Music: Tribute to an Original

"I feel that you have some good stuff in you," said Tin Pan Alley Publisher Max Dreyfus as he offered the 19-year-old composer a $35-a-week retainer. "It may take months, it may take a year, it may take five years, but I'm convinced that the stuff is there. Just stop in every morning, so to speak, and say hello."

As the publisher of the already esteemed Jerome Kern, Dreyfus did not have to say that to everybody. But then, George Gershwin was not just any song plugger. One morning Gershwin said hello with a little...

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