Judy Garland

Swan Songs, First Flights: Her First and Last Recordings

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Considering her enduring popularity and her impact on popular culture, it's difficult to believe that Judy Garland only lived to be 47 years old, though she was playing concerts and nightclub dates only a few weeks before her death on June 22, 1969. While conventional wisdom has it that Garland's life and career were in severe decline in her final years, the truth is she was a fine vocalist and an engaging live performer to the very end, and this archival collection features restored versions of some of Garland's final shows. Swan Songs, First Flights: Her First and Last Recordings includes three major concerts from Garland's final year -- a July 1968 show at Philadelphia's JFK Stadium, highlights from a series of intimate performances at London's Talk of the Town nightclub from late December 1968 to February 1969, and a March 1969 concert in Copenhagen, Denmark that was recorded for radio broadcast and proved to be her final public performance. While the audio on these recordings is less than perfect, in many cases sourced from tapes made by amateurs, the audio was expertly restored and remastered by John H. Haley, making these often-bootlegged shows sound as clear as new technology allows, and the Copenhagen tapes are on a par with a commercially recorded live album of the era. The set also includes a bevy of bonus tracks, ranging from television performances and rehearsal tapes to appearances whose audio is flawed but capture unique and exceptional renditions from Garland. The set closes out with 11 rare recordings from the dawn of Judy's career -- three tracks with her sibling vaudeville act the Gumm Sisters and solo numbers recorded when she was still known as Frances Gumm recorded between 1929 and 1930, demo recordings cut for Decca Records in 1935 (with her mother accompanying her on piano), and audio from several early appearances in musical short subjects. For serious Garland fans, this is a treasure trove of rare recordings, some seeing their first authorized release on this set, and captures a great artist at the end and the beginning of a truly remarkable career.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
4:29
2
0:16
3 3:24
4
0:28
5 3:03
6 2:05
7
0:58
8 3:52
9 3:12
10 2:57
11
0:34
12 2:19
13 1:48
14 2:38
15
0:39
16 4:04
17
0:49
18 2:18
19
0:19
20 4:21
21 2:37
22 1:12
23
1:43
24 2:57
25
2:24
26 3:40
27 1:21
28 2:28
29 4:42
30
0:58
31 2:41
32
0:11
33 2:46
34
0:32
35
0:38
36 3:40

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
3:51
2 5:01
3 2:46
4 3:56
5
0:34
6 2:17
7
1:51
8 3:17
9
0:24
10 1:43
11
1:52
12 3:26
13 3:02
14
0:47
15 3:39
16
1:04
17 3:27
18
3:05
19 1:44
20
0:30
21 4:12
22
2:09
23 2:18
24 3:19
25 2:47
26 2:36
27 4:45
28 3:33
29 4:04

Track Listing - Disc 3

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
4:13
2 2:51
3
0:34
4 2:38
5
0:12
6 4:10
7
0:45
8 1:55
9
1:47
10 2:38
11 2:28
12
1:12
13
1:13
14 3:05
15
0:05
16 5:24
17
0:20
18 3:19
19
12:34
20 0:53
21 2:57
22 2:28
23 1:17
24
feat: Frances Gumm
1:57
25
feat: Frances Gumm
1:07
26 1:09
27 3:23
28 2:53
29 1:22
30 2:49
31 1:43
32 3:10
blue highlight denotes track pick