Edit

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (2) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (7) | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 15 February 1905Buffalo, New York, USA
Date of Death 23 April 1986New York City, New York, USA
Birth NameHyman Arluck

Mini Bio (2)

No American has written more first-rate songs than Arlen. He grew up in a musical family (his father was a cantor), and disappointed but didn't surprise his parents by dropping out of high school to become a musician. A stint as pianist and singer with a dance band, the Buffalodians, allowed him to escape Buffalo for New York City. Arlen stayed on after the band's demise; after some mostly unsuccessful attempts to conquer vaudeville or Broadway, Arlen stumbled onto a tune that, with lyrics by Ted Koehler, became "Get Happy", his first hit. With Koehler as lyricist, Arlen became the staff composer for Harlem's Cotton Club, a premiere showcase for African-American entertainers such as Cab Calloway and Ethel Waters. They wrote "I've Got the World on a String" and "Ill Wind", among dozens of others. Arlen's second important collaborator was E.Y. Harburg, with whom he composed the score for _Wizard of Oz, The (1939)_, celebrated specialty numbers for Bert Lahr and Groucho Marx, and two Broadway musicals. In the 1940s, Arlen reached the peak of his popularity with his third major partner, Johnny Mercer; most of their hits, such as "Blues in the Night", "My Shining Hour" and "One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)", were written for the movies, as Hollywood replaced the stage as the songwriters' most lucrative market. As he aged, Arlen grew increasingly frustrated with Hollywood's waste of material and Broadway's rigmarole; his personal life in this period was also unhappy. His best songs, though, in renditions by performers li ke Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra and later cabaret singers and jazz musicians, have continued to be seen as classics.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: David S. Smith

Composer, author, pianist, singer and prolific songwriter, educated in public schools, and a professional pianist at 15 in night clubs and aboard lake steamers. He organized the Snappy Trio, which became the Southbound Shufflers. In New York, he sang, played and arranged for dance bands, and joined Arnold Johnson's pit orchestra for the Broadway revue "George White's Scandals of 1928". He appeared at the Palace Theatre in New York, and toured with the Loew's vaudeville circuit. He joined ASCAP in 1930 and wrote the songs for the Broadway musicals "9:15 Revue"; "Earl Carroll Vanities" (1930 and 1932); "Americana"; "George White's Music Hall Varieties"; and "The Show is On". He wrote the Broadway stage scores for "You Said It"; "Cotton Club Parade" (4 editions); "Life Begins at 8:40"; "Hooray for What"; "Bloomer Girl"; "St. Louis Woman"; "House of Flowers"; "Jamaica"; "Saratoga"; and "Free and Easy" (blues opera). Hs chief musical collaborators include Ted Koehler, E.Y. Harburg, Johnny Mercer, Ira Gershwin, Lew Brown, Leo Robin, Ralph Blane, Dorothy Fields, Truman Capote, Dory Previn, and Jack Yellen. His popular-song compositions include "Get Happy"; "Hittin' the Bottle"; "You Said It"; "Sweet and Hot"; "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea"; "Kickin' the Gong Around"; "I Love a Parade"; "I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues"; "Satan's Li'l Lamb"; "I've Got the World on a String"; "Minnie the Moocher's Wedding Day"; "It's Only a Paper Moon"; "Happy as the Day Is Long"; "Stormy Weather"; "Let's Fall in Love"; "This Is Only the Beginning"; "As Long As I Live"; "Ill Wind"; "Shoein' The Mare"; "You're a Builder Upper"; "Fun to Be Fooled"; "What Can You Say in a Love Song?"; "Let's Take a Walk Around the Block"; "Last Night When We Were Young"; "You're the Cure for What Ails Me"; "In Your Own Quiet Way"; "Fancy Meeting You"; "Song of the Woodman"; "God's Country"; "I've Gone Romantic on You"; "Moanin' in the Mornin'"; "Down With Love"; "In the Shade of the New Apple Tree"; "Buds Won't Bud"; "Over the Rainbow" (Academy Award, 1939); "We're Off to See the Wizard"; "Ding-Dong the Witch Is Dead"; "If I Only Had a Brain"; "Two Blind Loves"; "Lydia the Tattooed Lady"; "When the Sun Comes Out"; "Blues in the Night"; "This Time the Dream's on Me"; "Says Who? Says You, Says I!"; "The Moment I Laid Eyes on You"; "That Old Black Magic"; "Hit the Road to Dreamland"; "Happiness is a Thing Called Joe"; "Life's Full of Consequences"; "My Shining Hour"; "One for My Baby"; "Now I Know"; "Tess' Torch Song"; "When the Boys Come Home"; "Evelina"; "The Eagle and Me"; "Right as the Rain"; "T'morra T'morra"; "Sunday in Cicero Falls"; "I Got a Song"; "I Promise You"; "Let's Take the Long Way Home"; "Ac-Cen-Tchu-Ate the Positive"; "Out of This World"; "June Comes Around Every Year"; "Any Place I Hang My Hat is Home"; "Legalize My Name"; "Cakewalk Your Lady"; "Come Rain or Come Shine"; "I Wonder What's Become of Me"; "I Had Myself a True Love"; "Ridin' on the Moon"; "It Was Written in the Stars"; "For Every Man There's a Woman"; "Hooray for Love"; "What's Good About Goodbye?"; "Fancy Free"; "Andiamo"; "Today I Love Ev'rybody"; "The Man That Got Away"; "It's a New World"; "Here's What I'm Here For"; "The Search is Through"; "A Sleepin' Bee"; "I Never Has Seen Snow"; "Two Ladies in de Shade of de Banana Tree"; "House of Flowers"; "Pretty to Walk With"; "Push de Button" "Cocoanut Sweet"; "Pity de Sunset"; "Take it Slow, Joe"; "A Game of Poker"; "Goose Never Be a Peacock"; "The Man in My Life"; "Little Drops of Rain"; "The Morning After"; "I Could Go On Singing"; "So Long, Big Time"; and "Silent Spring". His symphonic works include "Americanegro Suite"; "Mood in Six Minutes"; and "American Minuet".

