Oz in the News 3.24.16

WizardOz3_72dpi(Parody) When Dorothy Went Sequential: Comic Strips from The Revelator Years On May 19, 1917, Pres­i­dent Wil­son sent Roo­sevelt a telegram refus­ing him per­mis­sion to raise his new divi­sions of the Rough Rid­ers. Roo­sevelt assigned blame to Baum and THE REVELATOR, blind to the schisms he had already opened in the Repub­li­can Party and his own denounce­ments of Wilson’s for­eign pol­icy. Although no con­crete evi­dence has been uncov­ered, the sud­den ter­mi­na­tion of L. Frank Baum’s The Wiz­ard of Oz strip within two weeks of the telegram exchange between Roo­sevelt and Wil­son is clearly sug­ges­tive of cause and effect. As is the fire that destroyed two of THEREVELATOR ware­houses con­tain­ing issues from that period. We are only left to won­der what fur­ther per­mu­ta­tions of the strip might have been wrought in the ensu­ing years if it had per­sisted. We are only left to regret the mas­ter­pieces we might now be read­ing in the Funny Pages as a result of its immea­sur­able influ­ence. These remain to be dis­cov­ered by adven­tur­ous read­ers who pur­sue their own dream jour­neys to the Land of Oz.

How a poet born 120 years ago perfectly expressed what we’re feeling today  Admired for his talent as a lyricist in the theatrical and film world, E.Y. “Yip” Harburg wrote the lyrics for iconic American songs, including “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” “It’s Only a Paper Moon,” as well as the lyrics for “The Wizard of Oz,” “Finian’s Rainbow,” “Bloomer Girl” and the 1943 film adaptation of the musical “Cabin in the Sky,” one of the first to star African-American talent targeted to a mainstream audience that featured Lena Horne, Ethel Waters, Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, as well as Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington.


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