Fascinating Rhythm…the Answers to George Gershwin.

O.k., so here’s the problem….

You have to find the perfect gift for your significant other for
Christmas and you are all out of ideas.

Your beau already has a Zune, you didn’t have 3 days to wait in line
for a Playstation 3, and anyway you’ve only got like $20. to spend on a

  So what do you do? How about giving the gift of music—love songs sung by Obi-Wan Kenobi?

You know what they say:

Space: The Final Frontier for all of your holiday shopping needs….:)



Obi-Wan, Ewan McGregor sings “Sweetest Gift”  on a compilation CD called “Unexpected Dreams: Songs from the Stars”

With that and those William Shatner albums ………..



….you should be all set for Christmas!:-)


No, this is not a commercial, and yes, I really do have a point:-). As weird as it sounds, that brings us to our next within-6-degrees connection….

George Gershwin…

Because Obi-Wan is not the only musically talented movie star on the “Unexpected Dreams” album.

Space cadet* Teri Hatcher from “Desperate Housewives,” “Seinfeld’s”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jennifer Garner and even Jeremy Irons take turns
singing on the album.
And one of George Gershwin’s best songs, the bluesy “Summertime,” from
“Porgy and Bess” is performed………
by none other than

Scarlett Johansson

Of The Perfect Score.

So we’ve tied Scarlett to Gershwin, but what about Microsoft Co-founder,Paul Allen—how is he connected
within 6 degrees to songwriter, George Gershwin?

Let’s start with movies…. 

Although George Gershwin died in 1937 at the age of 38, he was a
prolific songwriter, and his music is still popular today.
His songs are romantic and classy and have
an old fashioned quality that never goes out of style.
  It’s that quality that makes his music perfect for movie soundtracks, which is where the connections to Microsoft Co-founder, Paul Allen begin.
Here are more than a few within-6-degrees links to Microsoft Co-founder, Paul Allen:

1) The Aviator——In 2004, “The Aviator” featured the song, “I’ll Build a Stairway to
Paradise” written by George Gershwin.
Martin Scorsese, a close friend of Allen’s, directed “The Aviator.” Paul Allen attended the Aviator premiere and afterparty the evening of Dec. 1, 2004 with his friend, Laura Harring.  (Photo of Allen and Scorsese at the Aviator afterparty.)


2) Catch Me if You Can  —– In 2002, “Catch Me if You Can,” featured the song, “Embraceable You,”
written by Gershwin.
“Catch Me if You Can” was a DreamWorks Production, directed by Steven
 Allen was Spielberg’s business partner — and the largest
shareholder at DreamWorks, SKG at that time.*2 
Steven Spielberg founded DreamWorks with Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen, and was the S in the SKG (Spielberg, Katzenberg and Geffen).(Photo shows Spielberg, Allen, Katzenberg and Gina Gershon at a Portland Trailblazer’s playoffs game in 2000). See…

“Catch Me if You Can” starred Leonardo Di Caprio, who has attended
premiere parties in the past with Paul Allen. Some of those parties were
even thrown by Allen, such as the “Gangs of New York” party in Cannes,
that Allen co-sponsored along with Georgio Armani in 2002.

The New York Times
Sunday, May 26, 2002
Toughest Job in Cannes: Working the Parties

By JULIA CHAPLIN  From the article:“On Tuesday, half the 30,000 people at the 12-day festival, which ends
today, seemed to be maneuvering for an invitation to Mr. Armani’s
affair, given with Paul Allen, the Microsoft co-founder, in honor of
Martin Scorsese, whose “Gangs of New York” got a 20-minute preview on
For a time, Leonardo Di Caprio’s significant other was Victoria’s Secret
Supermodel, Gisele Bundchen. The couple has since parted ways.

A couple of years ago, in February of 2004, Gisele spent Mardi Gras at
Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival, dancing with friends and having a good time.
The micro-skirted girl met Microsoft man Paul Allen, who was there at
the same place and time with his friend Dan Aykroyd.

