In 2015, a recording of Judy’s concert at the Falkoner Center in Copenhagen was released in what was then believed to be complete, having been sourced from an excellent sounding radio station tape. The concert had been taped to be broadcast several days later.
Since the release of that CD set, amazingly, another tape of this same concert has surfaced, made by the concert hall itself. This second tape is unrelated to the broadcast and is in equally fine sound as that first tape. From this newly discovered hall tape, we know definitively that the first half of the evening was a performance by pop singer and Garland friend Johnnie Ray, with Garland appearing on the second half of the concert. We also now know that the radio station eliminated two duets, “Till The Clouds Roll By” and “Am I Blue,” in which Judy was joined by Ray, who also accompanied both himself and Garland at the piano. These duets occurred right after the number “Chicago” on the program, before Garland concluded the concert with “San Francisco” and “Over the Rainbow.” If there were any encores thereafter, they are undocumented and are not preserved on any known tape.
A 1993 CD release contains similar duets with Johnnie Ray, taken from other performances. “Am I Blue” on that set is identified as being from a rehearsal when in fact it was an impromptu performance by Garland and Ray at a piano with friends. “Till The Clouds Roll By” on that set is from the March 23, 1969, performance on the same tour in Malmö, Sweden.
A film was being made during the tour, some of which can be seen on YouTube. These video pieces present Garland and Ray performing “Till the Clouds Roll By” in concert in Malmö, despite some mislabeling as being from the Copenhagen concert.
The video of “Am I Blue” shows a piano bar setting (matching the audio noted on the previous screen) that is clearly not the Copenhagen performance. In these video clips the soundtrack to both duets is exactly the same as what is heard on that 1993 Legend CD. They are completely different from the two tapes of the Copenhagen concert. In other words, the CD also mislabels the Malmö recordings as Copenhagen.
The Judy Room is thrilled to confirm that these duets as performed in Copenhagen have never been released before and are in fact genuine new Garland discoveries. They are well performed, with the first duet, “Till the Clouds Roll By,” having the character of something like a spontaneous jam session. “Am I Blue” is sung mostly by Garland, beautifully and unforgettably, as Ray requested of her before they started. Both duets are enhanced by Ray’s beautiful piano accompaniments. The entertaining banter with the audience and between the performers before each duet is also included in full, making us feel even more like members of that 1969 audience as we listen.
These excerpts are part of the very last public performance that Judy Garland gave on any stage. Listen and be held again in Judy Garland’s hand as she works her magic spell on the audience, and by extension, us lucky listeners many decades later.