Arthur Gershwin, the third-born of the four Gershowitz siblings is perhaps the least well-known. The youngest, Frances, was in fact the first to earn money from her musical talent; she gave up professional singing on marrying Leopold Godowsky, Jr, the co-inventor of Kodachrome and son of pianist and composer Leopold Godowsky.
Two years younger than George, Arthur had two careers: composer and stockbroker. He composed the music for A Lady Says Yes (1945), a musical in two acts set in Venice, China, and Washington D.C. in 1545 and 1945.
In one of George Gershwin's last letters to his mother Rose (May 19 1937)*, he asks:
How is brother Arthur these days? I am glad to hear that he is writing a lot of tunes and I hope that he can find a market for some of them.
Frances described Arthur as “the funny one of the family.”
One of Arthur’s co-compositions, “Invitation to the Blues,” appeared in the ﬁlm Tootsie (1982) and can be previewed here (sung by Julie London).
He died in November 1981.
*The George Gershwin Reader by Robert Wyatt and John Andrew