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Hup234!

Spouse (1)

Anya Taranda (8 January 1937 - 9 March 1970) (her death)

Trivia (7)

Pictured on one of a set of four 32¢ US commemorative postage stamps in the Legends of American Music series, issued 11 September 1996, celebrating American songwriters. Others honored in this issue are Johnny Mercer, Dorothy Fields, and Hoagy Carmichael.
Arlen always felt that his songs were better-known than he was and, on one notable occasion, set out to prove it. When riding in a cab in New York, he heard the cabbie whistling a few bars of "Stormy Weather." Hearing this, Arlen offered to bet the cabbie double or nothing on the fare that he couldn't name the person who wrote the song, and gave the driver three guesses. When all the guesses proved incorrect, Arlen said, "I wrote it. I'm Harold Arlen." Totally astonished, the cabbie looked back at his customer and said, "WHO?"
He was one of the members of the Ken Darby Vocal Trio. His voice can be heard as the Scarecrow in the Decca Records single of the Harburg-Arlen song "The Jitterbug", which was cut from the final release print of "The Wizard of Oz". This Decca Records single, with "Over the Rainbow" (as sung by Judy Garland)on the reverse side, was not recorded from the soundtrack of the film, but was part of a studio cast 78 RPM 5-record album of the songs featuring Judy Garland and the Ken Darby Singers, with Victor Young and his orchestra. The album was the first album ever made of songs from "The Wizard of Oz"; it was eventually released on LP and remained in print well into the 1950's.
Was nominated for Broadway's 1958 Tony Award, his music with lyrics by E.Y. Harburg, as part of Best Musical nomination for "Jamaica."
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume Two, 1986-1990, pages 27-29. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1999.
Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1971.
Wrote his famous Academy Award-winning song "Over the Rainbow" at Schwab's Drugstore on Sunset Boulevard. One evening as he was passing the store, the melody suddenly flooded his mind and he paused in the light coming from the windows to write down his notes.

Personal Quotes (1)

In his lyric-writing, Ira [Gershwin] is a plodder - and I don't mean that disrespectfully. I mean it in the best sense. He digs and digs and digs. He edits. He goes over and over his work to change maybe only a line or just a word. ..Ira hates writing ballads. If I want to get him, all I have to say is, 'Ira, we have a film to do and there are six ballads in it'.

See also

Other Works | Publicity Listings | Official Sites | Contact Info

Contribute to This Page