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HDTT is pleased to present the FIRST RELEASE of these never-before-heard alternate takes of songs on Judy Garland’s well-loved 1956 Capitol album entitled “Judy.”  These recordings were recently discovered by award-winning designer and collector Raphael Geroni on a unique set of acetate discs that he owns, preserving the original recordings made in late March, 1956.  Except for one song, they were not the vocal takes that appeared in the Capitol "Judy" album when it was released over six months later, on October 10, 1956.  The acetate records have been transferred and meticulously restored by acclaimed audio restoration engineer John H. Haley of Harmony Restorations, LLC.

    It has always been assumed that the released album was recorded at the documented recording sessions at Capitol Studios in Hollywood, California on March 19, 26, 27 and 31, 1956, but it is now revealed that there is more to that story.  After the very successful release of Garland’s first Capitol album in 1955, immediately following a 90-minute CBS television special, the following year it was decided to again pair a Capitol album release with a CBS TV special.  This time, the TV show would employ the music from Garland’s second Capitol album, “Judy,” with no separate orchestra for the show itself.  In this half-hour show, which aired live on April 8, 1956, Garland performed some songs live to pre-recorded orchestral tracks from the Capitol recording sessions and lip-sync’ed other songs to the pre-existing Capitol recordings that included the vocals.  The conductor/arranger, Nelson Riddle, was credited for both the album and the TV show.  The show appeared as an episode of the “General Electric Theatre” series hosted by GE spokesman Ronald Reagan.  We can tell that the acetates are from the original March sessions because they correspond to the pre-recorded music that was used in the TV special that immediately followed. The complete restored soundtrack of this closely related TV show is included in this release.

  The LP album ultimately included only eleven of the twelve songs originally recorded in March, omitting the beautiful Jerome Kern song “I'm Old-Fashioned,” which was not released until the “Judy” album appeared on CD in 1989.  Fortunately, the acetates include the earlier, tenderly sung version of this song, now heard for the first time.  

   This HDTT release presents twelve recordings from the original March sessions preserved on the set of acetate records that Geroni discovered.  From what we can tell, only one song from the March sessions, the fanciful "I Will Come Back," appeared in the final album with the original March vocal, and the restored acetate of that song is included here for the sake of completeness. As shown in the tracklist below, there are (1) two separate takes of one song (“Dirty Hands, Dirty Face”) -- one of them now appearing here as the first bonus track, (2) an instrumental by Riddle (“Blues for Peter Gennaro”) that was used in the TV show but did not appear in the album, and (3) the March recordings for the rest of the songs that appear in the final album except for “Just Imagine” and “Any Place I Hang My Hat is Home.”  It is unknown why no acetate recordings for these two songs were found, if they ever existed, but from the sound of Garland’s voice in the version of “Just Imagine” that appears in the album, it seems quite possible that this was another original recording from March that survived in the final album, although there is no way to prove it.  For “Any Place I Hang My Hat is Home,” we have included as a bonus track the superb live rendition of that song from Garland’s roughly contemporaneous Las Vegas debut concert of July 16, 1956 (HDTT’s release of the complete concert is found HERE).

   What happened here is that in early 1956 Garland’s infant son Joseph Luft (born March 25, 1955) came down with a respiratory infection, a common enough thing in young children, and Garland caught it.  Children can recover quickly from such an infection, but adults who catch it often do not.  Singers dread respiratory infections because it can take many weeks for a singing voice to return to normal, even after the infection has otherwise subsided.  Garland’s lingering infection left her singing somewhat impaired in early 1956, but she was in no position to put off the scheduled March recording sessions because if that had happened, there would have been no music for the TV show that was to immediately follow--she was forced to charge ahead.  At some later point after she had fully recovered, before the October 10 release date, she went back into the Capitol studios and redid the vocals on all but one of the tracks (perhaps two?), and we hear these redone versions in the released album.  Research has not succeeded in discovering when the additional sessions occurred; they appear to be undocumented. 

  Even recovering from a respiratory infection, Garland, being the trouper that she was, certainly delivered the goods.  In some instances, listeners may find that her first interpretations are more dramatic (e.g., “Come Rain or Come Shine”), have a greater sense of irony (e.g., “Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries”), or are more touching (e.g., “I’m Old Fashioned”) than the later, more perfectly vocalized tracks.  This release truly presents an alternative Garland album, which although not without flaws, can be enjoyed alongside the released album as a different experience of the same songs.  Garland was ever the canny performer who could turn whatever circumstances she was presented with to her advantage, and there is no doubt that she did so in what is heard here.

