August 1, 1937
THE WIZARD OF OZ – COMPLETE ORIGINAL DECCA ALBUM
The Wizard of Oz “cast album” as released by Decca Records in 1940 was the first Judy Garland album ever produced. Technically it’s not a complete Garland-only album as she sings only two songs, but it’s the first time any of her recordings appear in the album format.
This set is also the first of four “cast albums” that Decca would produce featuring studio recreations of songs from Judy’s films, the others being Girl Crazy, Meet Me in St. Louis, and The Harvey Girls. True soundtrack LPs of songs taken directly from film pre-recording sessions would not appear until 1946 (MGM’s Till the Clouds Roll By).
Judy provides the vocal for “Over The Rainbow” and “The Jitterbug.” The “vocal trio” who accompanies Judy on “The Jitterbug” is none other than Harold Arlen as The Scarecrow with Bud Lyon as The Tin Man and Garney Bell as The Lion.
The remaining songs are performed by the Ken Darby Singers. It’s fascinating to hear just how different these interpretations are when compared to the original film soundtrack.
A true soundtrack album of songs from the film soundtrack would not appear until 1956 when MGM Records released selections of songs and dialog on LP.
THE SAGA OF BABY GUMM
For Judy’s 21st birthday, a custom-made comedy record telling her “life story” was made and presented to her as a birthday present. The recording featured Danny Kaye, Phil Silvers, Keenan Wynn, MGM executive Dore Schary, Judy’s assistant (at the time) Betty Asher, and her sister Jimmie.
July 31, 1944
After the JSP set Smilin’ Through – The Singles Collection 1936-1947 went into production in Summer 2011, the International Bing Crosby Club came out with the revelation that there is a C take of “Mine” plus a B take of “Yah-Ta-Ta” both duets with Bing Crosby. This new JSP set already includes the extra T take of “Yah-Ta-Ta” but the fact that there are two more alternate takes is wonderful news! It’s also puzzling that none of the Garland “experts” out there was aware of these alternates – until now.
March 9, 1945
After the JSP set Smilin’ Through – The Singles Collection 1936-1947 went into production in Summer 2011, the International Bing Crosby Club came out with the revelation that there is a C take of “Mine”; plus a B take of “Yah-Ta-Ta” both duets with Bing Crosby. This new JSP set already includes the extra T take of “Yah-Ta-Ta” but the fact that there are two more alternate takes is wonderful news! It’s also puzzling that none of the Garland “experts” out there was aware of these alternates – until now.
August 17, 1946
September 24, 1955
From Judy’s first television special, the “Ford Star Jubilee”, a 90-minute special that aired on CBS-TV. The film (or rather the video transfer of the Kinescope) still exists and is the only known footage of Judy singing “Over The Rainbow” as she sang it in concert, in her hobo costume, sitting on the edge of the stage. This version of “Over The Rainbow” can be seen in the Laserlight DVD “Judy Garland The Concert Years”. For me, this is the most moving performance of “Over The Rainbow” that I’ve ever seen.
Also of note, just a few days after this special aired, Capitol Records released the first Garland LP since Judy signed a contract with them. The record is called “Miss Show Business” and it was basically a “soundtrack” album of this”Ford Star Jubilee” special, although all the songs on the album were recorded in the Capitol recording studios. See the Capitol Records page for more info.
THE WHOLE SHOW (zip file)
Public Internet Debut!!
Ever wonder what Judy’s sisters sounded like as adult singers? Here’s one of Virginia Thompson’s (Jimmie Gumm/Garland) recordings that she made for LIN Records in 1956. In all, Virginia recorded four songs for the label: “Beyond A Shadow of a Doubt” & “Crying In The Night” (Record #5004, released in 1956), and “Where Is My Man?” & “Your Love Is All I Need” (Record #5005, released in 1957).
Thanks to Bobby for providing this recording.
September 26, 1956
Jinx Falkenburg was the first “Supermodel” long before the term was coined (sorry, Janice Dickinson). Jinx was a very successful model in the 1940’s even appearing in a few films, most notably as herself in Gene Kelly’s 1944 Cover Girl where she’s gorgeous in glorious Technicolor. She and her husband Tex McCrary were early innovators of the talk show genre on radio and television beginning in the 40’s.
This particular interview was conducted by Jinx, with her husband introducing them, backstage at The Palace with Kitty Carlyle and Moss Hart.
November 3, 1956
A TV tradition was born when CBS presented the very first television showing of The Wizard of Oz on their “Ford Star Jubilee” program. “Cowardly Lion” Bert Lahr and Judy’s daughter Liza Minnelli hosted the broadcast.
