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worked together on Of Thee I Sing. Then the next show that
they did was Let Them Eat Cake, which was not a success. Of
Thee I Sing won the Pulitzer Prize.
But the memorable stories that Kaufman would tell of
Gershwin! Gershwin loved to invite everybody to rehearsals.
He was an expansive fellow and he loved people. Kaufman
hated having anybody at rehearsals. This was a continuous
fight because Gershwin would troop in with all of the girls
that he was going around with and Kaufman would get enraged.
One day, during the rehearsals of Let Them Eat Cake, he and
Gershwin were walking down the street after the show; and
Kaufman very angrily said, “This show is going to be a flop.”
Gershwin said, “What makes you say that?" Kaufman said,
“The balcony was only half full this afternoon.”
But George saved one little waltz for a special purpose.
It was never in a show--a little waltz tune. He
would meet a girl and look at her soulfully and take her
hand and say, “There's something about you that inspires me
to compose.” The girl would say, “Oh, Mr. Gershwin!" George
would then get her up to his room and compose for her this
little waltz that he saved for such occasions. It was a
very successful stratagem. Usually they would finish the
waltz in bed together.
One night I remember down in Havana, we met a particularly
pretty girl. We went for a drink together and I
could see George beginning to operate. That's when I began
humming the waltz. George was in a rage with me. Obviously,
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