BootLeg Betty

Bette Midler Pays Tribute To Ira Gershwin

Nevada Evening Gazette
Night life business must be getting better
Earl Wilson
November 21, 1975

It took Bette Midler to add a raucous note to the otherwise sentimental tribute to 79-year-old lyricist Ira Gershwin, at Avery Fisher Hall. Bette came out swingin’ and said, “I just love to work for free.” adding that, “the band doesn’t work for free — isn’t that right you fellows and gals?” They shouted their confirmation.
one big party.

Independent Press Telegram
Gershwin tunes bring audiences to his feet
By Rex Reed
November 23, 1975

Another big-game hunter skated forth from the wings lo tumultuous applause. Her name was Bette Midler, and if anybody still needs proof lhat Ira Gershwin is just as relevant and applicable to 1975 as he was to the music of the better musical years, she sealed the legend in gold.

After selling off a few kegs of her own dynamite with the obscure comedy tune “My Cousin From Milwaukee,” she gleefully chided the audience (“This is the classiest night I’ve ever been associated with. I and the orchestra We’re all working free tonight except the band — right, fellas and gals?”), and paid her own rhythmic tribute to Ira Gershwin by singing, with great feeling and emotion, her own contemporary arrangement of a song that could well be the theme of all artisls who have achieved individuality and originality. The song was “They Can’t Take That Away From Me,” and until you hear Bctte Midlersing Ira Gershwin, you don’t know what love is.

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