Exhibitions  /  Harold Arlen Exhibition

Harold Arlen (1905-1986) composed some of the most memorable songs of the twentieth century including the Oscar-winning song, Over the Rainbow” for the movie, The Wizard of Oz. From the theatre stage to the Broadway musical and Hollywood films, Arlen crafted music that spoke directly to the hearts of his listeners. It was Arlens background as a vocalist, a performer, and an arranger that infused his music with a deeply individual and truly intimate sound. His performance-centered style drew on his Jewish roots and the music around him in Buffalo. An East Side Story: Harold Arlens Buffalo Roots, explores his early life on the East Side and its legacies that continue to resonate in our time.

Overview

Harold Arlen (1905-1986) composed some of the most memorable songs of the twentieth century including the Oscar-winning song, Over the Rainbow” for the movie, The Wizard of Oz. From the theatre stage to the Broadway musical and Hollywood films, Arlen crafted music that spoke directly to the hearts of his listeners. It was Arlens background as a vocalist, a performer, and an arranger that infused his music with a deeply individual and truly intimate sound. His performance-centered style drew on his Jewish roots and the music around him in Buffalo. An East Side Story: Harold Arlens Buffalo Roots, explores his early life on the East Side and its legacies that continue to resonate in our time.

The Exhibition

Beginnings in Buffalo, NY

Beginnings in Buffalo, NY

Harold Arlen Exhibition / Beginnings in Buffalo, NY Born on February 15, 1905, at 389 Clinton Streeton the East Side of Buffalo the joy of Arlen’s birth was overlain with family tragedy. For Joseph–as Harold was first named–struggled to survive and his twin brother,...

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The Jewish East Side

The Jewish East Side

Harold Arlen Exhibition  /  The Jewish East Side Along the streets of Jefferson, Pratt, Spring and William and the surrounding highways bounded by Michigan and Fillmore, Clinton and Broadway, dense networks of Jewish family and friends formed the “The Jewish East...

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Musical Influences

Musical Influences

Harold Arlen Exhibition  /  Musical Influences Both Celia and Samuel Arluck lived within Orthodox Judaism and infused their family home with these traditions. As Cantor of the Clinton Street synagogue (Beth Jacob), Samuel also had a Jewish communal role. It was his...

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A City of Entertainment

A City of Entertainment

Harold Arlen Exhibition  /  A City of EntertainmentFrom the 1900s to the late 1920s, music, performance, and film were changing in Buffalo as they were across America. Vaudeville and Burlesque were still popular forms of entertainment, but popular song and dance bands...

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Performer and Arranger

Performer and Arranger

Harold Arlen Exhibition  /  Performer and Arranger By the age of 18, Arluck had established himself as a full-time performer. He changed his first name to Harold listing himself in the Buffalo City Directory in 1923. In 1924, he published his first piece of music with...

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From NY to Hollywood

From NY to Hollywood

Harold Arlen Exhibition  /  From New York to Hollywood Harold Arluck settled in New York City in the late 1920s in an era known as the Jazz Age (1920s-1930s) also defined by musicologists as the Golden Age of Song (1920s-1940s). At just 23, Harold had more than a...

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Remembering Harold Arlen

Remembering Harold Arlen

Harold Arlen Exhibition / Remembering Harold Arlen The Buffalo beginnings of Harold Arlen remained with him throughout his life. Commentators and musicologists assessed Arlen as a complex and “complete” composer, who created songs of outstanding cultural resonance...

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