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George Gershwin wrote great songs and shows for the theatre, but he always fancied himself as a serious composer. And he was - in fact, one of the 20th century’s greatest.
After the disappointing reception for Porgy and Bess, Gershwin moved to Hollywood and worked on many film scores. His music for Shall We Dance, starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, married ballet with jazz in a new way, and ran for more than an hour in length. It took Gershwin several months to write and orchestrate it.
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