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More Stories from the American Songbook

Harold Arlen: The Most Original of Them All

Afternoon Course

Wednesday, May 15, 2024 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1K0469
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Harold Arlen (left) and singers Peggy Lee and Vic Damone (The DuPont Show of the Week/Publicity photo)

Explore and enjoy more glorious songs from the Great American Songbook with stories about their long, often-unexpected lives. The spring lineup covers songs that are considered “simply the best”—ageless and favorite beauties, many by songwriters unmet in prior sessions of this popular series.

Combining a lively lecture with a wide variety of film clips, filmmaker and cultural historian Sara Lukinson traces how these songs came to be and how different artists, unexpected arrangements, and changing times transformed them into something new but still the same.

Lukinson, who has won three Emmys and seven Writer’s Guild Awards, now teaches at NYU and the 92nd Street Y. Her personal essays have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Intima: A Journal of Narrative Medicine.

Session Information

Harold Arlen: The Most Original of Them All

Songwriters thought Harold Arlen was the best of all of them, and singers wanted to make his songs their own. Torch songs, blues, finger-snapping jazz, heartbreak and joy all poured out of him. He was a composer who understood what it took for a song to stay with people forever.

Songs include Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Stormy Weather, One for My Baby, The Man that Got Away, I’ve Got the World on a String, and It’s Only a Paper Moon.

Additional Sessions of this American Songbook Series

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