 3) As Good as it Gets —-
In 1997, the movie “As Good as it Gets” featured the song, “An American in Paris” written by George Gershwin. The movie starred Jack Nicholson, who also starred in “About Schmidt.” Paul Allen attended the Cannes premiere and afterparty for “About Schmidt.” (Photo of Allen, Nicholson, and Allen’s friend Gina Gershon.) See… http://www.wireimage.com/GalleryListing.asp?navtyp=GLS====10432&c4nvi=3&str=3342&styp=clbi&nbc1=1  

 4) He Said, She Said  —- In 1991, “He Said, She Said” featured the song, “Blah, Blah, Blah”
written by George Gershwin.
(“He Said, She Said” also starred Kevin Bacon, BTW…)
Jason Hunke, a Senior Director for Marketing and Publicity for Paul
Allen’s Vulcan Productions, used to do publicity work for Paramount
Pictures films, including the movie, “He Said, She Said.”

5) When Harry Met SallyIn 1989, “When Harry Met Sally,” one of the classic romantic movies of
all time, featured a number of George Gershwin songs, including “Our
Love is Here to Stay”, “Let’s Call the Whole thing Off” and “But Not For
“When Harry Met Sally” starred Meg Ryan, who also starred in “Sleepless
in Seattle” and “You’ve Got Mail” with Tom Hanks.
Tom Hanks has been in a number of DreamWorks Productions, including “Toy
Story” and “Cast Away,” and has been a guest at Paul Allen’s parties,
including the fabulous yacht trip to St. Petersburg in 2001.
(Meg Ryan was also among the guests at Paul Allen’s Russian trip).

6) Bing Crosby movies: —-“The King of Jazz” “The Birth of the Blues,” and “That’s
Entertainment,” were all movies that starred Bing
Crosby. They were also all movies that featured songs written by George Gershwin.
Crosby’s grandson, Steven Crosby, has worked for many years at Paul Allen’s Vulcan as Vice President of Corporate Communications.

And just to make sure we’ve got this one covered, let’s do a couple of
more traditional within-6-degree connections:
1) George and his brother Ira Gershwin (2) wrote many of their songs together.   Ira was a friend of actress Angie Dickinson (3), who reminisced about the marathon poker games that she and Ira used to play in this Library of Congress article:  See..    http://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/9804/gershwin.html
Angie played the role of “Grace” in the movie, “Pay it Forward,” which
  Helen Hunt (4),  who co-starred with  Tom Hanks (5)  in the DreamWorks movie,
“Cast Away” (see above for connections).
Kevin Spacey (4) also starred in the movie, “Pay it Forward.” Spacey, an award-winning actor who founded Triggerstreet.com*1 goes to the same parties as Paul Allen (and Scarlett Johansson—see photos) .
And hangs out with the same people, such as Bill Clinton, who has friendships with both Allen and Spacey.  See… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_spacey#_note-abc  
Spacey won an Academy Award for his performance in the movie “American Beauty,” produced by DreamWorks (see above for link).

And finally—Just in case you were interested in getting those Ewan McGregor or
William Shatner CD’s, here are a few previews—some great Youtube videos of both of
them singing Elton John songs….:-)

Here’s Ewan McGregor’s “Your Song” from the movie, “Moulin Rouge”  (O.k., so this guy is good…)  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EY69_NrsH0&mode=related&search =

And William Shatner’s “Rocketman”


And one more video of William Shatner, just for fun… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kctwJyRDp-0&mode=related&search = _____________________________
BTW—“Summertime” was also sung by one of Paul Allen’s good friends,singer Peter Gabriel. Hear it at: http://www.gershwin.com/v1/launch.html ————————-
For more about George Gershwin, see…
http://www.gershwin.com/ ,  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Gershwin

Footnotes:    *2) DreamWorks—Allen is no longer DreamWorks’ largest shareholder.   *1) www.triggerstreet.com is a very cool site where amateur writers have the opportunity to get their screenplays reviewed and maybe even made
into films. It’s kind of like an online screenplay version of American Idol–

*) Space cadet–
No, really–Hatcher played transporter chief, Lt. B.G. Robinson in a 1998
episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation (“The Outrageous Okona”).

and yes I do have a life…
Stay tuned for more connections……:)