Although never a household name like Irving Berlin or George Gershwin, Harold Arlen is up in the pantheon of great American writers. His 400 songs range from the torchy earthiness of the Cotton Club revues (“Minnie The Moocher’s Wedding Day” and “Stormy Weather”) through merry tinklers like “Paper Moon” to the majestic sweep of “Over the Rainbow’ and the midnight lamentation of “Blues in The Night”. Supported by top-hole lyricists like Yip Harburg and Johnny Mercer his often bluesy melodies twist and turn, frequently breaking out of the 42 bar pop prison. He was a good singer too, influenced by exposure to liturgical music in his cantor father’s synagogue. He spent many years in Hollywood and provided Judy Garland with her two greatest songs (“Over The Rainbow” and “ The Man That Got Away’). Dapper and versatile Arlen stuck out as educated and very, very musical--a writer who could as easily write for black performers as for white, a true artist in the ever-boiling golden pot of American music. Indeed Lena Horne dubbed him the blackest white man she’d ever met. And the world sang his work—even Beatle George Harrison recorded “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea”.