Magazine page advertising Adele and Fred Astaire

Magazine page advertising Adele and Fred Astaire

Lady Be Good was written specially for Fred and Adele Astaire by George Gershwin, who particularly admired Fred’s ability to put over a song. As composer Burton Lane said, ‘George was born to write for Fred and Fred was born to dance to George’s music’. As well as the title song, Lady Be Good included ‘Fascinatin’ Rhythm’ and the comic ‘I’d Rather Charleston’, with Adele as a dizzy brunette who would rather dance than learn history. The Astaires were idolised in London. Headlines like ‘Fred and Adele Astaire – Please Come Back to London’, were common whenever they opened a new show in New York. Lady Be Good was the last show to be performed at the Empire Theatre in Leicester Square before it became a cinema. On the last night the audience included the former star of the Empire ballet, Adeline Genée, and audience and cast gave her a great ovation. Also there was the Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII) who after the show threw a last night party for the Astaires at St James’s Palace.