Judy Garland's television program of 1963-1964 was not a popular success (it lost a shootout with Bonanza, which aired at the same time), but during its six-month run it produced a wealth of great performances -- as video collections have proved. This, the third compilation from Savoy Jazz to compile her television recordings, has a different tack than the first two; while That Old Feeling reprised classic ballad material from the show and Judy Garland and Friends: Duets presented the best of appearances by her special guests, Great Day! Rare Recordings from The Judy Garland Show unearths 18 solo performances of songs she never (or rarely) sang during her long career. Not that these are obscure performances; among them are "Time After Time," "It's a Good Day," and "America the Beautiful," and the work of heavyweight composers Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Harold Arlen, and many others. Most of the arrangements are big-band swing with strings, the better to cope with Garland's roof-raising showmanship, but there are occasional and welcome changeups, such as a buoyant, springlike version of "Time After Time" with plucked strings and muted brass. Despite the occasional appeal of hearing Garland tear into a song that's a natural for her ("It's a Good Day" is an excellent choice), most of the material here won't appeal to the generalist vocal fan. While she could carry a television audience with her performances, there simply isn't enough excellent material to make an audio-only program interesting; the compilation reaches a denouement during an 11-minute medley of World War I songs.
AllMusic Review by John Bush