RHINO RECORDS MEETS TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES, MGM & JUDY GARLAND!
NOTE: THIS IS A NEW SECTION - WHICH IS SLOWLY BEING FORMED. THANKS FOR YOUR PATIENCE!!
RHINO RECORDS: Rhino released it's first Judy Garland/MGM Soundtrack album in 1994. It was Meet Me In St. Louis. Rhino produced the restored soundtrack CD for MGM Record's and MGM/UA Home Video's 50th Anniversary edition of the film. The CD (under the MGM Records label) was only available in the special edition laser disc box of the film. A short while later the CD appeared (unchanged save for some art in the back of the CD tray) in music stores around the country, under the Rhino label. Rhino took over production of this CD from MGM Records when the rights to the audio recordings of MGM's classic films were transferred to them.
TURNER/MGM: In the early 1980's Turner Entertainment obtained the catalog of MGM films and just about everything else in the MGM vaults. They discovered that there was a wealth of audio and visual material that hadn't been seen or heard in decades. With the advent of home video, compact discs, and laser discs in the 1980's, the market for outtake material began to grow. Collectors began purchasing laser discs more for the extras included than for the actual film. Meanwhile, film restoration became a priority with some studios when they realized that their films were slowly fading away and critcs and fans alike were demanding something be done.
Turner/MGM got it's feet wet in this new market with the 50th anniversaries of Gone With The Wind and The Wizard Of Oz in 1989. Special edition videos and lasers appeared with some outtake material. These were followed ("Judy-wise") with the outtake audio track "Boys And Girls Like You And Me" appearing on a new video and laser edition of Meet Me In St. Louis. This cut number, similiar to "The Jitterbug" outtake from The Wizard Of Oz, was no doubt modeled on the successful 1983 release of the restored A Star Is Born (Warner Bros. 1954), with the audio track accompanied by production stills to compensate for the lack of actual film footage. This was followed with the awesome laser disc box set "The Ultimate Oz" - 3 lasers with all of the available behind the scenes footage, and every snippet of song and score from the prerecording sessions (among TONS of other great goodies). The laser was a huge critical and finanacial success. In fact, all subsequent "ultimate" edition lasers (and DVDs) would take their cue from "Oz."
Now, the market seemed right for the release of even more outtake material from MGM. So, enter George Feltenstein. Long a collector of Judy Garland memorablilia, George convinced Turner/MGM to release ALL of Judy's films on video and laser (as well as the rest of the studio's musicals). With the help of Garland historian John Fricke and a few others, the lasers were heavy on visual and audio outtakes. That's Entertainment III was released in theaters in 1994 and featured never before seen outtake material, such as footage from Judy's aborted role in Annie Get Your Gun and the talk of the film: the fabulous "Mr. Monotony" from Easter Parade (1948). The subsequent laser disc release of the film, along with the laser box set of all That's Entertainment! films, and the fantastic "Judy Garland The Golden Years At MGM" (among a few others) contained all of the known existing pre-recording sessions with Judy Garland (excepting the Mickey/Judy "barnyard" musicals). And they all of the existing film footage that was available for many Garland outtakes.
For fans of Judy's MGM repetoire, this was a great (and long awaited for) trove of treasures. Long had Judy fans (like myself) bought up every LP edition of every Judy Garland movie - regardless of the sound quality. We all had been using our tape recorders to record the films directly from television. - mainly because MGM Records only produced abridged versions of their soundtracks and these were only after their first soundtrack album, 1946's Till The Clouds Roll By. Anything prior to 1946 could only be obtained from these bootleg records or one's own recordings from late night television showings. As time went on, and Judy's legendary status grew, MGM released other songs from the Garland/MGM catalog that were previously unreleased. These included the direct-from-soundtrack editions of her solos from Meet Me In St. Louis, and even a few outtakes such as "Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen" from Love Finds Andy Hardy to "You Can't Get A Man With A Gun" from Annie Get Your Gun.
