Harold Arlen ( 1905-1986 )
Composer, arranger, pianist and vocalist. Born Hyman Arluck, February 15, 1905, in Buffalo, New York, the son of a cantor, he showed exceptional musical talent in childhood. He dropped out of school and formed a band, and made a living primarily as an arranger and a performer. He began concentrating on composition in the late 1920s, collaborating with Ted Koehler in 1929 on the song "Get Happy". From the late 1920s to the mid 1930s, Arlen wrote many songs which were featured in shows at Harlem's Cotton Club, including "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea" and "I've Got the World on a String". In the early 1930s, he began writing music for Broadway musicals, including You Said It (1931), Life Begins at 8:40 (1934), Hooray for What? (1937), Bloomer Girl (1944), St. Louis Woman (1946) and Saratoga (1959), collaborating with Johnny Mercer and Truman Capote, among others. He also wrote songs for Hollywood musicals, including "It's Only a Paper Moon", "Let's Fall in Love" and "Lydia the Tatoo'd Lady".
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