The Man That Got Away: The Life and Songs of Harold Arlen

Wal­ter Rimler
  • From the Publisher
June 30, 2016

Over the Rain­bow, Stormy Weath­er,” and One for My Baby” are just a few of Harold Arlen’s well-loved com­po­si­tions. Yet his name is hard­ly known – except to the musi­cians who ven­er­ate him. At a gath­er­ing of song­writ­ers George Gersh­win called him the best of us.” Irv­ing Berlin agreed. Paul McCart­ney sent him a fan let­ter and became his pub­lish­er. Bob Dylan wrote of his fas­ci­na­tion with Arlen’s bit­ter­sweet, lone­ly world.” A can­tor’s son, Arlen believed his music was from a place out­side him­self, a place that also sent tragedy. When his wife became men­tal­ly ill and was insti­tu­tion­al­ized he turned to alco­hol. It near­ly killed him. But the beau­ti­ful songs kept com­ing: Blues in the Night,” My Shin­ing Hour,” Come Rain or Come Shine,” and The Man That Got Away.” Wal­ter Rim­ler drew on inter­views with friends and asso­ciates of Arlen and on new­ly avail­able archives to write this inti­mate por­trait of a genius whose work is a pil­lar of the Great Amer­i­can Songbook.

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