When first I heard Judy Garland
sing Arlen’s “Rainbow”
(once a year, on Easter, back then)
on our old black and white
I knew I wanted to sing.
I was five.
It took another singer to
show me singing vs. performing,
a girl on the Sullivan show.
We only had one channel
out in the boonies, CBS.
So Ed it was.
She came out dressed in
a plain raincoat. No gown,
no fancy hair; a string of pearls.
Her instinct must have been
to dress plainly so they’d
look at her face.
“When the sun….comes out,”
she was whispering, and at that
moment, Mom and I shushed
the rest of the family. Dad
made fun of her nose.
I was enchanted.
By the end of this Arlen tune,
she was tearing it up, full steam,
larger than life on our small screen.
She was possessed by angels,
delivered to us with the essence
of Queen Nefertiti.
I was five when I heard Judy Garland.
I was six when I heard Barbra Streisand
for the first time and I was hooked.
When I heard Judy, I knew I wanted to sing.
When I heard Barbra, I knew I had to perform.
And so I did.
© 2013 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil
Isn’t that video tremendous (if truncated by a verse)? Both songs cited were indeed by Harold Arlen. The first, “Over the Rainbow,” had lyrics by Yip Harburg (and was almost cut from the “Wizard of Oz” score – can you imagine? “When the Sun Comes Out” had music by Arlen and lyrics by the incredible Johnny Mercer. Arlen and Mercer teamed for many songs, and Streisand benefited from their partnership: “Anyplace I Hang My Hat Is Home,” “Come Rain or Come Shine,” “My Shining Hour,” and many more. My BFF John and I used to play Barbra in the background during long sessions of backgammon and Monopoly… and he gifted me with a boxed set of her TV specials one Christmas.
Sunday Scribblings had “instinct” for their prompt. In addition, my new friend Gretchen Leary co-hosted dverse Interactions with everybody’s fave, Brian Miller. I’m old enough to be her mom, but we have a lot in common. We both have much to say about busting stigmas regarding mental disorders. I was going to post for Gretchen’s prompt, to write about a song that had a big effect on me, but I was… only 22 hours late for Mr. Linky! Check Gretchen out HERE. And, of course, Brian Miller’s blog is HERE. And I probably will post this for dverse Open Mic Night on Tuesday! Peace, Amy