Swanee

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composition date
1918
genre
Show
PBS Episode(s)
3
related media performance(s)
1920, 78 rpm record
participant(s): Al Jolson, vocal, music by George Gershwin, lyric by Irving Caesar
type: Recording
media: Audio
songwriter(s)
George Gershwin
Irving Caesar
related performer(s)
Al Jolson

Between lunch and the piano

George Gershwin and Irving Caesar were lunching at Dinty Moore’s restaurant trying to come up with a surefire hit. “Hindustan” was popular at the time and Caesar suggested marrying the one-step rhythms of that song to another locale. The team continued discussing the song while riding on the upper level of a double-decker bus to Gershwin’s apartment. By the time they reached the piano, the song had been sketched out.

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Recordings
Swanee
Al Jolson, vocal, music by George Gershwin, lyric by Irving Caesar
The 3 part PBS Series
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