"? singers ARE musicians) who has ever recorded any standards on that list. The article would be better without the list; it doesn't really help anyone understand the diversity of the artists who have performed Gershwin's work. It shouldn't be hard to find a source describing that diversity. --jpgordon::==( o ) 14:27, 30 April 2011 (UTC)

Don't know where else to post this, but why isn't Michael Feinstein listed as an artist performing the Gershwin music?24.224.104.224 (talk) 02:23, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

He also have a brother {Rickey Hardaway},and a sister {Dayvon McElhaney}. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 96.38.231.151 (talk) 20:57, 30 November 2011 (UTC)


Cleaned-up version of "Swanee"[edit]

When I visited this page and listened to the recording of "Swanee" that is currently available, I was appalled! So, I took it upon myself to improve the quality of the recording. The file I edited is the exact file that appears on Wikipedia. I've edited the audio to remove most of the noise as well as equalizing it so that it still retains that AM Radio charm.

Hope this will be of use. The file can be found here: http://www.mediafire.com/?488y1i8gecyfy1d — Preceding unsigned comment added by MechHead (talkcontribs) 22:27, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

Terrific, thanks!Parkwells (talk) 15:37, 26 October 2012 (UTC)

GA Push[edit]

All Right. I am considering a GA (and possible FA) push of the article. Here's what we need to do:

  • Lead section - expanded to at least three-four paragraphs.
  • Biography section - needs more sources and can be expanded as well.
  • Legacy and honors - can be converted to prose format.
  • Musical style and influence - looks good.
  • Compositions - looks good as well.
  • Recordings and film - also looks good.

All are welcome to assist in this process. Thanks, Darth Sjones23 (talk - contributions) 17:36, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

Vandalism problem[edit]

So, probably apparent to many people, there is a bit of garbage in the "Legacy and Honors" section. The following appears: "oh ya i am awsome ;0 i is wathin uz". I cannot seem to edit it out.Hoops gza (talk) 22:00, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

I solved the problem by reverting twice the old-fashioned way.Hoops gza (talk) 22:03, 3 November 2012 (UTC)

Alas, reverting yet once more is all we can do really. Vandal attacks seem to be cyclic - I sometimes think they might coincide with groups of immature American High School students being introduced to different topics by their teachers? Soundofmusicals (talk) 22:18, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
I tend to think that. It's hardly unique to this article certainly. I see it a lot on Vivaldi especially for some reason. But vandalism/nonsense will happen, best not to worry about it and just revert. ♫ Melodia Chaconne ♫ (talk) 01:22, 4 November 2012 (UTC)
I believe that vandalism originated in Europe. Possibly by mature Europeans. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 50.32.33.104 (talk) 14:55, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

William Daly[edit]

Is William "Bill" Daly, Gershwin's friend and orchestrator (Lady, Be Good!, Rosalie, Of Thee I Sing, Pardon My English, etc.), important enough to be incorporated into the main article? There is a 1933 photograph of Gershwin and Daly here (near the bottom of the page). Hrdinský 04:01, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

No reason why a brief note, referenced, and in the right place, shouldn't be added. Want to do the honours? --Soundofmusicals (talk) 20:25, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Was Gershwin a "Russian Jew"?[edit]

Hi Soundofmusicals. Before to start explaining the notion of the "Russian Jews" and its usage in the article, please check my commentary on the talk page with another user who has recently asked me to explain the same issue. The ambiguity derives from the clear-cut definition of many other modern nationalities, which determines a person to be part of a nation if he or she is associated with the country or the region where that nation was formed. Thus, a person is German if he or she is associated with Germany, French if he or she is associated with France or Russian if he or she is associated with Russia. However, the same does not apply for the Russian Jews who are an ethnolinguistic group of Jews whose native language is Russian. In this sense, Russian is used to denote the primary language used in the family and not the country of origin. Most of the Russian Jews come from the territories that were part of the Russian Empire (some of them specifically from Russia in its borders today), but there are also many that have laid there ancestry in these territories and immigrated to other countries, mostly in the United States, France or Israel. For more information you should also check the article about Russian Jews. Best regards.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 14:47, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

