Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell.
I apologize for my tardiness in announcing my Nov. 1, 2015, Battle of the Bands results. The song was Somewhere Over the Rainbow. The competitors were IZ and Katharine McPhee. To see the original post, please click HERE.
My son suggested IZ's version to me. I had never heard of him, and wasn't aware that he had passed away at an early age after creating his much-loved interpretation of Rainbow. I knew the name Katharine McPhee because, although I don't watch the show, she was the runner up in 2006 on American Idol and has experienced continued success.
It became obvious early on that IZ's mellow rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow would be the winner. I admit I was shocked when some of you commented that if Judy Garland had been the other contender, you still would have voted for IZ. That says a lot about the quality of his performance.
Here's the final count:
KATHARINE MCPHEE 2
Again, it doesn't bother me that the first contestant hit one out of the park, while the second contestant hit a pop fly. I enjoy what I learn from the battles. I wouldn't have heard IZ's beautiful voice if I hadn't paid attention to Favorite Young Man when he said, "There's this guy named IZ . . . . . "
And the rest is history.
Let's talk more about the history of Rainbow, too. We'll also listen to the one of the greatest vocalists ever, who made it her signature song.
Of course, the songstress was Judy Garland. She introduced Rainbow when she played Dorothy in the classic 1939 MGM film The Wizard of Oz. Harold Arlen wrote the music; E. Y. Harburg wrote the lyrics. It won the Best Song Academy Award.
The Internet Movie Database has the following to say about this classic number:
"Over the Rainbow" was nearly cut from the film; MGM felt that it made the Kansas sequence too long, as well as being too far over the heads of the children for whom it was intended. The studio also thought that it was degrading for Judy Garland to sing in a barnyard. A reprise of the song was cut: Dorothy sang it to remember Kansas while imprisoned in the Witch's castle. Judy Garland began to cry, along with the crew, because the song was so sad.
Judy Garland was sixteen when she played Dorothy, the girl in my home state who is carried away by a tornado. Here's how I remember my first sight of Judy Garland:
During the Dark Ages, a.k.a. my childhood, The Wizard of Oz was on TV once a year. We watched this special event together. I was horrified by The Wicked Witch of the West, played by Margaret Hamilton.
We sort-of knew that when Dorothy came out of her house in Oz that the film switched from sepia to technicolor. We couldn't imagine it, though. We needed to see it to believe it--to understand how special it was. I was about fifteen years old when I finally saw Dorothy enter the brilliantly colored world of the Munchkins.
Judy, will you please sing us out with another of my favorite performances?
Infinities of love,