The Info List - Harold Arlen

Harold Arlen
Harold Arlen
(born Hyman Arluck; February 15, 1905 – April 23, 1986) was an American composer of popular music who composed over 500 songs, a number of which have become known worldwide. In addition to composing the songs for the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz (lyrics by E.Y. Harburg), including the classic "Over the Rainbow", Arlen is a highly regarded contributor to the Great American Songbook. "Over the Rainbow" was voted the 20th century's No. 1 song by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).[2][3]


1 Life and career 2 Timeline 3 Works for Broadway 4 Major songs 5 Films 6 Biographies 7 References 8 External links

Life and career[edit] Arlen was born in Buffalo, New York, United States, the child of a cantor. His twin brother died the next day. He learned to play the piano as a youth, and formed a band as a young man. He achieved some local success as a pianist and singer before moving to New York City in his early twenties, where he worked as an accompanist in vaudeville[4] and changed his name to Harold Arlen. Between 1926 and about 1934, Arlen appeared occasionally as a band vocalist on records by The Buffalodians, Red Nichols, Joe Venuti, Leo Reisman, and Eddie Duchin, usually singing his own compositions. In 1929, Arlen composed his first well-known song: "Get Happy" (with lyrics by Ted Koehler). Throughout the early and mid-1930s, Arlen and Koehler wrote shows for the Cotton Club, a popular Harlem night club, as well as for Broadway musicals and Hollywood
films. Arlen and Koehler's partnership resulted in a number of hit songs, including the familiar standards "Let's Fall in Love" and "Stormy Weather". Arlen continued to perform as a pianist and vocalist with some success, most notably on records with Leo Reisman's society dance orchestra. Arlen's compositions have always been popular with jazz musicians because of his facility at incorporating a blues feeling into the idiom of the American popular song. In the mid-1930s, Arlen married, and spent increasing time in California, writing for movie musicals. It was at this time that he began working with lyricist E.Y. "Yip" Harburg. In 1938, the team was hired by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
to compose songs for The Wizard of Oz, the most famous of which is "Over the Rainbow", for which they won the Academy Award for Best Music, Original Song. They also wrote "Down with Love" (featured in the 1937 Broadway show Hooray for What!), "Lydia the Tattooed Lady", for Groucho Marx in At the Circus
At the Circus
in 1939, and "Happiness is a Thing Called Joe", for Ethel Waters
Ethel Waters
in the 1943 movie Cabin in the Sky. Arlen was a longtime friend and onetime roommate of actor Ray Bolger, who starred in The Wizard of Oz. In the 1940s, he teamed up with lyricist Johnny Mercer, and continued to write hit songs like " Blues
in the Night", "Out of this World", "That Old Black Magic", "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive", "Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home", "Come Rain or Come Shine" and "One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)". Arlen composed two defining tunes which bookend Judy Garland's musical persona: as a yearning, innocent girl in "Over the Rainbow" and a world-weary, "chic chanteuse" with "The Man That Got Away", the last written for the 1954 version of the film A Star Is Born. Arlen died of cancer at his Manhattan apartment at the age of eighty-one.[5][6] Timeline[edit]

This article is in a list format that may be better presented using prose. You can help by converting this article to prose, if appropriate. Editing help is available. (July 2013)

Arlen performs with Peggy Lee
Peggy Lee
and Vic Damone
Vic Damone
in 1961.

1905 Arlen born in Buffalo, New York 1920 (age 15) He formed his first professional band, Hyman Arluck's Snappy Trio. 1921 (16) Against his parents' wishes he left home. 1923 (18) With his new band – The Southbound Shufflers, performed on the Crystal Beach lake boat "Canadiana" during the summer of 1923. 1924 (19) Performed at Lake Shore Manor during the summer of 1924. 1924 (19) Wrote his first song, collaborating with friend Hyman Cheiffetz to write "My Gal, My Pal". Copyrighting the song as "My Gal, Won't You Please Come Back to Me?" and listed lyrics by Cheiffetz and music by Harold Arluck. 1925 (20) Makes his way to New York City
New York City
with the group, The Buffalodians, with Arlen playing piano. 1926 (21) Had first published song, collaborating with Dick George to compose "Minor Gaff ( Blues
Fantasy)" under the name Harold Arluck. 1928 (23) Chaim (Life) (or Hyman) Arluck renames himself Harold Arlen, a name that combined his parents' surnames (his mother's maiden name was Orlin). 1929 (24) Landed a singing and acting role as Cokey Joe in the musical The Great Day. 1929 (24) Composed his first well known song – "Get Happy" – under the name Harold Arlen. 1929 (24) Signed a yearlong song writing contract with the George and Arthur Piantadosi firm. 1930–1934 (25–29) Wrote music for the Cotton Club. 1933 (28) At a party, along with partner Ted Koehler, wrote the major hit song "Stormy Weather" 1933 (28) Billboard heralded Shakespeare as the most prolific playwright in history, and Arlen as the most prolific composer. 1934 (29) Wrote " Ill Wind (You're Blowin' Me No Good)" with lyrics by Ted Koehler for their last show at the Cotton Club
Cotton Club
Parade, in 1934, which was sung by Adelaide Hall[7] 1935 (30) Went back to California after being signed by Samuel Goldwyn to write songs for the film Strike Me Pink. 1937 (32) Composed the score for the Broadway musical Hooray for What!. Married 22-year-old Anya Taranda, a celebrated Powers Agency model and former Earl Carroll
Earl Carroll
and Busby Berkeley
Busby Berkeley
showgirl, actress, and one of the Original "Breck Girls".