Fair enough if we were talking about Gershwin's parents, who were Ukrainian, but we're not. If we carried your argument to its logical conclusion there would be no such thing as American nationality except for pure blooded Native Americans since everyone else in America has European or African ancestry (or both, of course). Americans of Italian ancestry, for instance, are not designated "Italian Catholics", nor are Americans whose parents came from Belfast lumped with "Irish Protestants". They are sometimes called Italian-Americans, or (less often) Irish-Americans - but I have never heard of a Russian-American. Gershwin was certainly not "Russian" by any definition he would have recognised himself. Incidentally - this is my talk page, and not the correct place to discuss something like this. I will copy this to the proper place - the talk page for the article concerned, and I would appreciate your continuing the discussion there, "in public". --Soundofmusicals (talk) 22:12, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
It might seem logical for you to use such comparison with "Italian Catholics", "Native Americans" or "Irish Protestants", but it's not correct and apparently reflects your lack of knowledge about the concept of "Jews" and "Russian Jews" in this case. The ancestry and the self-esteem of Jews is much different than any other ethnic, ethnolinguistic or religious group in the world. Please read the article about Russian Jews and you'll find out the huge divergence between them and any of the examples you've brought here to illustrate your point. To say "Russian Jew" does not refer roughly to someone who is a Jew from Russia, but applies to a much broader definition with the term Russian being centered on the language and all the traditions that were kept and used in the family. You should read Pollack's George Gershwin: His Life and Work, where you can find that Russian and Yiddish where the primary languages used in the family. In this sense, being a Russian Jew doesn't strike someone to be American, German, Russian, French or anything else. It's simply a different category than those used for other people and should not make any confusion at all. Moreover, the change is only in the category and not in the first sentence of the article.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 23:40, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
A Russian-heritage Jew born in America is an American. We cannot call Gershwin a Russian Jew. Binksternet (talk) 23:49, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
Yes, he was American citizen but it doesn't strike him of being a Russian Jew. One doesn't have to be a Russian citizen in order to be a Russian Jew.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 00:08, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
I don't agree. We are at an impasse.
If there is an ethnologic definition of "Russian Jew" which includes native-born Americans of Russian Jewish heritage, then this usage is not commonly understood in that manner. I disagree that this biography should be categorized as Category:Russian Jews. Such a category should be saved for Jews that are significantly Russian. Gershwin was definitively American. Binksternet (talk) 00:22, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
There is still confusion between the terms. You can also be American Jew and a Russian Jew at the same time in this context. The definition of American Jews is much different than the definition of Russian Jews. One is an American Jew because he or she is a Jew who was born or became an American citizen, but, at the same time, he is a Russian Jew because of the traditions and the language kept in the family. Note that we have Ukrainian, Belarusian and Lithuanian Jews as well, but this doesn't mean that if these people are classified as so they cannot be Russian Jews under its definition. I've had an in-person conversation with people who are Russian Jews but do not live in Russia and they confirmed that being a Russian Jew depends on many other things instead of simply checking where one was born.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 10:38, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
I am not confused; I am simply disagreeing with you. I do not think we can categorize Gershwin as a Russian Jew. Binksternet (talk) 15:16, 21 June 2013 (UTC)

Sorry Kiril, but you're drawing a very long bow here. Unless you have definite confirmation that Gershwin self-identified as a "Russian Jew", or that his family were members of a community of "Russian Jews" who identified themselves in the way you describe? Unlike several other Jewish composers he wrote no specifically "Jewish" music (e.g. based on Jewish traditions or for Judaic liturgical purposes), and neither did he he write any music influenced by Russian or Ukrainian music (either folk themes or classical works). In so far as his music has any extra-American influences at all they are from contemporary French composers. So in the field for which he is remembered (and for which he is mentioned here at all) there is certainly no evidence to support his being in the category. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 07:46, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

