Skip to Content
HomeAbout this siteHelpSearch this site The Library of Congress
America's Story from America's LibraryMeet Amazing AmericansJump Back in TimeExplore the StatesJoin America at PlaySee, Hear and Sing
Jump Back in Time Depression & WWII (1929-1945)
Portrait of George Gershwin, Mar. 28, 1937.
Portrait of composer George Gershwin from 1937

Enlarge this image
George Gershwin Completes the Score for Porgy and Bess
September 2, 1935

Gershwin went to Folly Island off the coast of South Carolina to observe the customs of the local people and listen to their music. He joined in their "shouting," creating rhythms with his hands and feet as accompaniment to the spirituals.

Porgy and Bess premiered in New York in 1935 to good reviews, and the opera received more attention in Europe and the Soviet Union. Gershwin's entire score, however, was not heard on an American stage again until 1976. Songs from the opera, such as "Summertime," have become familiar tunes. You may have already heard one or two of them.

Summertime...and the living is easy.
Fish are jumping, and the cotton is high.
Your daddy's rich... And your mamma's good-lookin'
So hush little baby, don't you cry.

Back page 2 of 2 More Stories

Library Of Congress | Legal Notices | Privacy | Site Map | Contact Us