Category Archives: Oz Music

Oz in the News 12.14.17

Ernie Harburg and Deena Rosenberg Will Celebrate the Music and Politics of Yip Harburg E.Y. “Yip” Harburg, lyricist of Finian’s Rainbow, the classic The Wizard of Oz film, and many more shows and movies, will be celebrated in a noon concert December 14 at the 92nd Street YM-YWHA (92Y) in New York City. Hosted and performed by cabaret singer Harvey Granat with accompaniment from pianist David Lahm, the concert will also examine the politics of Harburg (1896–1981), a leftist who spent time on the Hollywood blacklist, whose songbook also includes hits like “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime” and “It’s Only a Paper Moon.” Harburg’s “Over the Rainbow” (written with composer Harold Arlen) was listed as number one on the Songs of the 20th Century list compiled by the Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts. Special guests at the concert include Ernie Harburg, the lyricist’s son, and his wife Deena Rosenberg, cultural and music historian, author of Fascinating Rhythm: The Collaboration of George and Ira Gershwin, and founding chair of the musical theatre program at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. 92Y is located on Lexington Avenue between 91st and 92nd streets in Manhattan. Tickets for The Lyrics of Yip Harburg concert cost $29, and can be ordered by clicking here.


Oz in the News 11.24.17

Life of ‘Over the Rainbow’ lyricist to be celebrated  E.Y. “Yip” Harburg was an unsung hero whose songs we’ve always sung. His name may not be familiar, but the many songs of Edgar Yipsel Harburg certainly are: “It’s Only a Paper Moon,” “April in Paris,” “Brother, Can you Spare a Dime,” and what is perhaps the most beloved tune of the 20th century, “Over the Rainbow” from “The Wizard of Oz.” He won an Academy Award for “Over the Rainbow,” yet his name has virtually been forgotten. To help reintroduce Harburg’s work and legacy to a new generation, a free public program entitled “The Song You Know, The Man You Don’t: An Evening of Stories and Songs Celebrating Yip Harburg,”  will be held at 7 p.m. Dec. 4 in the Sunflower Financial Theatre at Salina Community Theatre. The program will be hosted by Ryan Jay, a nationally syndicated film critic and “Wizard of Oz” historian who has produced everything from “The Jerry Springer Show” to entertainment specials on Bravo, Showtime, Nickelodeon and MTV. Also on hand will be Harburg’s great-grandsons, musician David Harburg and producer Aaron Harburg, who will tell stories of their great-grandfather’s life and perform several of his classic songs. 

Oz in the News 10.31.17 Special All Music Edition!

From the creators of the “Waving Through a Window” trio comes a new music video in celebration of Wicked’s 14-year Broadway anniversary. “The Oz Medley” weaves together “One Short Day,” “Popular,” “Dancing Through Life,” “As Long As You’re Mine,” and “Defying Gravity” from Wicked;“Ease on Down the Road” and “Home” from The Wiz; and “If I Only Had a Brain” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz. With an arrangement by David Rowen, the medley was originally created for the a cappella group The Overtones at James Madison University. White at JMU, Rowen was commissioned by the American Heart Association to arrange a medley of music from the three Ozian tales for The Overtones to perform at Oz-themed galas hosted by the association. Now, Rowen has revamped the arrangement and filmed this official music video.

Take a peek behind the scenes of “The Oz Medley.” Meet the cast, listen to interviews, and hear cuts of the medley’s track list!

Trey Anastasio Band Opens Las Vegas Show With A Tribute To Mass Shooting Victims Over the weekend, the Trey Anastasio Band played two nights at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas, offering up several new originals alongside tried and true classics. On opening night at the Bowl Friday evening, TAB delivered a stirring candle light tribute to the victims of the Las Vegas shooting, covering the iconic “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” made famous by Judy Garland  in the 1939 film, The Wizard Of Oz. You can watch some pro-shot video of TAB playing “Over The Rainbow”. TAB continues on with their mini-fall tour Halloween night at The Wiltern in Los Angeles, CA.

OKC Philharmonic to premiere ‘The Wonderful Music of Oz’ as Pops season opener “I was just really intrigued by having music from ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and ‘The Wiz’ and ‘Wicked’ and the pop songs like ‘Rainbow Connection’ from ‘The Muppet Movie’ and ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ and all those songs that sort of take that original L. Frank Baum novel as their source material, how that simple story that he wrote has lasted so long and affected people in so many different ways,” said singer, arranger and director Scott Coulter. “But most importantly, I think (about) how the music has captured that story and allowed it to live on forever.” Inspired by the rich musical terrain of Baum’s fantasy land, Coulter is the mastermind of “The Wonderful Music of Oz,” which the Oklahoma City Philharmonic will debut Friday and Saturday at Civic Center Music Hall. Not only will the show launch the orchestra’s 2017-18 Pops season, but the OKC Philharmonic also will be the first to perform Coulter’s new concert concept.