I've already mentioned that identifying someone as Russian Jew is not classification of his nationality, and it thereby is not possible for someone to self-identify as such. It has much different definition. We know that many people in the world are Jews, but they have never self-identified simply as Jews. As for the traditions practiced in the family, in Pollack's book that I'm referring to above you can find more about his life and the Jewish and Russian traditions that they practiced at home. He even insisted to marry a Jewish woman and called God to help him in doing it. On the other hand, Carl can Vechten denies it as untrue saying that it's absurd to talk about Jewish traditions in his life.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 11:53, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
If it is not possible for any person to self-identify as a Russian Jew, who is it that makes the identification? What if the person disagrees with this label imposed on them by someone else? None of this makes any sense, Kiril. -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 12:00, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
Seems like you don't understand me. If the identification doesn't exist, then we wouldn't have article about Russian Jews on Wikipedia. The problem is that you can self-identify as German, French, Russian, English, American or anything else, but you cannot identify yourself as a Jew if you're not Jewish. Conversely, if you're a Jew, you simply don't need to self-identify as such to be so classified. There are no Jews who have ever done their self-identification and received a written documentation issued upon it. The crucial point is that in the world we live, any single person is eligible to fulfill several criteria to become German, French, etc. But there are no such criteria that can be fulfilled in order to become a Jew. It becomes evident from birth and nothing can change it during the life, nor can anything make you not Jewish if you deny it (Bobby Fischer denied that he was Jewish, but it didn't make him non-Jewish.).
By using your logic, we have to search for all the people who are classified as Jews if they self-identified as such. That is, nobody should be classified as Jew on Wikipedia. You can find more evidence on the topic here (Note that we don't have such article pertaining any other citizenship, nationality or ethnic group.).--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 13:04, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
Wikipedia is rarely based on primary sources; see WP:PSTS and WP:OPENPARA. Toccata quarta (talk) 12:09, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
None of the rules is valid in this case. The first one asks to check all the articles about Jewish biographies if they have ever self-identified as Jews, while the second one pertains with the opening sentence in the article and does not restrict to add categories.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 14:17, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
1) Primary sources do not determine nationalities. 2) Categories must be sourced in the article body. Toccata quarta (talk) 16:06, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
No worries. You'll get the sources in the article that his family and thereby himself were Russian Jews.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 16:29, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
Russian Jews are Jews with Russian citizenship. Gershwin did not have Russian citizenship. Toccata quarta (talk) 16:46, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
Please read the whole discussion carefully before posting arbitrary definitions. The main thing is that the Russian Jews is not category of people who are associated with Russia (see Russian Jews for more information); otherwise, we wouldn't have such discussion on this thread at all. The problem arises most often with the people from the United States, who argue that a person is X if only has a citizenship from that country. Sometimes it's a necessary condition, but usually it leads to faked conclusions.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 21:55, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
Russian Jews redirects to History of the Jews in Russia. Gershwin never set foot in Russia, to my knowledge; and he spoke no Russian. Our category Russian Jews has a sub-category titled American people of Russian-Jewish descent. Why should he not belong in the sub-category rather than the main category? -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 22:22, 22 June 2013 (UTC)
He did speak some Russian as, along with Yiddish, it was one of the primary languages used in the family. As for the category American people of Russian-Jewish descent, there is no definition how those people are classified in this sub-category. Some of the examples I checked imply that the category is used to group those Russian Jews who were born in the United States, but it is also used, along with the category Russian Jews, for those who immigrated in the United States. It may be a proper solution but it's strange as to how one person loses his status as 'Russian-Jewish' and becomes 'American of Russian-Jewish decent' simply because he was born in the United States. Probably, the next step is to classify simply as 'American-Jewish', which drives back into the same maze, where 'Russian Jew' doesn't refer to Jews specifically from Russia, while 'American Jew' has exactly the meaning of Jews from the United States. I've already mentioned that it's possible to be a 'Russian Jew' and an 'American Jew' at the same time because of the differences in their definitions, but to match them to eliminate the other is like mixing apples and oranges. Finally, the term 'Russian Jews' is not a hybrid between Russians and Jews; it's something between them in terms of the one being an ethnicity and the other being a collective term for religious and ethnolinguistic group.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 22:55, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I have amended the article correcting some wrong information about his early life. After all, the readers are those who have to know the truth.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 23:05, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