In conjunction with the broadcast, MGM Records released its first soundtrack album of songs from the film which was the first Oz soundtrack album ever released. The album was a milestone in that it featured both songs and dialog recorded directly from the film’s soundtrack to present a seamless listening experience. It was the only Oz soundtrack (released in various formats over the years) until 1989 when CBS Special Products released and expanded version on CD. This release also featured the deleted “Jitterbug” pre-recording on CD for the first time.
The next broadcast of the film was in 1959, which is when the annual airings began and the film became entrenched in the American psyche. Due to these annual airings and later the home media releases, The Wizard of Oz became, and remains, the most seen film in history.
October 12, 1957
While in London, Judy recorded “It’s So Lovely To Be Back Again I London” for Capitol-EMI Records. The song was written for her by Roger Edens and distributed as a single to her opening night audience at the Dominion Theatre on October 16th. Check out the Discography’s page on this special singles released here.
November 18, 1957
Judy appeared “by Royal Command” with other stars (including a very young Tommy Steele) at The London Palladium as part of “The Royal Command Performance Variety Show” given “in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen, In aid of the Variety Artistes’ Benevolent Fund and Institution.” The show started at 8 p.m. Judy sang three songs (instead of the two usually allotted for each performer), “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby,” “A Couple of Swells” with Jimmy Brooks (after her “boyfriends” had performed to giver her time to changed into her tramp costume), and “Over the Rainbow.” Gordon Jenkins was the guest conductor for Judy’s section.
The show was broadcast over the radio but the only songs of Judy’s that have survived in audio format are “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby” and “Over the Rainbow.”
January 2, 1960
On January 2, 1960, Judy signed a contract with Random House to write her autobiography. A press release announcing the deal was sent out on January 4th. The book was to be called “The Judy Garland Story” and was to be a collaboration between Judy and Fred Finklehoffe. He had written the screenplays to some of Judy’s best MGM films including For Me And My Gal, Girl Crazy, Meet Me In St. Louis, and more.
In early 1960, Finklehoffe recorded his “interviews” with Judy. One hour and 20 minutes of those interviews can be heard, and downloaded, here (link above)..
Bennett Cerf of Random House wrote a letter that was printed in the fan magazine “Garland Gazette” that stated that Random House had “not yet seen one line of the manuscript.” A partial manuscript was eventually produced, totaling 65 pages. The manuscript contains some frank observations and revelations from Judy, including: “Judy knew she was an “unwanted” (unplanned) baby; she received a lot of psychological abuse from her mother and her stepfather. They both allegedly taunted and laughed at her together, with Ethel even calling Judy at one point to tell her that she had been born with a defective brain. Judy admitted that she loved Ethel and that “she was always doing things . . . which made me love her so much, but at the same time I was afraid of her. At any time, in the middle of a great kindness or loud laughter, she was capable of saying something or doing something that would scare me to death.” Judy also talked about her attempts to rid herself of the medications she was on; the men at the studio who made advances on her, and the abortion she had when she was just 20-years-old. The book was never completed as at this point Judy felt too good and happy to look back.
A copy of the pages that were completed, or at least some of the manuscript, has been floating around the fan community for years.
During the week of August 11, 1961, Judy and Kay Thompson were in Boston to attend the out-of-town-opening of Noel Coward’s new musical “Sail Away.” Redbook magazine recorded this backstage conversation with an unknown interviewer.
1960 – 1962
LONDON STUDIO RECORDINGS
Judy Garland – The London Studio Sessions 1957 – 1964 was released in 2011. Here are the studio sessions not included in that release:
STORMY WEATHER (alternate take – recorded August 2, 1960)
WHY WAS I BORN? (alternate take – recorded August 3, 1960)
OVER THE RAINBOW (alternate take – recorded August 4, 1960)
IT NEVER WAS YOU (alternate take – recorded May 9, 1962)
I COULD GO ON SINGING (2007 remix – recorded July 9, 1962)
February 25, 1962
THE JUDY GARLAND SHOW (JUDY, FRANK, AND DEAN)
Broadcast on February 25, 1962 “The Judy Garland Show” was a once-in-a-lifetime television special featuring Judy with her friends Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. All three are at the top of their game, giving wonderful performances.
THE COMPLETE SHOW AS AIRED (zip file)
March 19, 1963
JUDY AND HER GUESTS – PHIL SILVERS AND ROBERT GOULET
Broadcast on March 19, 1963, this special (along with “The Judy Garland Show” above) was instrumental in convincing CBS to take a chance on a weekly Garland variety show.
Judy has great fun, especially when paired with Silvers who co-starred with her in 1950’s Summer Stock. Goulet was a relative newcomer and had recently worked with Judy on the animated film Gay Purr-ee.
