Decca Records celebrated Judy Garland's first above-the-title starring role in a movie, For Me and My Gal, and, more important, the success of her and co-star Gene Kelly's revival of the 1917 title song, which peaked in the Top Five in Billboard in April 1943, with her second album, another collection of her singles, this one containing four 78-rpm records. "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart" was a song Garland had sung at her MGM audition in 1935 and in the 1938 film Listen, Darling, then recorded for Decca in 1939. "When You Wore a Tulip," a 1914 song, was also from Me and My Gal and was another duet with Kelly. Most of the other songs were also revivals of old standards, "I Never Knew" from 1920, Noël Coward's "Poor Little Rich Girl," the Gershwins' "Fascinating Rhythm" from 1924, and "On the Sunny Side of the Street" (into which she injected the phrase "over the rainbow") from 1930; the only contemporary number was Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer's "That Old Black Magic," which had been used in the previous year's film Star Spangled Rhythm. David Rose, Garland's husband, who directed the orchestra for all but "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart" and "Fascinating Rhythm," gave her excellent support, while Victor Young, who handled the other two, used modified swing arrangements that goosed her to lively performances. As a result, the 20-year-old came off as a quickly maturing talent, just as she had in Me and My Gal.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
feat: Noël Coward
feat: James F. Hanley