Sheet music cover for The Wizard of Oz.

1938 (33) Hired by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
to compose songs for The Wizard of Oz. 1938 (33) While driving along Sunset Boulevard
Sunset Boulevard
in Hollywood
and stopping in front of Schwab's Drug Store, seeing a rainbow appear over Hollywood, came up with the song "Over the Rainbow". 1941 (36) Wrote " Blues
in the Night" 1942 (37) Along with Johnny Mercer, he wrote one of his most famous songs, "That Old Black Magic". 1943 (38) Wrote "My Shining Hour" 1944 (39) While driving with songwriter partner Johnny Mercer
Johnny Mercer
came up with the song "Accentuate the Positive". 1945 (40) In a single evening's work in October with Johnny Mercer came up with the song "Come Rain or Come Shine". 1949 (44) Collaborated with Ralph Blane to write the score for My Blue Heaven. 1950 (45) Worked with old pal Johnny Mercer
Johnny Mercer
on the film The Petty Girl, out of which came the song "Fancy Free". 1951 (46) His wife Anya was institutionalized in a sanitarium for 7 years after repeatedly threatening her husband and others with physical harm. 1952 (47) Teamed up with Dorothy Fields
Dorothy Fields
on the film The Farmer Takes a Wife. 1953 (48) Harold's father, Cantor Samuel Arluck, died. 1954 (49) The musical A Star is Born starring Judy Garland
Judy Garland
singing the now classic, Harold Arlen
Harold Arlen
and Ira Gershwin
Ira Gershwin
collaboration, "The Man That Got Away". 1954 (49) Becomes dangerously ill with a bleeding ulcer and is hospitalized but recovers to work with Truman Capote
Truman Capote
on the musical House of Flowers. 1958 (53) His mother Celia Arluck dies and Harold doesn't touch music for over a year, mourning her loss. 1962 (56) Wrote the score for the animated musical Gay Purr-ee, lyrics by E.Y. Harburg. 1970 (65) Arlen's wife Anya Taranda
Anya Taranda
dies from a brain tumor. Arlen begins to lose interest in life, withdrawing from friends and family and becoming more reclusive. 1974 (69) The theme song for the ABC sitcom Paper Moon is based on the song of that title, written by Arlen and E.Y. "Yip" Harburg
E.Y. "Yip" Harburg
in 1932. The series was based on a 1973 Peter Bogdanovich
Peter Bogdanovich
film of the same name, which used the same song. 1979 (74) Is inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.[8] 1985 (80) Adopts Samuel ("Sammy"), son of his younger brother Jerry and Rita Arluck as his son and primary heir.[1] 1986 (81) Harold Arlen
Harold Arlen
dies in New York City
New York City
and is interred next to his wife at Ferncliff Cemetery
Ferncliff Cemetery
in Hartsdale, New York.