In 1989, Sony Special Music Products released the first of Judy's MGM Soundtracks on CD - a poor sound quality edition of the record (with songs and dialog) of The Wizard Of Oz. This was followed by several CD's of soundtracks to many MGM Classic Musicals which were fair to poor sounding (in most cases) recordings of the "complete" soundtracks of many MGM Musicals taken directly from the soundtrack of the films. This is what Judy/MGM fans had been doing for years. Only now a few of these such as The Pirate and The Wizard Of Oz contained outtakes. These were popular with Judy/MGM fans, but after a few years, they disappeared.
But fans of Judy and MGM knew there was much more somewhere in the vaults. The mid-1970's records "Cut! Outtake From Hollywood's Greatest Musicals" (Volumes I, II, & III) contained seemingly tons of Garland and other MGM prerecordings that had been cut from various films. Never heard before, the bad sound quality only added to the allure of these "from the vaults" recordings. Only when these recordings came out in the Turner lasers and Rhino CDs of the early 1990's did fans realize that these outtakes were not only fantastically preserved, but classics in their own right.
At the same time that the lasers were coming out, George persuaded Rhino to begin remixing and releasing the classic MGM soundtracks on compact disc. First came The Wizard Of Oz; followed by Easter Parade, Singin In The Rain, The Bandwagon, For Me And My Gal, and others. These discs, while not containing ALL of the pre-recording sessions like the lasers, were the first time that the soundtracks were being released on CD in remastered, restored editions complete with outtakes and extended versions of songs previously unavailable to the general public. Many remastered to stereo wherever possible.
Thank you George, John, and everyone else involved in these fantastic restorations. Without you, these recordings may have been buried and lost forever. And even though this market may seem "small" in the big scheme of "The Recording Industry" - at least you'll have the knowledge that you've preserved these recordings for future generations to study and enjoy - and so all can know that Judy Garland and MGM were without parallel when it came to recording wonderful music and making wonderful film musicals.
links below are simply online records of the fantastic Judy Garland
soundtracks/compilations produced by Rhino Records. Also included
is detailed information about the films themselves, and of course
photos. I hope you enjoy surfing through the links, and I sincerely
hope that these will be a tribute (of sorts) to the amazing work that
Rhino, George Feltenstein, John Fricke, and others have done in preserving
the musical legacy of Judy Garland at Metro Goldwyn Mayer.
|ANNIE GET YOUR GUN||ACADEMY AWARD WINNING MUSIC FROM MGM CLASSICS|
|BABES IN ARMS||COLLECTORS' GEMS FROM THE MGM FILMS|
|BABES ON BROADWAY||FRED ASTAIRE AT MGM|
|EASTER PARADE||GENE KELLY AT MGM: 'S WONDERFUL|
|FOR ME AND MY GAL||GEORGE AND IRA GERSHWIN IN HOLLYWOOD|
|GAY PURR-EE||HOLLYWOOD'S BEST: THE THIRTIES|
|GIRL CRAZY||HOLLYWOOD'S BEST: THE FORTIES|
|GIRL CRAZY (single disc version)||HOLLYWOOD'S BEST: THE FIFTIES|
|THE HARVEY GIRLS||IRVING BERLIN IN HOLLYWOOD|
|MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS||JUDY GARLAND IN HOLLYWOOD|
|MICKEY & JUDY: The Judy Garland & Mickey Rooney Collection||ROMANTIC DUETS FROM MGM CLASSICS|
|THE PIRATE||SIRENS OF SONG Classic Torch Singers|
|STRIKE UP THE BAND||THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT (Deluxe Box Set)|
|SUMMER STOCK/ IN THE GOOD OLD SUMMERTIME||THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT III|
|THE WIZARD OF OZ (Deluxe Set)||THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT! THE BEST OF THE MGM MUSICALS|
|THE WIZARD OF OZ (single disc release)||WARNER BROS. 75 YEARS OF FILM|
|THE WIZARD OF OZ (The Story & Songs Of)|