DEAD: ON THIS DATE
Yip Harburg (aged 84)
American song lyricist (Over the Rainbow)
Edgar Yipsel “Yip” Harburg (April 8, 1896 or 1898 – March 5, 1981) was an American popular song lyricist and librettist who worked with many well-known composers. He wrote the lyrics to the standards “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” (with Jay Gorney), “April in Paris”, and “It’s Only a Paper Moon”, as well as all of the songs in The Wizard of Oz, including “Over the Rainbow”. He was known for the social commentary of his lyrics, as well as his liberal sensibilities. He championed racial and gender equality and union politics. He also was an ardent critic of religion.
DEATH: He died in a head-on collision when the car he was driving swerved into oncoming traffic on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, California, on March 5, 1981.