Juke­box

The Courier-Mail - QWeekend - - UPFRONT -

On this week­end 75 years ago, The Wiz­ard of Oz pre­miered in Hol­ly­wood and New York. Its mu­si­cal cen­tre­piece was Judy Gar­land's ren­di­tion of Over The Rain­bow, which be­came her sig­na­ture song and was voted the best of all time in a 2001 poll. Yet it was ini­tially cut from the movie be­cause MGM chief ex­ec­u­tive Louis B. Mayer thought it “slowed down the pic­ture”. It was re­in­stated only af­ter lob­by­ing from Gar­land's vo­cal coach, Roger Edens. Years later, Gar­land wrote a let­ter of thanks to com­poser Harold Arlen, telling him Over The Rain­bow was the song clos­est to her heart. “It's so sym­bolic of ev­ery­body's dreams and wishes that I'm sure it's why peo­ple get tears in their eyes when they hear it,” Gar­land wrote. On a less per­sonal, though nonethe­less pos­i­tive note, the song's lyri­cist, Yip Har­burg, said he was ex­press­ing hope for Amer­ica un­der pres­i­dent Franklin Roo­sevelt's “New Deal” pro­gram, de­signed to drag the US out of the Great De­pres­sion of the early 1930s.

OVER THE RAIN­BOW JUDY GAR­LAND, 1939

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