Lyrics by Ira Gershwin

THE 1952 WALDEN SESSIONS

IRA GERSHWIN (1896 – 1983) – THE 1952 WALDEN SESSIONS

Tracks

  1. Blah, Blah, Blah
  2. My One and Only
  3. I Don’t Think I’ll Fall in Love Today
  4. I Can’t Get Started
  5. The Saga of Jenny
  6. Younger Generation
  7. Sing Me Not a Ballad
  8. Put Me to the Test
  9. Long Ago and Far Away
  10. Don’t Be a Woman If You Can
  11. Where’s the Boy? Here’s the Girl!
  12. Boy! What Love Has Done to Me!
  13. I Don’t Think I’ll Fall in Love Today
  14. The Half of It, Dearie, Blues
  15. The Simple Life
  16. Where Is She?
  17. Oh, So Nice!
  18. My Cousin in Milwaukee

Featuring Nancy Walker, Louise Carlyle and David Craig
David Baker and John Morris, piano
Musical arrangements by David Baker

This is the first CD edition of LYRICS BY IRA GERSHWIN, originally released in 1952 by Walden Records, which issued 10 acclaimed songbook albums during the early and mid-1950s. An independent label founded by the late Edward Jablonski and Leon Seidel, Walden operated on a shoestring but created superior recordings.

The Ira Gershwin set deserves a special note because the lyricist participated so actively in it and other Walden projects. About a year before Jablonski’s death in 2004, he shared with Harbinger’s Ken Bloom and Bill Rudman these memories of producing LYRICS BY IRA GERSHWIN, the first of the Walden LPs: “I wished to explore the field of undiscovered, or unaccountably ignored, songs by our popular songwriters — especially that unsung hero of the trade, the lyricist. Ira Gershwin was Walden’s benevolent godfather; I had begun corresponding with him while I was a high school student in Bay City, Michigan. He encouraged my writing and took a paternal interest in what Leon and I were trying to do. In LYRICS BY IRA GERSHWIN we spanned Ira’s inventive output not only with his brother but with composers Arthur Schwartz, Vernon Duke, Jerome Kern, Kurt Weill and even Aaron Copland. The final product pleased him; in an uncharacteristic display of emotion, he sent us a telegram saying, ‘I am proud of each one of you. Matter of fact, you make me rather proud of myself, too.’ Ira was most helpful in the song selections, and in suggesting that the singers include his friend Nancy Walker and her husband and vocal coach, David Craig. (Nancy’s rendition of ‘I Can’t Get Started’ includes some lines penned by Ira for this occasion.) Several years later, when we ran out of money in the midst of producing Walden’s Harold Arlen discs, he sent us a check to finish the job – without being asked. We never told his friend Harold that Ira had been the angel.”

Bonus tracks include Nancy Walker and David Craig singing Ira Gershwin lyrics with accompaniment by David Baker. The trio gave these recordings as a Christmas present to their friend Burt Shevelove in 1951.

You may also be interested in other Harbinger reissues of Walden Records: Gershwin RaritiesMelodies of Jerome Kern, The Music of Harold ArlenSongs by Cole Porter and Songs by Rodgers & Hart.

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