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wizard of oz judy garland‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ from The Wizard of Oz is ranked #1 by the American Film Institute on the 100 Greatest Movie Songs of all time in American Films list.

“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.     – Edited from IMDB

Perhaps the second most well known version of the song is by Hawaiian recording artist Israel Kamakawiwoʻole (IZ). He’s a big guy, but judging by his gentle singing voice, he must have had a big heart as well. His album Facing Future, released in 1993, included a ukulele medley of Harold Arlen’s “Over the Rainbow” and “What a Wonderful World”, a song made famous by Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong. Music industry lore has it that IZ recorded ‘Over The Rainbow’ in only one take.

Here’s Judy Garland 26 years after The Wizard of Oz singing her signature song on The Andy Williams Show.

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