From Irving Berlin to Cy Coleman, from "Alexander's Ragtime Band" to "Big Spender," from Tin Pan Alley to the MGM soundstages, the Golden Age of the American song embodied all that was cool, sexy, and sophisticated in popular culture. For four glittering decades, geniuses like Jerome Kern, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Harold Arlen enticed unforgettable melodies out of thin air. Gershwin, in his brief but incandescent career, straddled Tin Pan Alley and Carnegie Hall, charming everyone in his orbit. Possessed of a world-class ego, Gershwin was also generous, exciting, and utterly original. Half a century later, his love songs are as moving as ever. Writer Sheed uncovered the legends, mingled with the greats, and gossiped with the insiders. Now he's crafted a dazzling history of the era that "tripled the world's total supply of singable tunes."--From publisher description.