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DuBose Heyward

Edwin DuBose Heyward

Novelist, Playwright, Lyricist, Poet, Realtor

(1885 - 1940)

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Book--"Porgy" at virginia.edu


Films at imdb.com
On Broadway at ibdb.com
DuBose Heyward was the successful co-owner of an insurance and real estate company and realized his financial independence by the time he was 40 years of age. Although he had been writing and publishing poetry and short stories for years, his financial success meant he was able to devote himself full time to his writing.

Heyward wrote his most successful novel Porgy (1925) about life in Catfish Row on the Charleston, South Carolina, waterfront. DuBose and his wife Dorothy then collaborated on a dramatization of Porgy, which was to become the first major Broadway play with an all African-American cast. Shortly after Porgy was published George Gershwin initiated correspondence with Heyward proposing the creation of a folk opera based on the novel. Heyward was enthusiastic but had to decline as the rights had been assigned to the Theater Guild for the planned stage adaptation. The Theater Guild presentation of Porgy opened in 1927 and ran for 367 performances earning the Heywards a Pulitzer Prize.

When the rights to Porgy eventually became available, George and Ira Gershwin began their collaboration with Heyward and created Porgy and Bess (1935). For Porgy and Bess, DuBose Heyward wrote or co-wrote (with Ira Gershwin) the lyrics to “Summertime,” “I Loves You Porgy,” “My Man’s Gone Now,” “Bess, You Is My Woman Now,” and others.

Although DuBose Heyward is best remembered for his novels about black life in southern city slums, he was also successful with his writing outside of that genre, including the Hollywood screenplays for Eugene O’Neill’s The Emperor Jones (1933) and Pearl Buck’s The Good Earth (1937) (1934).

- Jeremy Wilson

Porgy and Bess

Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong

Porgy And Bess (1956 Studio Cast)

George Gershwin, Edward "Duke" Ellington, Russell Garcia, Australian Jazz Quintet, Pat Moran Quartet, Stan Levy Group, Bethlehem Orchestra, Duke Ellington Orchestra, Betty Roche, Bob Dorough, Frank Rosolino,

Porgy & Bess

Clark Terry

Porgy and Bess

Oscar Peterson, Joe Pass

Porgy & Bess

Joe Henderson

Plays George Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess"

The Modern Jazz Quartet


Billie Holiday
Reading and Viewing

At Amazon.com you can often buy used for a fraction of the new price

DuBose Heyward


University Press of Mississippi

DuBose Heyward, James M. Hutchisson (Editor)

A Dubose Heyward Reader

University of Georgia Press

DuBose Heyward

The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes

Houghton Mifflin

DuBose Heyward

Mamba's Daughters: A Novel of Charleston

Norman Berg

DuBose Heyward, Dorothy Heyward, George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, Mike Wimmer (Illustrator)



James M. Hutchisson

Dubose Heyward: A Charleston Gentleman and the World of Porgy and Bess

University Press of Mississippi

Paul Robeson

The Emperor Jones (1933)


Willard White, Cynthia Haymon

George Gershwin - Porgy & Bess / Trevor Nunn, Sir Simon Rattle, W. White, C. Haymon, Glyndebourne Opera (1993)


Paul Muni, Luise Rainer

The Good Earth (1937)


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