Judy Garland's movie stardom coincided with the reign of radio as the nation's dominant entertainment medium, and the actress/singer appeared over the airwaves frequently. This compilation presents only a fraction of those appearances, but it gives a good sense of the kind of performances she gave, and it also includes some other recordings. The first disc starts with a promotional recording for the 1936 film Pigskin Parade, in which Garland had a small part, then continues with various aircheck excerpts from the late '30s and '40s, leading up to a series of V-Disc recordings with Johnny Mercer and Tommy Dorsey's Orchestra. The disc concludes with "The Philco Hall of Fame," a December 1944 broadcast on which Garland promoted her latest film, Meet Me in St. Louis, and joined the Les Paul Trio and Paul Whiteman's Orchestra and Chorus for a tribute to Jerome Kern. The second disc is given over to two extended promotions of The Wizard of Oz. First is the complete, one-hour broadcast of the Good News show of June 29, 1939, on which Garland and fellow cast members Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, and Frank Morgan, with host Robert Young subbing for Jack Haley, dramatize aspects of the making of the film and sing some of its songs. (There are also commercials and a comedy routine by Fanny Brice in her Baby Snooks character.) The disc closes with a ten-minute promotional recording, "Leo Is on the Air," that features soundtrack recordings from The Wizard of Oz and an alternate take of "Over the Rainbow." At close to two and a half hours, the album provides a large chunk of Garland's radio performances (though there are many more), and especially for fans of The Wizard of Oz it will be a delight.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
feat: Les Paul Trio