1996 32c Songwriters: Harold Arlen

# 3100 - 1996 32c Songwriters: Harold Arlen

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US #3100
1996 Harold Arlen

  • One of four legendary Songwriters
  • 8th pane in the Legends of Music series
  • Stamps were issued on same day as Big Band Leaders stamps in same series

Stamp Category:  Commemorative
Set:  Songwriters, American Music series
Value:  32¢, First-Class mail rate
First Day of Issue:  September 11, 1996
First Day City:  New York, New York
Quantity Issued:  23,025,000
Printed by:  Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd.
Printing Method:  Lithographed
Format:  Panes of 20 (4 across, 5 down) from plates of 120 (12 across, 10 down)
Perforations:  11.1 x 11

Why the stamp was issued:  The five stamps in the Songwriters set honor two talented composers - Harold Arlen and Hoagy Carmichael - and two lyricists – Johnny Mercer and Dorothy Fields.

About the stamp design:  The portraits of the four big band leaders were made by Bill Nelson, who works in colored pencils on recycled charcoal paper.  He had previously designed album covers for big band recordings compiled by Time-Life Records.

First Day City:  The set of songwriters stamps was dedicated at Shubert Alley in New York City.  The Big Band Leaders stamps from the same series were issued at the same time.  It kicked off the US Postal Service’s American Music Stamp Festival 1996.  Family members of the people featured on the stamps were present at the ceremony.

About the Legends of American Music Series:  Honored as part of the Legends of American Music series in 1996 were four of the most popular and successful lyricists and composers of all time - Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer, Dorothy Fields, and Hoagy Carmichael. The talents of these individuals gave us such popular songs as "Over the Rainbow," "Jeepers Creepers," "I'm in the Mood for Love," and "Stardust."
The Legends of American Music Series debuted on January 8, 1993, and ran until September 21, 1999.  More than 90 artists are represented from all styles of music:  rock ‘n’ roll, rhythm and blues, country and western, jazz and pop, opera and classical, gospel and folk.  In addition to individual singers and Broadway musicals, subjects include band leaders, classical composers, Hollywood songwriters and composers, conductors, lyricists, and more.  The Legends of American Music Series was a huge advancement for diversity because it honored many Black and female artists.

History the stamp represents:  Harold Arlen showed great musical promise early in life. However, he rejected formal training in favor of playing nightclubs. Later a composer convinced him to write music for one of his piano pieces, which with the lyrics of Ted Koehler became the song “Get Happy.” Arlen began working for a music publishing company, and produced the songs “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” and “I’ve Got the World on a String.”
Arlen produced scores for the Broadway musicals You Said It, Life Begins at 8:40, Hooray for What?, Bloomer Girl, St. Louis Woman, and Saratoga. For Hollywood films Arlen wrote, among others, “It’s Only a Paper Moon,” “Let’s Fall in Love,” “That Old Black Magic,” and Groucho Marx’s theme song, “Lydia the Tatoo’d Lady.”
Other popular Arlen songs include: “Blues in the Night,” “I Love a Parade,” and “Stormy Weather.” His song “Over the Rainbow,” with lyrics by E.Y. Hapburg, was introduced by Judy Garland in the film The Wizard of Oz, and won an Academy Award. Garland also premiered Arlen’s, “The Man that Got Away,” with lyrics by Ira Gershwin, in the movie A Star is Born. Gershwin collaborated with Arlen again for the film Country Girl, starring Bing Crosby.

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US #3100
1996 Harold Arlen

  • One of four legendary Songwriters
  • 8th pane in the Legends of Music series
  • Stamps were issued on same day as Big Band Leaders stamps in same series

Stamp Category:  Commemorative
Set:  Songwriters, American Music series
Value:  32¢, First-Class mail rate
First Day of Issue:  September 11, 1996
First Day City:  New York, New York
Quantity Issued:  23,025,000
Printed by:  Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd.
Printing Method:  Lithographed
Format:  Panes of 20 (4 across, 5 down) from plates of 120 (12 across, 10 down)
Perforations:  11.1 x 11

Why the stamp was issued:  The five stamps in the Songwriters set honor two talented composers - Harold Arlen and Hoagy Carmichael - and two lyricists – Johnny Mercer and Dorothy Fields.

About the stamp design:  The portraits of the four big band leaders were made by Bill Nelson, who works in colored pencils on recycled charcoal paper.  He had previously designed album covers for big band recordings compiled by Time-Life Records.

First Day City:  The set of songwriters stamps was dedicated at Shubert Alley in New York City.  The Big Band Leaders stamps from the same series were issued at the same time.  It kicked off the US Postal Service’s American Music Stamp Festival 1996.  Family members of the people featured on the stamps were present at the ceremony.

About the Legends of American Music Series:  Honored as part of the Legends of American Music series in 1996 were four of the most popular and successful lyricists and composers of all time - Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer, Dorothy Fields, and Hoagy Carmichael. The talents of these individuals gave us such popular songs as "Over the Rainbow," "Jeepers Creepers," "I'm in the Mood for Love," and "Stardust."
The Legends of American Music Series debuted on January 8, 1993, and ran until September 21, 1999.  More than 90 artists are represented from all styles of music:  rock ‘n’ roll, rhythm and blues, country and western, jazz and pop, opera and classical, gospel and folk.  In addition to individual singers and Broadway musicals, subjects include band leaders, classical composers, Hollywood songwriters and composers, conductors, lyricists, and more.  The Legends of American Music Series was a huge advancement for diversity because it honored many Black and female artists.

History the stamp represents:  Harold Arlen showed great musical promise early in life. However, he rejected formal training in favor of playing nightclubs. Later a composer convinced him to write music for one of his piano pieces, which with the lyrics of Ted Koehler became the song “Get Happy.” Arlen began working for a music publishing company, and produced the songs “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” and “I’ve Got the World on a String.”
Arlen produced scores for the Broadway musicals You Said It, Life Begins at 8:40, Hooray for What?, Bloomer Girl, St. Louis Woman, and Saratoga. For Hollywood films Arlen wrote, among others, “It’s Only a Paper Moon,” “Let’s Fall in Love,” “That Old Black Magic,” and Groucho Marx’s theme song, “Lydia the Tatoo’d Lady.”
Other popular Arlen songs include: “Blues in the Night,” “I Love a Parade,” and “Stormy Weather.” His song “Over the Rainbow,” with lyrics by E.Y. Hapburg, was introduced by Judy Garland in the film The Wizard of Oz, and won an Academy Award. Garland also premiered Arlen’s, “The Man that Got Away,” with lyrics by Ira Gershwin, in the movie A Star is Born. Gershwin collaborated with Arlen again for the film Country Girl, starring Bing Crosby.