Look, Kiril Simeonovski, I'm getting tired of your meandering verbiage. Wikipedia has its own guidelines and policies. WP:OPENPARA is the one that applies here. Gershwin wasn't born in Russia, nor did he ever have Russian citizenship. The "his parents spoke Russian" argument is pathetic. I use British English, but that doesn't make me a citizen of the UK. Toccata quarta (talk) 04:46, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
Please refrain from emotional outbursts and use relevant arguments if you intend to do so. My wish is not to deal with the opening paragraph, but do add a suitable category in the article which (un)fortunately does not fall under WP:OPENPARA. In addition, you're accusing me that I use the argument that his parents spoke Russian. Where did I write it? I wrote that he spoke some Russian because he was so educated at home. If you don't like the sources and what is written there, this is not a way to build-up theories as you want to do it. Finally, you're not forced to participate in the discussion if you're really tired to contest against the truth.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 11:46, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
A few words on your dismissal of the lead guideline: a lead is a summary of an article. Therefore it should not contradict it. Likewise, categories should be sourced in the article body. You are inserting a distinction where there is none. Toccata quarta (talk) 13:12, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
Also, you dismiss Category:American people of Russian-Jewish descent on the ground that "there is no definition how those people are classified in this sub-category". But there is no definition of how the people in Category:Russian Jews are classified in that category either, except for the one you are championing here, with which nobody is agreeing. -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 04:59, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
No, my point is that Russian-Jewish is not an ethnicity as American is nor its religious designation as Catholic is. The article is in a pretty bad shape and there are many fallacies that should be corrected. I started with his early life yesterday, and will need some time to do it with the whole article. Hopefully, you'll not revert my edits because you intend to make a censorship on it and don't let the readers know what the real truth is.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 11:46, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
"Real truth" is not only a pleonasm, but also something that Wikipedians tend to be suspicious of. (Usernames with the word "truth" are generally chosen by POV-pushers.) Toccata quarta (talk) 12:52, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
Let's leave my bona fides intact, shall we? We can do without straw men here. All I am trying to do is understand your position. You make assertions, but surely there's more to this than Kiril Simeonovski's opinion, no? -- Jack of Oz [Talk]
Fine. I'll try to provide opinion from an expert on the topic to explain it better than me. The game you're playing surely is not in the good faith of Wikipedia to collect arbitrary definitions of the term by more users and try to convert it into advantage against someone else. Poor Wikipedia, if the majority agrees that 3+4=8, then it will surely become true and evident in any of the articles. This discussion is over for me, but, as I said above, my wish is to continue improving the article.--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 12:17, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
Now you're accusing me of lack of good faith. It is you who is asserting things without any corroboration, not me. All I have done here is ask questions. Please retract your graceless and unfounded slurs. -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 12:31, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
Kiril - I'm very sorry but you obviously have no idea how Wikipedia works and need to do a lot of reading to find out. Behaviour such as you are exhibiting here is not acceptable, in fact Wikipedia would not be workable if it was. You need to accept that you can't have every article exactly as you want it - none of us can. We are INFINITELY more likely to end up with "4+3=8" situation the way you seem to want it, where one person can scream and scream until they get their way - rather than the current method, where a number of people "gather" to discuss a matter, and come up with a consensus. I have gone so far as to revert your statement that Gershwin's parents came from St. Petersburg rather than Odessa - even though I notice the original statement was not directly cited. Needs a "citation needed" tag really - so that the place of his parent's birth, a very minor point with no bearing on this dispute, can be determined. To be frank, the way you have been accusing everyone else of lack of good faith brings your own into question. For the record, no one has ever denied Gershwin's Jewishness, nor his Russian parentage. Nor have you denied (at least I don't think you have) his American birth. Now if he "self-indentified" as being the same ethnicity as his parents (for instance if he had ever said something like "Russian Jews like me think that ...", or "I am proud of my Russian-Jewish background") - if he had written any music for the synagogue - or arranged any Jewish folk music - if he had ever been back to the Soviet Union to visit relatives of his parents, or even contacted them in any way - THEN we might have had a reason to class him under a "Russian Jewish" category. As it is he seems to have been thoroughly American, just like many other American-born people of foreign parentage have been over the years. It really is as simple as that. My advice is - take a deep breathe - have a nice drink (caffeine rather than alcohol, or whatever else your doctor or your religion might permit) - take this article off your watchlist, and go do something else. I've had to do this before now - when the consensus is against you on Wikipedia it's all you have left. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 13:35, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
The discussion was over for me and I was ready to do some productive work in the article, but seems like someone persists to get rid of me and even reverts the edits I've done to correct the fallacies in the article. The three sources that I brought to cite his Russian-Jewish parentage are tertiary sources, which doesn't mean that we should omit them and replace with statements with no sources. The fact that his parents were from Saint Petersburg you can find in Pollack's book mentioned above. What you did is reverting the cited fact with non-cited one that his parents were from Odessa. This is nothing else than a pure vandalism. Please first provide sources and then come here to challenge my work, or better explain how could a statement with no sources be better than one with a highly relevant citation. Anyway, thanks for your advice!--Kiril Simeonovski (talk) 14:08, 23 June 2013 (UTC)
G's Russian-Jewish parentage has never been in question - but in context is not very notable. As I've said before (twice) it would be if that had been reflected in some way in his music. Certainly not worth linking in the way you did. I admitted above that we didn't have a cite for his parents (or at least his father) coming from Odessa rather than St Petersburg - but if they were from Moscow itself that is still completely irrelevant to whether their son should be categorised as a "Russian Jew" (the point of the argument). Those two changes of surname seem to indicate that it was something they were trying hard to get away from! If you were really resigned about the category then you might have mentioned it. None of us are mind readers. I like the new "early life" section - although some of the details are not that notable for an encyclopedia article as opposed to a potted biography. Well done all. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 22:37, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

