A Tribute to Yip Harburg: The Man Who Put the Rainbow in The Wizard of Oz
His name might not be familiar to many, but his songs are sung by millions around the world. Today, a journey through the life and work of Yip Harburg, the Broadway lyricist who wrote such hits as “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” and who put the music into The Wizard of Oz. Born into poverty on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Yip always included a strong social and political component to his work, fighting racism and poverty. A lifelong socialist, Yip was blacklisted and hounded throughout much of his life.
Taking us on today’s trip through the music and politics of Yip is his son, Ernie Harburg. First, we’re going to go through Yip’s early life, his collaboration with the Gershwin’s, through “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” Then we’re going to take an in-depth look at The Wizard of Oz. And finally, we’ll hear a medley of Yip Harburg’s Broadway songs and the politics of the times in which they were created. [includes rush transcript]