Harold Arlen Harold Arlen www.haroldarlen.com
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"His 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


"He had a wonderful laugh. For a man who wrote so many sad songs, he was quite humorous
and had a great sense of humor."
Edward Jablonski, Author


"Harold is more of a composer, in the accepted sense of the word, than he is a songwriter.
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


"I 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 Arlen


"I respect Gershwin. But I envy Arlen."
Alec Wilder, Composer


"He 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


"Harold 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."
"I consider Harold Arlen one of the three great geniuses of American music - the other two, George Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein...."
Harry Belafonte, Singer


"At 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.


"...the 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


"He 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
he deserves."
Truman Capote, Lyricist


"When 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


"...Arlen 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


"Harold 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


"When 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


"This man can write anything!"
"Harold is the nicest and sweetest person I've ever known..."
Dorothy Fields, Lyricist


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