Cause of tumour[edit]

His colleague P.G. Wodehouse was certain that GG's tumour was caused by a blow on the head from a golf-ball. I'm sure that one of the Wodehouse scholars on Wiki would be able to find reference of this. Valetude (talk) 19:15, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

I wouldn't spend much effort searching for this. Referenced or not, the medical musings of a humorist can hardly be considered encyclopedia-quality information. –Patrug (talk) 06:50, 16 May 2014 (UTC)

Type of tumor[edit]

unsourced info, moved here until citation found:

There has been controversy in recent years about the precise type of tumor involved, whether it was malignant or not, and the quality of the treatment Gershwin received; however, in 1937, available treatments were primitive in comparison to today, and such cases were almost always fatal. [citation needed]

99.14.216.20 (talk) 21:25, 20 March 2014 (UTC)(on wikibreak, but this is really obvious)

For what it's worth, Pollack's Gershwin biography cited a few recent doctors speculating over second-hand reports of Gershwin's symptoms:
http://books.google.com/books?id=RySwdc151ZoC&pg=PA214&lpg=PA214&dq=gershwin+gbm&source=bl&ots=SKJeGssmNi&sig=arGmoG6Tc-q8i_2J-7oS4KcOLqk&hl=en&sa=X&ei=rqV1U6aZGomvsASyloDoAQ&ved=0CDsQ6AEwBjgK#v=onepage&q=gershwin%20gbm&f=false
More recently, a medical journal strongly affirmed the post-mortem finding of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), whose survival rates have improved little since the time of Gershwin's death:
http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S0004-282X2002000300033
Even if today's medical knowledge had existed in 1937, it seems unlikely that Gershwin would have seen his 40th birthday. –Patrug (talk) 06:50, 16 May 2014 (UTC)