THE COMPLETE SHOW AS AIRED (zip file)
September 27, 1963
I WISH YOU LOVE (Alternate Take)
An alternate take of this lovely song from Judy’s TV series “The Judy Garland Show.” This was taped on September 27, 1963, for Episode #8 of the show, which aired on October 20, 1963
THE JUDY GARLAND SHOW PRE-RECORDINGS
Here is a set of rare pre-recordings & line recordings from Judy’s TV series “The Judy Garland Show.” Good stuff!
A LOT OF LIVING TO DO
WEST SIDE STORY MEDLEY (with Vic Damone)
FROM THIS MOMENT ON
ALL PURPOSE HOLIDAY SONG (with Vic Damone and Zina Bethune)
COMES ONCE IN A LIFETIME
I FEEL A SONG COMING ON
KISMET MEDLEY (alternate take)
THE OLD SOFT SHOE (with Donald O’Connor – line recording)
JAMBOREE JONES (line recording – alternate take)
I WISH YOU LOVE (line recording – alternate take)
GREAT DAY (line recording – alternate take)
DON’T EVER LEAVE ME (line recording – alternate take)
AFTER YOU’VE GONE (line recording – alternate take)
EVERYBODY’S DOIN’ IT
HERE’S THAT RAINY DAY
IT’S A GOOD DAY
NEVER WILL I MARRY
“PORGY AND BESS” MEDLEY (with Vic Damone)
ROUND ROBIN MEDLEY
SEVENTY SIX TROMBONES
THE JITTERBUG (with Ray Bolger)
THE START OF SOMETHING BIG
THEY CAN’T TAKE THAT AWAY FROM ME
Judy was a fan of composer Lionel Bart (“Oliver!”), and while she was in London in 1964 she agreed to record these four songs from his latest show “Maggie May.”
These were Judy’s last studio recordings for records, although she prerecorded some material for later TV appearances.
November 29, 1964
JUDY PERFORMS FOR THE LONDON JUDY GARLAND FAN CLUB
Judy attended the British Fan Club meeting at the Russell Hotel in northern London from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. Before leaving the meeting (details of the meeting below), Judy sang “Make Someone Happy” and with the Allen Brothers, “I Wish You Love.”
While there, she watched a screening of Gay Purr-ee. Judy mentioned that her favorite films were Meet Me In St. Louis, The Clock, and For Me And My Gal. Of the latter, she quipped “Even though it is so corny!” Judy said some re-recording was done at EMI studios for the Palladium concert album because the television cameras had affected the sound at times. While watching a print of The Harvey Girls the film jumped a bit prompting Judy to joke “This film must have been made by Warner Brothers!” She also joked: “We always HAD to have RED hair in color films. It took forever.” While pulling away in the car – after being interviewed by the TV Times – Judy smiled and made her “big fat close-up” pose from A Star Is Born.
Twenty-three minutes of fun! Judy jokes about MGM and the moth in the mouth while singing “Over the Rainbow” story. This is the audio to the TV show that was videotaped in San Francisco. The show aired on August 30, 1965. Sadly, only a one minute black & white clip from the show survives. But luckily we have this audio to enjoy.
February 20, 1966
“The Kraft Music Hall” (NBC-TV). Hosted by Perry Como, the show also featured a guest appearance by Bill Cosby. Judy also sang: “If You Feel Like Singing, Sing/It’s A Grand Night for Singing”; “In My Baby’s Lovin’ Arms”; A medley of “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby/Over The Rainbow/The Man That Got Away”; “Bye Bye Blues/For Me And My Gal”; and “Side By Side” (all with Como); and “Just In Time” (solo).
March 6, 1966
Judy returned for her second appearance on “The Sammy Davis, Jr. Show” at the NBC Studios in Brooklyn, NY. She sang: “Almost Like Being In Love”/”This Can’t Be Love”; “If Love Were All”; and “Love.” The last two were cut before airing although recordings taken from the sound system that still survive. Judy also performed a medley of various show tunes with Davis.
The show was aired on March 25, 1966. Although it was taped in color, only B&W footage survives.
This is a rare recording of Judy singing to herself in the privacy of her home.
According to Scott Schechter’s book “Judy Garland – The Day-By-Day Chronicle”, this recording is part of a tape Judy made expressing her feelings about the loss of her home in May 1967, due to back taxes. She goes on to say that “someone” is playing the piano while she’s talking, and that she’s talking in an almost poem/talk-singing way. At one point she sings this a capella version of “My Man’s Gone Now.”
