QUOTES ABOUT HAROLD ARLEN
songs live. His songs seep into the heart of a people, a nation, of a
world and stay there."
E.Y. "Yip" Harburg, Lyricist
"He's the most original of all of us."
George Gershwin, Composer
had a wonderful laugh. For a man who wrote so many sad songs, he was quite
and had a great sense of humor."
Edward Jablonski, Author
is more of a composer, in the accepted sense of the word, than he is a
Let us say, for the sake of the argument, that he has a song that's twenty
bars longer than the norm.
It then becomes fascinating to me that you cannot take out one bar of
that supposedly extra twenty bars and still make it come out, because
every single note that he has put down
seems suddenly the only logical next move."
Andre Previn, Composer
have one problem with these songs. I get so involved with them that I
start to cry.
And you can't cry and sing at the same time."
Eileen Farrell, Singer
About singing Harold Arlen's songs - Eileen Farrell Sings Harold
"I respect Gershwin. But I envy Arlen."
Alec Wilder, Composer
wasn't as well known as some of us, but he was a better songwriter than
most of us,
and he will be missed by all of us."
Irving Berlin, Composer
Arlen was always warm and gracious. And he was just as warm and gracious
then as he was when my career reached the point where I became
a big name."
consider Harold Arlen one of the three great geniuses of American music
- the other two, George Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein...."
Harry Belafonte, Singer
the time, he was a little advanced for me, but I caught on pretty soon
to his unusual harmonic structure and form. I realized he was the greatest
new talent in years. Larry - Hart - thought he was great. Harold has a
real valid talent, it is his own, and completely original."
Richard Rodgers, Composer
About Harold Arlen when they first met in the latter twenties.
wistful feeling in anything he did, in his conversation, when he mentioned
his father, or talked about what he was going to do. His ambition, however,
was not a driving force, but something very sympathetic and sweet. And
his wonderful sense of humor - it was never an insult kind of humor,
but a teasing kind. He used to joke about my eccentricities - and Harold
and I had wonderful laughs about that."
Ray Bolger, Actor
About Harold Arlen when they were roommates in New York City in 1925
is always courageous, intelligent, and incapable of cliché. His
songs almost invariably contain some melodic surprise, some difficulty
- which is one of the reasons he has not had the recognition
Truman Capote, Lyricist
I first met Harold I was just 14 years old and the first song of the
score for The Wizard of Oz they played for me was 'Over the Rainbow.'
I was terribly impressed by Mr. Arlen's great genius and very much in
awe of him. As I recall, it seems that Harold always treated me as an
equal and not as a child. We have been great friends through the years.
[As for] my feeling toward Over the Rainbow now, it has become a part
of my life. It is so symbolic of everybody's dream and wish that I am
sure that's why people sometimes get tears in their eyes when they hear
it. I have sung it dozens of times and it's still the song that is closest
to my heart. It is very gratifying to have a song that is more or less
known as my song, or my theme song, and to have had it written by the
fantastic Harold Arlen."
Judy Garland, Actress and Singer
is no thirty-two bar man. As one of the most individual of American show-composers
he is distinctive in melodic line and construction. Frequently when collaborating
with him the lyricist - whether Koehler or Mercer or Harburg or myself
- finds himself wondering if a resultant song isn't too long or too difficult
or too mannered for popular consumption. But there's no cause for worry.
Many Arlen songs take time to catch on, but when they do they join his
impressive and lasting catalog."
Ira Gershwin, Lyricist
doesn't write the cheap commercial tripe that is always recorded. Harold
writes a song, not a mood coloring for a scene - and his songs are always
singable away from the story. But, oh - their excruciating range!"
Lena Horne, Singer and Actress
we met I had been writing for quite a while, but Harold never struck me
as being a young fellow trying to be a writer. I felt he was a pro from
the start - I mean by that: unlike most young writers who start slow and
learn as they go, Harold had it when I met him. As a matter of fact, I
think our first song was 'Get Happy' and that was as solid as anything
we did later. We seemed to feel and think the same way, therefore were
able to work well together."
Ted Koehler, Lyricist
man can write anything!"
"Harold is the nicest and sweetest person I've ever known..."
Dorothy Fields, Lyricist
Back to Top