Singer Ariana Grande chose Yip Harburg and Harold Arlen’s song of hope, “Over the Rainbow,” as the finale of her June 4, 2017 “One Love” benefit in Manchester, England to help the victims of the terror bombing following her May 22nd concert in that city. At least $1.19 from each sale of the $1.29 track on iTunes will go to the “We Love Manchester Emergency Fund.”
The Harlem Repertory Theatre will present Jamaica, the musical show in which Lena Horne made her Broadway debut 60 years ago (1957). Featuring a book by Yip Harburg and Fred Saidy, lyrics by Harburg and music by Harold Arlen, this production is directed and choreographed by Keith Lee Grant with a book adaptation by Art Perlman. Performances begin July 29, 2017 at the Tato Laviera Theatre, 240 E. 123rd St., NYC on and will continue until Mar. 2018.
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 NiteLife Exchange, Stage Buddy, The Broadway Blog, Huffington Post and Times Square Chronicles. The show has been extended through 2017. Visit the Harlem Repertory Theatre web site for details. 240 E 123rd St., New York, NY.
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.