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Show TunesThe Songs, Shows, and Careers of Broadway’s Major Composers$
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Steven Suskin

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195314076

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195314076.001.0001

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Harold Arlen

Harold Arlen

Born: February 15, 1905, Buffalo, New York

Died: April 23, 1986, New York, New York

Chapter:
(p.142) Harold Arlen
Source:
Show Tunes
Author(s):

Steven Suskin

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195314076.003.0008

This chapter examines the work of Harold Arlen. It begins with an extended commentary of his career, followed by details on productions, with data and song information. Arlen was the son of a cantor, whose melodic and colorful improvisatory style was to have a tremendous influence on Arlen’s work. But Arlen’s interest was firmly rooted in popular music. By the age of fourteen he was playing piano in Buffalo gin mills with his band, Hyman Arluck’s Snappy Trio. He spent the early 1920s as a pianist and vocalist, arriving in New York in 1925. His first three published pieces were piano solos, starting with the 1926 Minor Gaff (Blues Fantasy) (by Harold Arluck and Dick George).

Keywords:   Harold Arlen, improvisation, Broadway musicals, musical theater, Hyman Arluck’s Snappy Trio, Minor Gaff, popular music

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