Arlen, Harold. (1905–1986)

"The Wizard of Oz" Record Set - INSCRIBED BY THE COMPOSER

1939 4-disc set of first issue 78-RPM records of the cast-recording soundtrack album for the beloved film, inscribed by the composer, Harold Arlen, to his brother and sister-in-law. Housed in original illustrated covers. Inscribed in pen on the first record sleeve: "For Julie + Jean, Love Harold 12-18-39". Songs include "Over the Rainbow", "Munchkinland Part I & II", "If I Only Had a Brain", "If I Only Had a Heart", "The Merry Old Land of Oz", and "We're Off to See The Wizard". This record set includes the only known release of the movie's deleted musical number, "The Jitterbug", as the album was created and distributed before filming wrapped. Discs exhibit very little handling, but are untested. Front cover detached but present, with part of cloth tape torn. Edge wear to the covers, with cloth tape repair between inside front cover and first record sleeve. Overall very good.

Songwriter Harold Arlen (born Hyman Arluck) is to thank for some of the most iconic songs of the twentieth century, including "Over the Rainbow," "Get Happy," "Stormy Weather," and "The Man That Got Away." He collaborated with several lyricists, including E. Y. "Yip" Harburg, with whom he was hired by MGM to compose songs for The Wizard of Oz. 

The song "The Jitterbug", written in a swing style, was intended for the sequence in which Dorothy and her friends are journeying to the Witch's castle. Due to time constraints, the song was cut from the final theatrical version, and the film footage for the song has been lost, although silent home film footage of rehearsals has survived. A reference to "The Jitterbug" remains in the film: the Witch remarks to her flying monkeys that they should have no trouble apprehending Dorothy and her friends because "I've sent a little insect on ahead to take the fight out of them." (17124)

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