Feinstein still remembers his early meetings with Ira Gershwin in Los Angeles in 1977: “Ira was in state of great depression because one of his close friends had passed away,” he recalls. “And Ira was already reclusive, and very sedentary.” An eager scholar of the Gershwins’ work, Feinstein would ask Ira questions about the recordings he was finding, some of them dating back to 1917. “By playing these Gershwin recordings that I pulled out of the closet … it brought him back and suddenly, he had a spark.”
In the photo: Michael Feinstein (right) worked for six years as Ira Gershwin’s cataloger and archivist.
Credit: Simon & Schuster