  In addition to the restored soundtrack of the closely related GE television show, HDTT presents two restored unreleased “band track” recordings for songs in the “Judy” album (just the accompaniments with no vocal), from a rare acetate record.  So this release, together with HDTT’s previous release of the opening night of Garland’s Las Vegas appearance (see link above), documents what exists of Garland’s performing and recording activity that occurred in 1956, apart from the readily available Capitol “Judy” album. 

Artists: Judy Garland – Vocals
Arrangements and orchestra direction: Nelson Riddle (Tracks 1-32, except GE commercials); Jack Cathcart (Tracks 33 and 34).  
Recording Info: Tracks 1- 32, musical selections recorded by Capitol Records at Capitol Studios, Hollywood, CA, March 19, 26, 27, and 31, 1956 (except commercials); recording engineer for all tracks unknown. Tracks 12-29 were recorded as part of the TV show on April 8, 1956, recording engineer unknown. Track 33 was recorded live at the Venus Room, New Frontier Hotel, Las Vegas, NV, on July 16, 1956, recording engineer unknown. High-resolution transfer of acetate records for Tracks 1-11 and 30-32 by John H. Haley of Harmony Restorations, LLC (various dates). For track 33, High-Resolution transfer of original tape by Robert Witrak, HDTT (2022), at DSD256. Tracks 12-29 from various sources transferred on various dates. Restoration and remastering for all tracks by John H. Haley, Harmony Restorations LLC (various dates), at 352.8 kHz, 24 bits for Track 33, and at 96 kHz, 24 bits for all other tracks.

Cover design by Raphael Geroni Designs. Cover photo by Richard Avedon, 1956. Grateful thanks to Raphael Geroni for source material, photos, conceptual contributions, work on notes, artwork, photos, and much other invaluable assistance, planning, and consultation.  Many thanks also to Bruce K. Hanson for source material and other valuable assistance and to Scott Brogan for his always valuable input. 

Booklet, compilation, restorations, and remasterings: © (p) 2024 High Definition Tape Transfers, Inc., 118 Tower Hill Road, Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada L4E 0K6. Product of Canada. All rights reserved.

01. I Feel a Song Coming On (Oppenheimer, McHugh-Fields); Band Track recorded March 19, 1956; vocal recorded March 27, 1956.
02. Last Night When We Were Young (Harburg, Arlen); recorded March 31, 1956.
03. Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries (Brown, Henderson); recorded March 31, 1956.
04. Dirty Hands, Dirty Face (Jolson, Leslie, Clarke, Monaco); recorded March 19, 1956.
05. Blues for Peter Gennaro (Riddle) (instrumental); recording date unknown.
06. Come Rain or Come Shine (Arlen, Mercer); recorded March 31, 1956.
07. April Showers (DeSylva, Silvers); recorded March 19, 1956.
08. Lucky Day (DeSylva, Brown, Henderson); Band Track recorded March 26, 1956; vocal recorded March 27, 1956.
09. Memories of You (Razaf, Blake); recorded March 26, 1956.
10. I’m Old Fashioned (Kern, Mercer); recorded March 26, 1956.
11. I Will Come Back (traditional); Band Track recorded March 19, 1956; vocal recorded March 27, 1956.
12. Program introduction (Ronald Reagan).
13. I Feel a Song Coming On (Garland).
14. GE announcement and commerical.
15. Judy Garland spoken announcement.
16. I Will Come Back (Garland).
17. Judy Garland introduces pianist Joe Bushkin.
18. Jazz piano piece with orchestra (Joe Bushkin, piano).
19. Dialog with Judy Garland and Joe Bushkin.
20. Last Night When We Were Young (with Joe Bushkin, piano).
21. Piano interlude and dialog with Judy Garland and Joe Bushkin.
22. Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries (Garland with Joe Bushkin, piano)
23. Dirty Hands, Dirty Face (with live spoken part).
24. GE commercial.
25. Blues for Peter Gennaro (instrumental).
26. Come Rain or Come Shine (Garland).
27. April Showers (Garland).
28. April Showers (orchestral interlude).
29. Closing announcements (Ronald Reagan) and GE commercial.
30. Dirty Hands, Dirty Face; alternate take (from acetate), recorded March 19, 1956.
31. Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries; Band Track (no vocal, from acetate); recorded March 31, 1956.
32. Lucky Day; Band Track (no vocal, from acetate); recorded March 26, 1956.
33. Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home (Arlen, Mercer); orchestra conducted by Jack Cathcart; live from Las Vegas debut show, July 16. 1956.



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