Deena Rosenberg Harburg has taken over from Ernie Harburg as President of The Yip Harburg Foundation effective January 1, 2017. Ernie, who recently turned 90, will still be involved with the Foundation as President Emeritus.
In fall 2016 Harlem Repertory Theatre and The Yip Harburg Foundation premiered a jazzy new stage adaptation of THE WIZARD OF OZ. The response has been enthusiastic. See the reviews at Stage Buddy, The Broadway Blog and Huffington Post. The show has been extended into spring 2017 with performances starting March 4 and continuing through May 27. Visit the Harlem Repertory Theatre web site for details. 240 E 123rd St., New York, NY.
On August 27, 2016 Yip’s great-grandson David Harburg, working with Children Waiting Everywhere, presented CONCERT FOR UGANDA, to raise funds to help build and paint a new schoolroom at the Bishop Magambo Primary School in Uganda. The concert featured new renditions of songs with lyrics by Yip including “Over the Rainbow,” “Old Devil Moon” and “Brother Can You Spare a Dime?” The players were David Harburg, Joseph Shelcusky with music on the piano, Ed Wells sharing his originals and Rob Horning on violin. Venue: EMU Alexander Music Building Recital Hall. The tracks are now available on Spotify.
Walter Rimler’s biography of Harold Arlen, The Man That Got Away: The Life and Songs of Harold Arlen, was published by University of Illinois Press in August 2015. The book contains extensive material about Yip Harburg, who, over a span of nearly fifty years, wrote more than 100 songs with Arlen , including “Over the Rainbow” and “It’s Only a Paper Moon.”
Over the Rainbow: The Life and Rhymes of Yip Harburg by Stuart Stotts was released in paperback in September 2015 by Big Valley Press. It is also available as a Kindle book.
On Aug. 6, 2015 the Huffington Post published “Lyricist Yip Harburg’s Son Ernie: How My Dad Inspired Me to Become a Scientist” by Mike Sigman based on an essay by Ernie entitled “Yip and I.”
The Yip Harburg Songbook. Piano/vocal sheets to 34 songs including “Over the Rainbow,” “It’s Only a Paper Moon,” “April in Paris,” “Lydia, the Tattooed Lady,” “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” “Old Devil Moon,” and an illustrated introductory essay by Stephen Holden. Hal Leonard Publishers, 2009.
Who Put the Rainbow in The Wizard of Oz? Yip Harburg, Lyricist. by Harold Meyerson and Ernie Harburg. 454 pages, black-and-white and color illustrations. University of Michigan Press, 1993. Paperback edition, 1995.
Everyone knows the songs from The Wizard of Oz; in fact, Over the Rainbow is often cited as the greatest movie hit of all time. Few, however, know the names of the men who wrote Rainbow and the rest of the classic Oz score.
The remedy for their anonymity now is in the hands of Aaron Harburg — great-grandson of The Wizard of Oz lyricist E.Y. “Yip” Harburg — who has begun production on The Sound of Oz.
Harriet Alonso. Yip Harburg: Legendary Lyricist and Human Rights Activist. Wesleyan University Press, 2012. 305 pages, with illustrations. This interview-based biography is, in the author’s words, “a study of the lyrical world of Yip Harburg, as told largely by Yip himself through interviews, speeches, song lyrics, and poems.”