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  • mistermuse 5:37 pm on February 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , Ted Koehler, ,   

    A DISTANT RAINBOW 

    Once upon a time, in a sepia-toned place called Kansas (before landing in the colorful and Merry Old Land of Oz), a girl by the name of Dorothy sang a song called OVER THE RAINBOW. We all (many of us, at any rate) know who sang that song in the film, but the man who composed it is now long past recognition by almost all. He was born on this day (Feb. 15, 1905), and his name was Harold Arlen. This post is simply an appreciation of the man and his music, each of which encompasses much more than one man and one song….for, in those days, popular songs generally did not live by melody alone and were not born of one person alone. Composers/songs needed lyricists/words.

    Arlen himself (according to biographer Edward Jablonski) acknowledged that words – even the title – were just as important as the melody, often saying that “A good lyric writer is the composer’s best friend.” The lyricists who collaborated with Arlen were among the best in the business: Ira Gershwin, Ted Koehler, Johnny Mercer, E.Y.”Yip” Harburg….and the songs they wrote were among the best in popular music history (many of them done for movies and Broadway shows). Here are some of them:

    1930 – GET HAPPY
    1931 – BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA
    1932 – I’VE GOT THE WORLD ON A STRING
    1933 – IT’S ONLY A PAPER MOON; LET’S FALL IN LOVE; STORMY WEATHER
    1934 – ILL WIND
    1935 – LAST NIGHT WHEN WE WERE YOUNG
    1939 – OVER THE RAINBOW; WE’RE OFF TO SEE THE WIZARD; DING-DONG THE WITCH IS DEAD
    1941 – BLUES IN THE NIGHT
    1942 – THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC
    1944 – AC-CENT-CHU-ATE THE POSITIVE

    But even those who remember Harold Arlen the composer probably do not know that he was also a fine singer who made a number of recordings, such as this one in 1933:

    Harold Arlen died April 23, 1986, but his music should never die.

     
    • arekhill1 6:57 pm on February 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      If I only had a brain, I’d write something wittier here.

      Like

    • mistermuse 7:13 pm on February 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I’d try to respond in kind, Ricardo, but I’d only be grasping at straws.

      Like

    • Michaeline Montezinos 11:44 pm on February 15, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      As I listened to this beautiful voice singing one of many of my favorite songs you had listed, I think I fell into love all over again with this rich and lovely music. Have seen the movie many times. Thank you, mistermuse for awaking the romantic in my soul. It is so sad that Harold Arlen could not become a great vocalist. He certainly deserved that in addition to his career as a lyricist.

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    • Joseph Nebus 12:26 am on February 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Boy, that is a heck of a list of songs, ins’t it?

      Like

    • scifihammy 12:42 am on February 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      While I know most of the songs you list, it is as you say, I did not know the composer. Thanks for the enlightenment ūüôā

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    • mistermuse 6:26 am on February 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      “They don’t make ’em like that anymore.” Thank all of you for your comments.

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    • Don Frankel 10:29 am on February 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      You know I remember seeing on TV an older Yip Harburg sitting at a Piano and explaining how he came up with the lyric for Somewhere Over The Rainbow. He played the opening notes on the Piano and showed how he kept thinking of the sound and then how “Somewhere” just seemed to pop out so naturally. It was fascinating.

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    • mistermuse 11:39 am on February 16, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Don, the story of Harbug’s and Arlen’s writing the score for THE WIZARD OF OZ and their difficulties with”Over the Rainbow” is indeed fascinating. My Jan.13 2014 post RAINBOWS FOR CHRISTMAS covers it in some detail, for those interested. Just click January 2014 in the “Archives” column to the right, and scroll down to Jan. 13.

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  • mistermuse 11:33 am on January 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Basil Rathbone, Elysian fields, , Horace Greeley, Knute Rockne, , Newt Gingrich, , , Sam Goldwyn, , , Ted Koehler, , West Virginia, Yes Virginia,   

    SAYS WHO? 

    I really didn’t say everything I said.¬† — Yogi Berra

    Maybe he didn’t….but¬†Yogi¬†did¬†say that he didn’t say everything he said — and it should go without saying that some say he is not¬†the only one who didn’t say¬†everything he said. Sad to say, no way can¬†one say who said what¬†was¬†said in¬†all cases, and always¬†saying who said what one said is¬†way easier said than done. Or so they say.

    That said, the following is a selection of famous quotes not said (or at least not said originally) by those to whom they are attributed, along with some quotes which are correctly attributed (or so they say). Some mis-atributed quotes happened inadvertently, others deliberately; some have persisted despite attempts to set the record straight.  Can you separate the suspect ones from the correct ones?

