View full screen - View 1 of Lot 84. Autograph music manuscript of George and Ira Gershwin's "Who Cares?" from the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Of Thee I Sing..
84

Autograph music manuscript of George and Ira Gershwin's "Who Cares?" from the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Of Thee I Sing.

Estimate:

20,000 - 30,000 USD

Property from the Collection of Elsie and Philip Sang

Autograph music manuscript of George and Ira Gershwin's "Who Cares?" from the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Of Thee I Sing.

Autograph music manuscript of George and Ira Gershwin's "Who Cares?" from the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Of Thee I Sing.

Estimate:

20,000 - 30,000 USD

Lot sold:

44,100

USD

Property from the Collection of Elsie and Philip Sang

GEORGE GERSHWIN

AUTOGRAPH MUSIC MANUSCRIPT OF GEORGE AND IRA GERSHWINS' "WHO CARES?" FROM THE PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING MUSICAL OF THEE I SING.


9 pages (13 1/2 x 10 1/2 in.; 342 x 267 mm) on bifolia of 12-stave paper by Harms (No. 2), signed twice ("George Gershwin" and "George"), comprising autograph title-page and 8-page music manuscript with lyrics, in ink with additions and corrections in pencil, n.p., n.d. [New York?, ca. 1930–31]; some very light tanning and soiling.


An early draft of one of the most popular songs from one of George Gershwin's most important musicals, Of Thee I Sing, signed twice by Gershwin and with corrections and additions in pencil.


Of Thee I Sing, one of the Gershwins' most accomplished musicals, is a political satire about a Presidential candidate, John P. Wintergreen, who runs on a "love" platform. In the first act, Wintergreen's supporters even sing "Love Is Sweeping the Country" at a Madison Square Garden rally. By the second act Wintergreen is married to his true love, Mary Turner, and has been elected President. At a White House press conference, the President and First Lady lay out their platform in lyrics by Ira Gershwin that may strike a familiar note with anyone who follows American politics. President Wintergreen makes his intentions clear to the press: "I'll have no discussions / Of the farmers or the Russians / You can tell the people / They can all jump off a steeple."


"Who Cares?," along with "Love Is Sweeping the Country" and the title song "Of Thee I Sing" have remained popular standards. "Who Cares?" has been recorded memorably by an array of celebrated vocalists, including Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, Ella Fitzgerald, Kate Smith, Anita O'Day, and continuing with later covers by Tony Bennett (1993) and Rufus Wainwright (2007). Other numbers, such as "We'll Impeach Him," have survived primarily as integral parts of an interconnected score.


The show opened in New York on 26 December 1931, with William Gaxton as Wintergreen and Lois Moran as Mary Turner. The book was by George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind, with Kaufman directing. Of Thee I Sing won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1932 and was one of the longest-running Broadway shows of the 1930s. It has had several successful revivals. In 1970, George Balanchine choreographed a ballet titled "Who Cares?" for the New York City Ballet. The work was centered around the song "Who Cares?" and several other popular Gershwin tunes. 


An early working manuscript of an essential number in the Gershwin songbook.