As we close out Harold Arlen Week at the Year of Tony Bennett, we choose one of Arlen’s most iconic songs for the song of the day for Saturday, February 16, 2013: Somewhere Over The Rainbow.
About Somewhere Over The Rainbow
If there is one of Harold Arlen’s songs that is known world-wide by nearly everyone, it would be Somewhere Over The Rainbow from the 1939 The Wizard of Oz. Over The Rainbow, as the song is officially known, was written by Arlen and E.Y ‘Yip’ Harburg for Judy Garland to sing. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
In 2001, The Recording Industry Association of America and The National Endowment for the Arts set out to choose the top 365 songs of the 20th century for their historical significance. Somewhere Over The Rainbow was ranked number 1. The American Film Institute named it the greatest movie song of all time.
It’s interesting to note that the song was cut after a preview of the film because Louis B. Mayer and producer Mervyn LeRoy thought it slowed down the picture. It was restored in the film, thankfully, due to associate producer Arthur Freed’s insistence.
It is truly one of America’s greatest and most beloved songs.
The Year of Tony Bennett is happy to have honored the work of Harold Arlen, one of America’s greatest composers. His body of work is rich and Tony Bennett’s recordings of Arlen’s work are masterful. We have enjoyed programming the songs this week and hope you have enjoyed it as well. We would like to acknowledge the support of Arlen’s son, Sam Arlen, for our project and again would like to remind our readers that the Official Harold Arlen Website at www.haroldarlen.com is an enormously valuable resource for anyone interested in the music of the great Harold Arlen. And yes, we’ll be doing this all over again next year.
About This Version
Today’s version is from Tony Bennett’s 1995 Here’s To The Ladies, comprised of songs made famous by the great women singers of the 20th century.
Somewhere Over The Rainbow, as well as the full Here’s To The Ladies album, is available from iTunes.