UIP author Walter Rimler has won the Timothy White Award for Outstanding Musical Biography in the pop music field for his book The Man That Got Away: The Life and Songs of Harold Arlen. Given by the by the ASCAP Foundation and the Virgil Thomson Foundation, the Timothy White Award has in the past gone to artists like Buddy Guy and Dave Van Ronk as well as a long list of stellar writers.
Rimler’s book traces the life and nigh-unparalleled songbook of the man who gave a grateful world “Over the Rainbow,” “Stormy Weather,” and “One for My Baby,” yet never quite overcame a lack of attention even in his own lifetime. This despite the fact George Gershwin called him “the best of us” and that Irving Berlin agreed. Are you kidding? Paul McCartney sent him a fan letter and became his publisher, while Bob Dylan wrote of his fascination with Arlen’s “bittersweet, lonely world.” Walter Rimler drew on interviews with friends and associates of Arlen and on newly available archives to write an intimate and acclaimed portrait of a genius whose work is a pillar of the Great American Songbook.