The song of the day for Saturday, April 8, 2023, is “Over The Rainbow.”
Isidore Hochberg, known professionally as E.Y. (Yip) Harburg, was born on April 8, 1896, in New York City to Russian immigrants. He attended high school with Ira Gershwin and the two became life-long friends. After college, Harburg, now married with two children, became a co-owner of an electrical appliance company, which went bankrupt following the crash of 1929, while writing light verse for local newspapers. His friend Ira Gershwin suggested that he start writing song lyrics. Within in just a few years, he wrote one of the great songs about The Great Depression: “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime.” Harburg went on to become one of the best and most sought-after lyricists in Hollywood, as well as Broadway. His films and movies include The Wizard of Oz, Bloomer Girl, and Finian’s Rainbow. Though never a member of the Communist Party, Harburg was blacklisted from film, television, and radio from 1950 to 1962.
Happy birthday to the great Yip Harburg.
About This Song
“Over The Rainbow” was written by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg for the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz. Just before the film opened, the producers wanted to cut the song from the film, as they felt it slowed down 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.
Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg won the Academy Award for Best Music, Original Song for “Over The Rainbow.”
About This Version
Tony Bennett first recorded “Over The Rainbow” on August 15, 1960, for his album Tony Bennett Sings a String of Harold Arlen. This song, as well as the entire album, was arranged and conducted by Glenn Osser.
“Over The Rainbow,” as well as Tony Bennett Sings a String of Harold Arlen is available on Apple Music.
We’ve got a couple of videos today. First up is an appearance by Harburg on television where he talks about “Over The Rainbow.”
And what post about “Over The Rainbow” is complete without Judy Garland singing “Over The Rainbow.”