July 12 marks the anniversary of the death of composer/pianist George Gershwin. Gershwin joined The Lambs in 1924 and remained a member until his death. His famous opus, “Rhapsody in Blue” was first performed and recorded in New York in 1924, with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra. Whiteman joined The Lambs in 1922 and remained a member until his death. The premier of Rhapsody occurred February 12, 1924 in Aeolian Hall, just around the corner from The Lambs clubhouse on West 44th Street.
We sadly mark the passing of Lamb William Brown, who joined in 2007. Bill served on the Council of The Lambs, and was our advisor for all insurance matters. Bill frequently performed at Low Jinks, along with his wife, Lamb Anita Brown…with his most recent performance occurring just two days before his sudden passing. Bill will be missed by all of us.
The Lambs has been historically known for its patriotic fervor. For example, in World War I The Lambs raised a great of money through war bonds, and a transport ship was named in our honor. In World War II uniformed soldiers were welcomed as guest to Lambs’ events.
And among our members….that ol’ Yankee Doodle Dandy himself, George M. Cohan, was a Lamb, and portrayed by Lamb James Cagney. This famous poster of “Uncle Sam” was painted by Lamb James Montgomery Flagg….and the famous “God Bless America” was composed by Lamb Irving Berlin, as was “You Gotta Get Up in the Morning.“
The march king, Lamb John Philip Sousa composed dozens of patriotic marches including” Semper Fidelis” (official march of the US Marine Corps), “The Liberty Bell,” “Stars and Stripes Forever,” “The Thunderer,” and “The Washington Post.” In World War II the Liberty Ship SS John Philip Sousa was named after him, and the ship’s bell is still used by the Marine Band in concert.
When Sousa joined The Lambs, he composed “The Lambs’ March,” which can be heard below