The Oz Index & Daily Ozmapolitan Contest: Enter to win Arlen and Harburg’s Over the Rainbow

The Daily Ozmapolitan & The Oz Index have teamed up with Oxford University Press to give away five (5) copies of the new book Arlen and Harburg’s Over the Rainbow. 

In Arlen and Harburg’s Over the Rainbow, author Walter Frisch traces the history of this song from its inception during the development of The Wizard of Oz‘s screenplay, to its various reinterpretations over the course of the twentieth century. Through analysis of the song’s music and lyrics, this Oxford Keynotes volume provides a close reading of the piece while examining the evolution of its meaning as it traversed widely varying cultural contexts. From its adoption as a jazz standard by generations of pianists, to its contribution to Judy Garland’s role as a gay icon, to its reemergence as a chart-topping recording by Hawaiian singer Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, “Over the Rainbow” continues to engage audiences and performers alike in surprising ways. Featuring a companion website with audio and video supplements, this book leaves no path unexplored as it succeeds in capturing the extent of this song’s impact on the world.

To enter the contest go to The Oz Index and find three books that have the word “rainbow” in the title and email your answers to Winners will be chosen randomly from correct responses.

Contest deadline is midnight EST on October 31, 2017


Oz in the News 10.17.17

Giant Wizard Of Oz ruby slippers centrepiece for Porthleven School firework fun day Inside a barn, somewhere in Cornwall (or possibly Kansas), something very strange and wonderful is taking place. A fresh lick of ruby red paint is being liberally applied to a pair of giant 7ft tall slippers. The giant (and possibly magical) shoes will form the centrepiece of a Wizard of Oz themed firework display and family fun day in Porthleven next weekend. It will be held with the grounds of Porthleven School and also raises money for the village primary school. The tornado-like force behind the event is local mum Leigh Yates, here in the guise of the Wicked Witch, and follows on from past events at the school which have included a medieval and Harry Potter days. Leigh said: “We’ll be showing the film on a giant cinema screen and we will have all the characters and quite a few show-stoppers. It’s going to be a really great evening.”

Hotel del Coronado: San Diego’s luxury landmark for 129 years Since its opening in February 1888, Hotel del Coronado has been a San Diego landmark, its silhouette rising from the coastline like a sandcastle reaching for the sky. The Del, as the resort is affectionately known, quickly became known for its setting and was touted in contemporary brochures as the “unrivaled Queen of seaside resorts … this enchanting spot has no equal in America … or the world.” In that era, wealthy guests traveled from the East Coast for a week or more by train and stayed at the resort for months at a time, enjoying San Diego’s mild temperatures and year-round sunshine, especially in the wintertime.


Oz in the News 10.11.17

How Miranda’s Lambert’s split from Blake Shelton led her down the Yellow Brick Road Just as Dorothy and Toto followed the Yellow Brick Road to find The Wizard of Oz, this week, Miranda Lambert’s latest single, “Tin Man,” is following a path towards country’s top 25. The six-time CMA Female Vocalist of the Year admits her divorce from Blake Shelton inspired her to re-examine those classic characters from the iconic movie starring Judy Garland. “Whatever influenced you the most, at whatever time in your life, it somewhere or another comes out in your art,” Miranda reveals. “The Tin Man, I guess, going through a lot of times where I felt pretty empty, I understood a whole new meaning. I mean, how many times have we seen The Wizard Of Oz, you know? But it’s something that world shares. Everyone knows what the Tin Man represents:  cold and empty and loneliness and heartless,” the Texas native says. “And it just opened my eyes to it even more going through pain myself, you know, sort of an epiphany.”

Oz in the News 10.3.17

Judy Garland’s Final Concert Will Be Released for the First Time in 2018 An audio recording of film star and gay icon Judy Garland’s final concert, captured three months before her death in Copenhagen, will be released following a high-definition transfer and restoration from a Denmark radio broadcast. Garland’s performance at Falkoner Centret on March 25, 1969, featured a set list that included “Get Happy,” “The Man That Got Away,” and “Over the Rainbow”: the song she introduced in the 1939 movie musical The Wizard of Oz that became her signature. The release will also include two newly-discovered tracks from a recording made by the concert hall itself: “Till the Clouds Roll By” and “Am I Blue?” (both duets with Johnny Ray). The recording will be made available in several high-definition formats, including DSD, PCM, and as a physical disc.

Wicked celebrates twelfth year Wicked, the smash hit musical that tells the incredible untold story of the Witches of Oz, flies into its 12th year at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre. The much-loved musical will become the 15th longest running show in London theatre history on 19th October 2017, when it surpasses the run of We Will Rock You. In celebration of the production’s birthday, a series of stunning new principal cast portraits, by photographer Darren Bell, have been released.