Lead: At the age of 15, Jacob, the son of Rose and Morris Gershovitz, dropped out of high school to work in Tin-Pan Alley as a piano-playing song-plugger. After that, American popular music would never be quite the same.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Actually, Jacob’s brother Ira was originally intended to be the family musician. The piano was bought for him, but his younger brother, who later took the name George, started picking out tunes at a friend’s house. His talent was discovered and, much to Ira’s relief, George Gershwin took over the music lessons. In 1919 he wrote a couple of songs for the Capitol Review, one with a lyric by Irving Caesar which received little notice until Al Jolson used in his new show Sinbad. “Swanee” was an extraordinary success.

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