The song of the day for Wednesday, February 17, 2021, is “Over The Rainbow.”
About This Song
Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg wrote “Over The Rainbow” in 1939 for The Wizard of Oz. Probably the most widely known of all Arlen’s songs, “Over The Rainbow” is from The Wizard Of Oz. Interestingly, the producers wanted to cut the song from the film, as they felt it slowed downed the movie. Thankfully, the preview audiences preferred the movie with the song. “Over The Rainbow” ranked as the #1 song of the 20th century per the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment of the Arts.The song has always been closely associated with Judy Garland. In a letter to Harold Arlen, Judy Garland wrote that the song “…has become part of my life. It’s so symbolic of everybody’s dreams and wishes that I’m sure that’s why some people get tears in their eyes when they hear it. I’ve sung it thousands of times and it’s still the song that’s closest to my heart.”
About This Version
Tony Bennett recorded “Over The Rainbow” in 1960 for his album Tony Bennett Sings A String of Harold Arlen. It’s no wonder that Bennett chose Arlen for his first tribute album–Arlen’s body of work will never be eclipsed by any other songwriter. Glenn Osser wrote the arrangement and conducted the orchestra.
“Over The Rainbow,” as well as Tony Bennett Sings A String of Harold Arlen, is available from Apple Music.
I got a couple of extra videos for you today.
The first is very dear to me. It’s Yip Harburg singing “Over The Rainbow” from a television program about American songwriting. It makes me cry–in a good way–every time I watch it.
The second is from Judy’s final live performance in Denmark in March 1969. She died on June 22, 1969.