The 1930s

By: Breanna DEwoody

The Wizard of Oz

Dorothy, a young girl from Kansas, is transported, along with her dog Toto, to the fantasy of Oz by a tornado that sweeps her farmhouse away from home. The storm carries the house along with Dorothy and Toto to a a magical place of Munchkinland. She is proclaimed a national heroine by the tiny munchkins because the luck of the house had landed on and killed the Wicked Witch of the East, who holds the power over the munchkins. Glinda, the good Witch of the North, explains to Dorothy all that has happened to her. Dorothy wishes to return home and receives protection from Glinda when Ruby slippers that were worn by the dead Wicked Witch of the East magically appears on Dorothy's feet, as along as she wears the slippers, she will be safe. Dorothy is sent along the yellow brick road by the good Witch of the North to find the Wizard of Oz and to get his help to return to Kansas. Along the way, Dorothy overcomes various obstacles made by the Wicked Witch of the West to get the Ruby slippers, and meets a talking scarecrow, a tin man, and a cowardly lion, who are all unsatisfied and need to find Emerald City, to ask the Wizard to give them what they each desire. Instead the Wizard sends them on a quest to retrieve the broomstick of the Wicked Witch of the West. After completing the quest they go back to the Wizard and are given what they all wanted. Dorothy eventually wakes up and realizes it was all a dream.

The book, Wizard of Oz was written in 1900, then made into a film, The writers of the film went through numerous drafts to attempt to perfect the story that would be capture on film. It was released on August 25, 1939 and Boxed Office to $3,017,000 on the original release date.

Cast:                                                                                                                                                             ~ Dorothy - Judy Garland                                                                                                                                             ~ Wizard of Oz / Professor Marvel - Frank Morgan                                                                        ~ The Scarecrow - Ray Bolger                                                                                                              ~ The Tin Man - Jack Haley                                                                                                                 ~ The Cowardly Lion - Bert Lahr           

Music in the 1930s

During the 30's, The United States was a decade of hard times caused by the stock market crash in 1929 causing an economic depression. Big Band Jazz became very popular, consisting of 15-20 people. "Swing Dancing" a style of dance performed by couples. As well as the "Jitterbug" featuring partners throwing each other over and through the legs. From "Hillbilly music" in the 20's to "Country and Western" in the 30's. This included bluegrass, gospel, and western swing. The 1930's became a great decade of music.

Composer - Harold Arlen

He wrote some of the greatest hits in the 30's, his music sets some of the standards in today's music. He became one the the Great American Composers of the 20th century. His songs are described as rhythm numbers, jazz pieces, novelties, ballads and torch songs.

He was born on February 15, 1905.  He learned the piano at a very early age and quickly out grew his teacher and he went to jazz band performances. Arlen took jobs as a pianoist for different bands and groups. He later dropped out of high school to pursue a music career. He collaborated with his friends in his band and wrote, "My Gal, My Pal", he lacked interest in songwriting, but continued to pursue his career as a singer.

In July 1938, he signed along with E.Y. Harburg by Metro Goldwyn Mayer to write the score for The Wizard of Oz. The most popular songs were: "We're Off To See The Wizard", "Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead" and "Over The Rainbow"

Throughout the rest of his career, Arlen signed with other movies such as; "At the Circus", "The American Negro Suite", and the "Hot Nocturne". Later on, wrote Broadway Musicals "St. Louis Woman" and "Bloomer Girl".

After his wife, Anya died, he lost interest in life. He suffered with Parkinson's Disease. On April 23, 1986, he died at age 81, peacefully in his apartment in New York City.

                                                          Works Cited

"Biography." Harold Arlen. n. page.Print.


Duke Ellington - Sweet Jazz O' Mine (1930). Film. 14 Apr 2014


Harold Arlen - Somewhere Over The Rainbow (Instrumental). Film. 14 Apr 2014


"Music in the 1930's." n. page. Print.                                         



The Wizard of Oz (1939) - Trailer. Film. 14 April 2014


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