The Man That Got Away

The Man That Got Away : The Life and Songs of Harold Arlen

4.35 (17 ratings by Goodreads)
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Over the Rainbow, "Stormy Weather," and "One for My Baby" are just a few of Harold Arlen's well-loved compositions. Yet his name is hardly known--except to the musicians who venerate him. At a gathering of songwriters George Gershwin called him "the best of us." Irving Berlin agreed. Paul McCartney sent him a fan letter and became his publisher. Bob Dylan wrote of his fascination with Arlen's "bittersweet, lonely world." A cantor's son, Arlen believed his music was from a place outside himself, a place that also sent tragedy. When his wife became mentally ill and was institutionalized he turned to alcohol. It nearly killed him. But the beautiful songs kept coming: "Blues in the Night," "My Shining Hour," "Come Rain or Come Shine," and "The Man That Got Away." Walter Rimler drew on interviews with friends and associates of Arlen and on newly available archives to write this intimate portrait of a genius whose work is a pillar of the Great American more

Product details

  • Hardback | 248 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 14.99mm | 788g
  • University of Illinois Press
  • Baltimore, United States
  • English
  • 0252039467
  • 9780252039461
  • 1,120,018

Review quote

"To the point, simple to grasp, and an engaging read. I was fully drawn to Arlen the man and Arlen the songwriter and by the end sad to relinquish his acquaintance."--Stephen Banfield, author of Jerome Kern "Highly readable, this could easily count as the perfect biography, well-researched but never overladen with detail, the always modest Arlen's `bittersweet life', in critic John Lahr's words, elegantly conveyed."--Peter Vacher, Jazzwise "Fascinating... Rimler provides countless pieces of information not previously known... Rimler's work remains refreshingly unacademic and is a real pleasure to read."--ARSC Journal "An endearing yet clear-eyed assessment of Harold Arlen. . . . For lovers of the Great American Songbook and for anyone who ever dreamed beyond the confines of practicality."--Library Journal "Reading Mr. Rimler's sympathetic but unflinching account of Arlen's travails gives one an enhanced admiration for his productivity and the grit and determination that enabled him to produce such jewels amid such turmoil."--Washington Times "Mr. Rimler tells an important story, and he presents musical analysis of Arlen's compositional style in nonacademic terms, so that all readers can grasp how inventive Arlen really was."--Wall Street Journal "Rimler's study ensures that Arlen's story and his contributions to music will not be forgotten."--Publishers Weeklyshow more

About Walter Rimler

Walter Rimler is the author of George Gershwin: An Intimate Portrait and A Cole Porter Discography .show more

Rating details

17 ratings
4.35 out of 5 stars
5 35% (6)
4 65% (11)
3 0% (0)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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