November 2, 1968
Judy at the “Three” nightclub in New York City. Afterward, she, John Meyer, and Mary McCarty sang around Stan Freeman’s player piano. This recording is 24 minutes from this impromptu get-together. Judy sings “Hello, Bluebird”, “I’ve Confessed to the Breeze, and imitates Marlene Dietrich singing “Falling In Love Again.”
December 19, 1968
Judy sings an impromptu rendition of “The Trolley Song” on “The Merv Griffin Show” (syndicated), taped on this date in New York, but not aired in most markets until January 2, 1969. Judy is joined by Merv Griffin and fellow guests Arthur Treacher and Mort Lindsey.
December 23, 1968
Judy’s last TV appearance in the U.S. She videotaped her guest hostess stint on “The Merv Griffin Show” in New York, which was broadcast in color on January 6, 1969. Merv’s other guests were: Margaret Hamilton, Arthur Treacher, Moms Mabley, Van Johnson, Rex Reed, and The Ohio Express.
Judy sang “If You Were The Only Girls In The World” with Treacher and soloed on “Just In Time.”
The original footage of the show has been lost. Only some silent color footage, taken from filming a television in someone’s home, and an audio recording, are known to exist. Griffin later stated that the footage was not in his vaults since the material was erased after his series went to CBS in 1969.
January 4, 1969
Judy made a personal appearance at The National Film Theater, London, England. Between showings of A Star Is Born she took questions from the audience. When talking about Barbra Streisand, Judy said: “She is a STAR, she makes a sound, she has a LOOK. No one will be able to really deny the fact that Barbra Streisand is a great talent . . . There doesn’t have to be a comparison. She has her way of singing, I have mine. There’s enough room for all of us.”
Judy also said she hoped to do more recording work and stay in London for a while. She did say that MGM “still doesn’t trust me,” and wouldn’t consider her for their planned musical biography of Irving Berlin, to be titled Say It With Music. That production had been in development by producer Arthur Freed for most of the 1960s. It was to be directed by Vincente Minnelli but it was never produced. Judy spoke twice at the theater: after the first screening and again right before the second. For these talks, Judy wore her Blackglama mink over a pink mini dress. After her show at the Talk of the Town that night, Judy brought some friends back to the theater for a private showing of A Star Is Born.
January 19, 1969
SUNDAY NIGHT AT THE LONDON PALLADIUM (zip file)
Judy’s last appearance on TV, and her final appearance at the London Palladium. Judy filled in for an ailing Lena Horne and sang “For Once In My Life”; “Get Happy”; and “I Belong To London.”
All that survives of this appearance, aside from the audio files that have been remastered and were included in last year’s fantastic “Swan Songs, First Flights” set, are the several seconds of bows shown here.
June 16, 1969
This is the last known recording of Judy singing prior to her death on June 22nd. That’s Judy’s last husband, Mickey Deans, on the piano and also heard feeding her the lyrics to “When Sunny Gets Blue.” Anita O’Day opens the recording, singing a bit of “The Lady Is A Tramp” and “It Had To Be You.” Judy is also heard (in the background) having fun singing “I Love A Piano.”
Here is a remastered version of Jerry Herman’s tribute to Judy: “That’s Judy Garland!” (sung to the tune of “That’s Entertainment!”). Herman is the composer (both music and lyrics) of such legendary shows as “Hello, Dolly!”, “Mame”, “Mack and Mabel”, “La Cage Aux Faux”, and many others. He composes the kind of show tunes that we all love: singable and joyful and yes, sometimes sand and soulful.
At the 1998 tribute to Judy at Carnegie Hall in New York, Herman delighting the audience with his lyrical re-write of one of Judy’s most popular concert hits “That’s Entertainment!” and also confessed that he (like several before him) would imagine how Judy would sing a song when they wrote it.
The sound quality on this recording isn’t the best, so here are the lyrics. And forgive Herman’s lack of vocal prowess – he’s a songwriter not a singer! 🙂
A note, that is really a note
makes the song that the song writer wrote
sound sublime when it comes from the throat
of Judy Garland!
And how, we loved watching her grow
when she had Mickey Rooney in tow,
and she’d say: “We could put on a show!”
That’s Judy Garland!
She sang on a trolley
and danced with Astaire!
And Judy and Gene
were a helluva pair!
But then she topped it, I swear,
when she played a girl named Esther
who turned into Vicki Lester.
And then, there’s a night I recall
When she proved she was queen of them all,
And the roof, shook at Carnegie Hall!
And nobody will,
compare to the thrill,
of Judy Garland!
For years, there’s a debt I have owed
to the girl, from the Yellow Brick Road
who could make my emotions explode!
So, thanks-to-the-gods above,
with Judy Garland!