Works for Broadway[edit]

Earl Carroll's Vanities of 1930 (1930) – revue – contributing composer You Said It (1931) – musical – composer Earl Carroll's Vanities of 1932 (1932) – revue – co-composer and co-lyricist with Ted Koehler Americana (1932) – revue – contributing composer George White's Music Hall Varieties (1933) – revue – co-composer Life Begins at 8:40 (1934) – revue – composer The Show is On (1936) – revue – contributing composer Hooray for What! (1937) – musical – composer Bloomer Girl
Bloomer Girl
(1944) – musical – composer St. Louis Woman
St. Louis Woman
(1946) – musical – composer House of Flowers (1954) – musical – composer and co-lyricist Mr. Imperium (1951) – movie musical – featured composer Jamaica (1957) – musical – composer – Tony nomination for Best Musical Saratoga (1959) – musical – composer

Major songs[edit]

"A Sleepin' Bee" – lyrics by Harold Arlen
Harold Arlen
and Truman Capote "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive" – lyrics by Johnny Mercer "Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home" – lyrics by Johnny Mercer "As Long as I Live" – lyrics by Ted Koehler "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea" – lyrics by Ted Koehler " Blues
in the Night" – lyrics by Johnny Mercer "Come Rain or Come Shine" – lyrics by Johnny Mercer "Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead" – lyrics by E. Y. Harburg "For Every Man There's a Woman" – lyrics by Leo Robin "Get Happy" – lyrics by Ted Koehler "Down with Love" – lyrics by E. Y. Harburg "Happiness Is a Thing Called Joe" – lyrics by E. Y. Harburg "Hit the Road to Dreamland" – lyrics by Johnny Mercer "Hooray for Love" – lyrics by Leo Robin "I Could Go On Singing" – lyrics by E. Y. Harburg "If I Only Had a Brain" – lyrics by E. Y. Harburg "I Had Myself A True Love" – lyrics by Johnny Mercer "I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues" – lyrics by Ted Koehler "I Love a Parade" – lyrics by Ted Koehler "Ill Wind" – lyrics by Ted Koehler "I Never Has Seen Snow" – lyrics by Harold Arlen
Harold Arlen
and Truman Capote "It Was Written in the Stars" – lyrics by Leo Robin "I've Got the World on a String" – lyrics by Ted Koehler "It's Only a Paper Moon" – lyrics by E. Y. Harburg, Billy Rose "I Wonder What Became of Me" – lyrics by Johnny Mercer "Last Night When We Were Young" – lyrics by E. Y. Harburg "Let's Fall in Love" – lyrics by Ted Koehler "Let's Take a Walk Around the Block" – lyrics by Ira Gershwin and E. Y. Harburg "Like A Straw In The Wind" "Lydia the Tattooed Lady" – lyrics by E. Y. Harburg "My Shining Hour" – lyrics by Johnny Mercer "On the Swing Shift" – lyrics by Johnny Mercer "One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)" – lyrics by Johnny Mercer "Out of This World" – lyrics by Johnny Mercer "Over the Rainbow" – lyrics by E. Y. Harburg "Right As The Rain" – lyrics by E. Y. Harburg "Sing My Heart" – lyrics by Ted Koehler "What's Good About Goodbye?" – lyrics by Leo Robin "So Long, Big Time!" – lyrics by Dory Langdon "Stormy Weather" – lyrics by Ted Koehler "That Old Black Magic" – lyrics by Johnny Mercer "The Man That Got Away" – lyrics by Ira Gershwin "This Time the Dream's on Me" – lyrics by Johnny Mercer "When the Sun Comes Out" – lyrics by Ted Koehler


2003 – Stormy Weather: The Music of Harold Arlen. Directed by Larry Weinstein.


Jablonski, Edward (1961). Harold Arlen: Happy With the Blues. Doubleday. ASIN B0007DP988.  Jablonski, Edward (1996). Harold Arlen: Rhythm, Rainbows, and Blues. University Press of New England. ISBN 978-1555532635.  Rimler, Walter (2015). The Man That Got Away: The Life and Songs of Harold Arlen. University of Illinois Press. ISBN 978-0252039461. 


^ a b Jablonski, Edward (1996). Harold Arlen: Rhythm, Rainbows, and Blues. University Press of New England. p. 360. ISBN 978-1555532635.  ^ "Honors & Awards". Haroldarlen.com. Retrieved 2012-06-07.  ^ "New song list puts 'Rainbow' way up high – CNN". Archives.cnn.com. 2001-03-07. Archived from the original on 2009-07-07. Retrieved 2012-06-07.  ^ Laurie, Joe, Jr. (1953). Vaudeville: From the Honky Tonks to the Palace. New York: Henry Holt. p. 328. ASIN B000NRYS3A.  ^ Pace, Eric (April 24, 1986). "Harold Arlen, Composer
of Song Standards". The New York Times.  ^ "Come Rain or Come Shine". The New Yorker. September 19, 2005. ISSN 0028-792X.  ^ Williams, Iain Cameron (2002). Underneath a Harlem Moon: The Harlem to Paris Years of Adelaide Hall. Continuum Publishing. ISBN 0826458939.  ^ Johnston, Laurie (November 19, 1979). "Theater Hall of Fame Enshrines 51 Artists". The New York Times. Retrieved May 17, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Harold Arlen.

