Music styles: The Spin Offs- Harold Arlen
Among the tunesmiths team Harold Arlen was one of the American Songbook legends, maybe he was not so well known as others, but I have no doubt he is one of the card faces.
Just have a look into some of the songs lists and hits he produced and you will understand why.
Harold Arlen had music running through his veins, was not only son of a singer but also we was impacted by the sounds of the ragtime style, a fact that marked his life.
He used to play ragtime piano tunes to accompany silent movies and with some Buffalo bands, and sing at his father’s synagogue.
Soon, he moved to New York where he achieved his well-earned fame. He started as a rehearsal pianist for both, radio and theater shows, from that time are dated his collaborations with Fletcher Henderson.
Let us make a parenthesis to refer to Fletcher Henderson, he was the leader of what has been considered as the first jazz big band and one of the most relevant figures of the early jazz.
To measure his relevance just a few names of musicians who played in his orchestra: Louis Armstrong, Roy Eldrige, Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, Lester Young and Fats Waller among others.
Coming back to Harold Arlen, he wrote, together with other lyricists eight musical shows for the Cotton Club, among these eight was included Stormy Weather.
In spite of he moved to Hollywood by the decade of the 30s he kept creating
songs for Broadway musical and collaborating with names such as Johnny Mercer
and Ira Gershwin, to name a few.
As the rest of the tunesmiths of our deck the list of hits and songs produced by Harold Arlen is another endless one, we will review some highlights a few lines later.
But there is one that by itself deserves a relevant seat among the American Songbook, Harold Arlen was the responsible for “The Wizard of Oz”.
Among the main films for what he composed music, Take a Chance,
and The Sky's the Limit,
Among the main Broadways shows Earl Carroll Vanities,
and St. Louis Woman.
As part of his huge legacy of compositions let us enjoy with these titles "I've Got the World on a String,
If the list of hits is an endless one the
list of artists both jazz and pop artists it is not insignificant.
Last but not least, Harold Arlen also made some recordings as performer, working with names such as Duke Ellington and Barbra Streisand.