Gershwin) 完成了乞丐与荡妇 (Porgy
and Bess) 的乐谱
Heyward) 的小说「乞丐」 (Porgy) 所改编的歌剧，而海沃德也参与歌剧的写作过程。故事是有关南卡罗莱那州嘎勒人 (Gullah，非裔美国人) 的文化。葛诗文知道在他完成「乞丐与荡妇」之前，他必须要先学习有关嘎勒人的文化。这个民族是奴隶的后裔，他们的语言相当特殊，结合了英语与西非地区的字汇。
When was the last time you did something so wonderful, you surprised yourself? George Gershwin signed his name to the completed opera score for Porgy and Bess on September 2, 1935. Gershwin wrote many popular songs, but of Porgy and Bess, he said, "I think the music is so marvelous, I don't believe I wrote it."
Porgy and Bess was based on the book Porgy by Dubose Heyward (who also worked on the opera) about the African American "Gullah" culture of South Carolina. Gershwin knew that before he could write the music to Porgy and Bess, he would need to learn something about the "Gullah" people, descendants of former slaves who speak a unique language that is a combination of English and West African words.