GEORGE GERSHWIN (1898-1937) Inscribed photograph to Ethel Merman, 1930, with musical quotation from "I've got Rhythm."
. A vintage photograph depicting Gershwin sitting at the piano, inscribed below the image "For Ethel - A lucky composer is he who has you singing his songs. All the best/ George Gershwin/ Oct. 28 '30" and with Gershwin's musical quotation and text "I got Rhythm/I got Music." 8 x 10 inches (20 x 25 cm); framed. Excellent condition overall with dark text and tones to the photograph, a very small and faint stain the word 'best' in the inscription, not removed from frame.
A superb inscribed photograph from George Gershwin to Ethel Merman just two weeks into her stage debut as Frisco Kate Fothergill in Girl Crazy, the show that launched her career with her performance of "I Got Rhythm." Girl Crazy was George and Ira Gershwin's 1930 follow up to Show Girl from the previous year, opened at the Alvin Theatre on October 14, 1930 and ran for 272 performances. The original cast included Ginger Rogers, Ethel Merman in her Broadway debut, and a remarkable opening night orchestra which included Benny Goodman, Gene Krupa, Glenn Miller and Jimmy Dorsey. George Gershwin inscribed this photograph to Ethel Merman within the opening month of the show. Gershwin's inscription is gracious and he has added the opening music of the song that made Merman a star "I Got Rhythm" rendering this one of the finest association pieces we have seen. This photograph was acquired at the auction "Property from the Estate of Ethel Merman," sold Christie's East, 10 October 1984, lot 86.
C The Collection of Nancy Salisbury
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