    1. Go west, young man, go west.¬† –Horace Greeley
    2. Go West, Virginia, yes, Virginia: there is a¬† —Santa Claus
    3. Win one for the Gipper.¬† –Knute Rockne
    4. Win one for the Gingger.¬† –Newt Gingrich
    5. A woman drove me to drink and I didn’t even have the decency to thank her.¬† –W. C. Fields
    6. Forget your troubles, come on, get happy.¬† –Elysian Fields
    7. Our comedies are not to be laughed at.¬† –Samuel Goldwyn
    8. Our cold meds are not to be sneezed at.¬† –Dr. Don
    9. Elementary, my dear Watson.¬† –Sherlock Holmes (Arthur Conan Doyle)
    10. Excelente, my dear Sr. Muse.¬† –Ricardo Cahill (after bribe payment)¬†

    Of the above, the following are attributed incorrectly (supposedly):

    1. Greeley did write this in an 1865 editorial, but denied originating¬†it, crediting it to¬†John Soule’s authorship¬†in¬†a Terre Haute (Indiana)¬†newspaper in 1851.¬†Nonetheless, the Greeley attribution persists.
    3. Actually, this was¬†said by Ronald Reagan in the 1940 film “Knute Rockne – All American.”
    6. Forget Ely Fields¬†– this is the opening lyric of “Get Happy” by Harold Arlen¬†& Ted Koehler: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGk3tY4yP7k
    7. Like many “Goldwynisms,” origin is suspect. Reported to be an old Hollywood quip pre-dating its attribution to Goldwyn.
    9. Never said by Holmes in Doyle’s novels and short stories. Made famous by actor Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes in movies.

    How many did you get right?
    You got all of them?
    Says who?

     
    • Don Frankel 6:41 pm on January 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Just one more Muse. It is said that General Sherman did not say. “War is all hell.” However upon hearing that he had said it, he made sure he kept saying it, until he said it.

      My favorite Yogism is. “Some guys don’t like to swing on an 3 – 0 count because they swing.” I know he said it because I heard him say it.

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    • mistermuse 8:48 pm on January 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Don, if Yogi said even half of what he said, it would still be twice as funny as all of the other half….speaking of which, since my Yogi and Goldwyn quotes post was un-posted on SWI, maybe I’ll do another one here sometime if I can come up with a fresh angle or approach. “It ain’t over till it’s over.”

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      • Don Frankel 5:55 am on January 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Why not post this one on SWI so a few other people like Minnette, Michael, Richard, Kaye and even itsTV or is it VD? guy can get a laugh?

        Like

    • mistermuse 10:19 am on January 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Don, I love ya like my brother (I was tempted to say like my MOTHER, who would keep after me to do something because it was for my own good), but as far as posting again on SWI, you can forgeddaboutit – I can forgive, but I can’t forget Bob Grant’s destruction of 200 of my posts, while not deleting even one of Minnette’s 800+. I know SWI is his site & he can do as he pleases, but if my hard work didn’t warrant more respect (& a more even-handed take) than that, nothing short of an abject apology will change my mind.

      As for the people you mention, Richard reads & comments frequently on my posts here; I don’t think Minnette ever was as much of an “appreciater” of my posts as I am of hers; and I’d love to have Michael and Kaye connect with me here, but they know where to find me if they wish (it’s not as if I haven’t pointed out how easy it is on SWI a number of times).

      Finally, it would be remiss of me not to thank you and Ricardo (or Richard, for you gringos out there) for continuing to follow my “humble” offerings here. Your continued patronage is warmly appreciated.

      Like

      • Don Frankel 12:16 pm on January 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Forgive me for being a nudge. My social psychological profile is like an Alpha in a Grey Wolf pack. So my instinct is to keep the Pack together. You are an integral part of SWI. The way I see it Bob may own and run the site but like everything else in life, SWI belongs to its ownself. It is what we make of it.

        I think you give Bob too much credit or say or sway or importance. One time some woman, I forget who but she didn’t write there much, but she said in a comment that I was trying to make her behave. After I stopped laughing and stopped myself from writing back. Do you want me to make you behave? I just chalked it up to everybody has a right to say whatever or “everybody has to love somebody sometime.”

        Sorry about that last one but Dean Martin was singing on my cable TV. I’d close by saying I won’t nag you anymore but I can’t promise that..

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    • mistermuse 1:19 pm on January 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      No problem, Don – I don’t have a brother to love you like I said anyway (though I do have a sister, if you don’t mind the gender adjustment). And you can rely on me, if you do “nag” me again, not to say what that woman said in her comment to you; my reply will simply be a youtube clip of Cole Porter’s “Why Can’t You Behave?” from KISS ME KAYE – I mean KATE.

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