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E. Y. ( "Yip" Harburg April 8, 1896 - March 5, 1981) was a lyricist who worked with many well-known composers.
Born Isidore Hochberg to immigrant parents on the Lower East Side of New York, his name was changed to Edgar Harburg. He is best known by his nickname, : Yip Harburg Yip is short for yipsel, meaning squirrel. He attended Townsend Harris High School where he and Ira Gershwin worked on the school paper and became life-long friends. They went on to attend City College (later part of the City University of New York) together. After graduation, Harburg worked as a journalist in South America, then returned to New York where he became co-owner of Consolidated Electrical Appliance Company. The company went bankrupt following the crash of 1929, and Ira Gershwin introduced Yip to Jay Gorney. He collaborated with Gorney on songs for a Broadway review ( Earl Carroll's Sketchbook): the show was successful and Harburg was engaged as lyricist for a series of successful reviews, including Americana in 1932, for which he wrote the lyrics to , which became an anthem of the Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? Depression. Harburg and Gorney were offered a contract with Paramount: in Hollywood, Harburg worked with composers Harold Arlen, Vernon Duke, Jerome Kern, Jule Styne, and Burton Lane, and wrote the lyrics for . He was The Wizard of Oz blacklisted for his left-wing political activity in the 1940s: no longer able to work in Hollywood, he returned to New York, where he began to write a series of book musicals with social messages, including and Bloomer Girl . Finian's Rainbow
Harburg was inducted into the Songwriters' Hall of Fame in 1972
Broadway Reviews Earl Carroll's Sketchbook - 1929 Americana - 1932
Broadway Musicals Bloomer Girl - 1944 Finian's Rainbow - 1947 Flahooley - 1951 Jamaica - 1957
External links Harburg's page ( on the http://www.songwritershalloffame.org/exhibit_home_page.asp?exhibitId=14) Songwriters' Hall of Fame site