Biography portal

Official website NPR profile of Harold Arlen
Harold Arlen
on Weekend Edition Saturday Harold Arlen
Harold Arlen
on IMDb 69324 Harold Arlen
Harold Arlen
at the Internet Broadway Database
Internet Broadway Database
Harold Arlen
Harold Arlen
at the Internet Off-Broadway Database Harold Arlen
Harold Arlen
at the Songwriters Hall of Fame Harold Arlen
Harold Arlen
at Find a Grave "Harold Sings Arlen (with Friend)", 1966 Columbia Records album featuring Arlen singing 10 of his songs, and dueting with Barbra Streisand on two.

v t e

Academy Award for Best Original Song


"The Continental"

Music: Con Conrad Lyrics: Herb Magidson (1934)

"Lullaby of Broadway"

Music: Harry Warren Lyrics: Al Dubin (1935)

"The Way You Look Tonight"

Music: Jerome Kern Lyrics: Dorothy Fields
Dorothy Fields

"Sweet Leilani"

Music and lyrics: Harry Owens
Harry Owens

"Thanks for the Memory"

Music: Ralph Rainger Lyrics: Leo Robin (1938)

"Over the Rainbow"

Music: Harold Arlen Lyrics: E. Y. Harburg (1939)

"When You Wish Upon a Star"

Music: Leigh Harline Lyrics: Ned Washington (1940)


"The Last Time I Saw Paris"

Music: Jerome Kern Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein II
Oscar Hammerstein II

"White Christmas"

Music and lyrics: Irving Berlin
Irving Berlin

"You'll Never Know"

Music: Harry Warren Lyrics: Mack Gordon
Mack Gordon

"Swinging on a Star"

Music: Jimmy Van Heusen Lyrics: Johnny Burke (1944)

"It Might as Well Be Spring"

Music: Richard Rodgers Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein II
Oscar Hammerstein II

"On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe"

Music: Harry Warren Lyrics: Johnny Mercer
Johnny Mercer


Music: Allie Wrubel Lyrics: Ray Gilbert (1947)

"Buttons and Bows"

Music: Jay Livingston Lyrics: Ray Evans (1948)

"Baby, It's Cold Outside"

Music and lyrics: Frank Loesser
Frank Loesser

"Mona Lisa"

Music and lyrics: Ray Evans and Jay Livingston
Jay Livingston


"In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening"

Music: Hoagy Carmichael Lyrics: Johnny Mercer
Johnny Mercer

"High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin')"

Music: Dimitri Tiomkin Lyrics: Ned Washington (1952)

"Secret Love"

Music: Sammy Fain Lyrics: Paul Francis Webster (1953)

"Three Coins in the Fountain"

Music: Jule Styne Lyrics: Sammy Cahn
Sammy Cahn

"Love Is a Many Splendored Thing"

Music: Sammy Fain Lyrics: Paul Francis Webster (1955)

"Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)"

Music and lyrics: Jay Livingston
Jay Livingston
and Ray Evans (1956)

"All the Way"

Music: Jimmy Van Heusen Lyrics: Sammy Cahn
Sammy Cahn


Music: Frederick Loewe Lyrics: Alan Jay Lerner
Alan Jay Lerner

"High Hopes"

Music: Jimmy Van Heusen Lyrics: Sammy Cahn
Sammy Cahn

"Never on Sunday"

Music and lyrics: Manos Hatzidakis
Manos Hatzidakis


"Moon River"

Music: Henry Mancini Lyrics: Johnny Mercer
Johnny Mercer

"Days of Wine and Roses"

Music: Henry Mancini Lyrics: Johnny Mercer
Johnny Mercer

"Call Me Irresponsible"

Music: Jimmy Van Heusen Lyrics: Sammy Cahn
Sammy Cahn

"Chim Chim Cher-ee"

Music and lyrics: Richard M. Sherman
Richard M. Sherman
and Robert B. Sherman
Robert B. Sherman

"The Shadow of Your Smile"

Music: Johnny Mandel Lyrics: Paul Francis Webster (1965)

"Born Free"

Music: John Barry Lyrics: Don Black (1966)

" Talk
to the Animals"

Music and lyrics: Leslie Bricusse (1967)

"The Windmills of Your Mind"

Music: Michel Legrand Lyrics: Alan and Marilyn Bergman (1968)

"Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head"

