Saturday, February 23, 2013

Saturday morning tunes: Seventy-five years ago today

The trades had an announcement in 1938:
On this day in 1938, the entertainment trade newspaper Variety reported that the film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) had bought the rights to adapt L. Frank Baum’s beloved children’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz for the screen, and that the studio has cast 16-year-old Judy Garland in the film’s central role, Dorothy Gale.
Some industry insiders were surprised that the part of Dorothy hadn't gone to the much-better-known Shirley Temple, who was also considered by MGM for the role. Film-goers around the world, not yet having learned to be horrified by what can happen when Disney gets hold of a classic property, looked forward in anticipation if not necessarily flop-sweat relief.

The flop-sweat relief would come later, as would the generations of enjoyment from this practically perfect performance:

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Lyrics and music by E.Y. Harburg and Harold Arlen.

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