Harold Arlen

Songwriter (1905-1986).  Born Chaim Arluck (AIR-lick) in Buffalo, the surviving twin son of Cantor Samuel Arluck of the Clinton Street shul and his wife Celia (nee Orlin),   Older brother of bandleader Jerry Arlen, nee Yudi Arluck. Arlen derived his stage name from a combination of his mother's and father's surnames.   Arlen started his professional career as a pianist during the 1920s.  His most prominent local engagement was with the "Southbound Shufflers" aboard the Crystal Beach boat S.S. Canadiana (see photograph below).  Following a brief engagement in a minor singing role in a Vincent Youmans Broadway show, Arlen went on to a career writing the music for Hollywood and Broadway jazz and blues pieces together with several lyricists, including Ted Koehler, Jack Yellen, Johnny Mercer, E.Y. Harburg, Ira Gershwin and Leo Robin.

Arlen's credits include Stormy Weather, Get Happy, The Man that Got Away, World on a String, Let's Fall in Love, Anywhere I Hang My Hat is Home, For Every Man There's a Woman, Big Time Coming, I've Got a Right to Sing the Blues, Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive, Come Rain or Come Shine, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, One for My Baby (and One More for the Road), Paper Moon, That Old Black Magic and many more.

The song Over the Rainbow, which was part of Arlen's outstanding score for the movie The Wizard of Oz, won an Academy Award for Best Song and Blues in the Night, from the movie of the same name, was nominated in the same category.

The Southbound Shufflers (ca. 1924).  Harold Arlen at the piano.

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