You’re listening to Victor Young and his orchestra and…

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Wicked author Gregory Maguire did much to elicit sympathy for the Wicked Witch of the West. He gave her a name, something original Oz author L. Frank Baum didn’t do. Elphaba is a phonetic play on Baum’s initials. (Go ahead..L.F.B.)  And, I mean, how would you feel if someone dropped a house on your sister?

The main witches of Baum’s Oz books are the rulers of the four cardinal directions; Good in the North and South, and wicked east to west.  Glinda the Good was the only one to get a name in the first book, though her colleague in the north was later named Locasta. Our artichoke-hued friend to the West occupied the land of the Winkies, accomplished tinsmiths. When Dorothy…ahem… gave her the business, the Tin Woodman replaced her quite nicely.

Margaret Hamilton’s witch was so wicked, some of her scarier scenes were cut. So was her visit to Sesame Street. Find out more at

Sound Beat is produced at the Belfer Audio Archive, Syracuse University Library.

I’m Brett Barry.