Music: Burt Bacharach Lyrics: Hal David
Hal David

"For All We Know"

Music: Fred Karlin Lyrics: Robb Royer
Robb Royer
and Jimmy Griffin (1970)


"Theme from Shaft"

Music and lyrics: Isaac Hayes
Isaac Hayes

"The Morning After"

Music and lyrics: Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn (1972)

"The Way We Were"

Music: Marvin Hamlisch Lyrics: Alan and Marilyn Bergman (1973)

"We May Never Love Like This Again"

Music and lyrics: Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn (1974)

"I'm Easy"

Music and lyrics: Keith Carradine
Keith Carradine

"Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star Is Born)"

Music: Barbra Streisand Lyrics: Paul Williams (1976)

"You Light Up My Life"

Music and lyrics: Joseph Brooks (1977)

"Last Dance"

Music and lyrics: Paul Jabara
Paul Jabara

"It Goes Like It Goes"

Music: David Shire Lyrics: Norman Gimbel (1979)


Music: Michael Gore Lyrics: Dean Pitchford (1980)


"Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)"

Music and lyrics: Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager, Christopher Cross and Peter Allen (1981)

"Up Where We Belong"

Music: Jack Nitzsche
Jack Nitzsche
and Buffy Sainte-Marie Lyrics: Will Jennings (1982)

"Flashdance... What a Feeling"

Music: Giorgio Moroder Lyrics: Keith Forsey and Irene Cara (1983)

"I Just Called to Say I Love You"

Music and lyrics: Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder

"Say You, Say Me"

Music and lyrics: Lionel Richie
Lionel Richie

"Take My Breath Away"

Music: Giorgio Moroder Lyrics: Tom Whitlock (1986)

"(I've Had) The Time of My Life"

Music: Franke Previte, John DeNicola and Donald Markowitz Lyrics: Franke Previte (1987)

"Let the River Run"

Music and lyrics: Carly Simon
Carly Simon

"Under the Sea"

Music: Alan Menken Lyrics: Howard Ashman (1989)

"Sooner or Later (I Always Get My Man)"

Music and lyrics: Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim


"Beauty and the Beast"

Music: Alan Menken Lyrics: Howard Ashman (1991)

"A Whole New World"

Music: Alan Menken Lyrics: Tim Rice
Tim Rice

"Streets of Philadelphia"

Music and lyrics: Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen

"Can You Feel the Love Tonight"

Music: Elton John Lyrics: Tim Rice
Tim Rice

"Colors of the Wind"

Music: Alan Menken Lyrics: Stephen Schwartz (1995)

"You Must Love Me"

Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber Lyrics: Tim Rice
Tim Rice

"My Heart Will Go On"

Music: James Horner Lyrics: Will Jennings (1997)

"When You Believe"

Music and lyrics: Stephen Schwartz (1998)

"You'll Be in My Heart"

Music and lyrics: Phil Collins
Phil Collins

"Things Have Changed"

Music and lyrics: Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan


"If I Didn't Have You (Disney song)"

Music and lyrics: Randy Newman
Randy Newman

"Lose Yourself"

Music: Eminem, Jeff Bass and Luis Resto Lyrics: Eminem

"Into the West"

Music and lyrics: Fran Walsh, Howard Shore
Howard Shore
and Annie Lennox
Annie Lennox

"Al otro lado del río"

Music and lyrics: Jorge Drexler
Jorge Drexler

"It's Hard out Here for a Pimp"

Music and lyrics: Juicy J, Frayser Boy and DJ Paul
DJ Paul

"I Need to Wake Up"

Music and lyrics: Melissa Etheridge
Melissa Etheridge

"Falling Slowly"

Music and lyrics: Glen Hansard
Glen Hansard
and Markéta Irglová
Markéta Irglová

"Jai Ho"

Music: A. R. Rahman Lyrics: Gulzar

"The Weary Kind"

Music and lyrics: Ryan Bingham
Ryan Bingham
and T Bone Burnett
T Bone Burnett

"We Belong Together"

Music and lyrics: Randy Newman
Randy Newman


"Man or Muppet"

Music and lyrics: Bret McKenzie
Bret McKenzie


Music and lyrics: Adele
Adkins and Paul Epworth (2012)

"Let It Go"

Music and lyrics: Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
Robert Lopez


Music and lyrics: John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn (2014)

"Writing's on the Wall"

Music and lyrics: James Napier and Sam Smith (2015)

"City of Stars"

Music: Justin Hurwitz Lyrics: Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (2016)

"Remember Me"

Music and lyrics: Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
Robert Lopez

Authority control

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