Judy Garland - Swan Songs, First Flights
Catalog Number:
DHR 00101-03
Release Date:
December 8, 2014 (U.K.) 
February 10, 2015 (U.S.)
3 hours; 56 minutes
Limited Edition - 500 Units Only!

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Judy Garland - Swan Songs - First Flights


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From the back of the CD box: Still in full command of her unique voice and performing ability, Judy Garland is heard in exciting live performances from her last years, many never previously released on CD and collected here for the first time – SWAN SONGS.  And for the first time on one CD are charming and historic recordings from Garland's youth made between the ages of 7 and 17 - FIRST FLIGHTS. All in new state-of-the-art transfers and remastering!

Here is something really special!  Judy's final performances are at last properly remastered (the March 25, 1969 Falkoner Centret, Copenhagen concert has been remastered from the original reel-to-reel tapes) and presented on CD for the first time.  To round out the set, we're also treated to Judy's earliest known recordings.  Many tracks are finally getting their CD debut.  Featured here are:

Concerts & other live performances include (see track listing below for complete notes on all recordings):

John F. Kennedy Stadium, Philadelphia, July 20, 1968 (first time on CD)
Rehearsal with John Meyer, New York, October 1968 (first time on CD) (Re-edited based on "Heartbreaker" CD)
Lincoln Center, New York, November 17, 1968 (first time on CD)
Talk of the Town, London, December 30, 1968 – February 1, 1969 (first time on CD in the complete show)
Talk of the Town outtakes (first time on CD)
Sunday Night at the Palladium, London, January 19, 1969 (first time on CD)
Falkoner Centret, Copenhagen, March 25, 1969 (first time on CD with voiceover removed)
     (Based on a 2-reel ¼” 15-IPS copy of the master tape provided by Danmarks Radio)
Interivew by Hans Vangkilde of Danmarks Radio, Copenhagen, March 26, 1969 (first time on CD)
Rehearsal at Half Note Club, New York, June 15, 1969 (first time on CD)
Judy's earliest films recorded in November & December 1929 and January 1930
Three never-previously-released soundtrack recordings (first time on CD)
The "Lost Decca" tracks (first time on CD in new restorations)
     (The first Judy Garland studio recordings ever made - new remastering based on the original transfer from acetates)

and much more!!!

A huge shout out to John H. Haley for his amazing work in the restoration and remastering of these recordings.
Read his Technical Notes below. 

Read The Judy Garland News & Events Blog interview with Haley here!

All images on this page from the collection of Scott Brogan.



+ First time on CD
* Gene Palumbo, piano
^ Jay Blackton, conductor
** Harold Arlen, piano

John F. Kennedy Stadium+
Philadelphia, July 20, 1968
Orchestra under the direction of Gene Palumbo
Overture 4:30
“There they are!” 0:17
For Once in My Life 3:24
“I feel marvelous.” 0:28
Medley: Almost Like Being in Love/This Can’t Be Love 3:04
Never Will I Marry 2:05
“I may get shorted off here.” 0:59
How Insensitive 3:53
Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart 3:12
What Now My Love? 2:57
“Maybe we could calm down and sing a couple of rather pretty songs.” 0:35
The Man I Love* 2:19
Make Someone Happy* 1:49
Do I Love You? 2:38
“I came from New York to see you too.” 0:40
By Myself 4:05
“I’ve gotten myself so ensnared." 0:50
That’s Entertainment! 2:19
The Man That Got Away 0:20
Rock-a-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody 4:21
For Once in My Life (reprise) 2:38
Orchestral “Over the Rainbow 1:12
Over the Rainbow 1:44
Orchestral “Over the Rainbow” 2:24
With Count Basie and his Orchestra, Philadelphia, July 20, 1968
Medley: I Hear Music/The Sweetest Sounds/Strike Up the Band 3:40
Rehearsal, October 1968; John Meyer, piano
I Loved Him, But He Didn’t Love Me 1:21
For Once in My Life 2:29
Tribute to Harold Arlen, Vincent Youmans, and Noel Coward, Lincoln Center, November 17, 1968, New York^
The Man That Got Away+ 4:43
“I think it’s awfully good to be singing Mr. Arlen’s songs because, well, we have sort of a casual relationship.” 0:59
It’s a New World+ 2:41
"I really can't sit down for 'Get Happy’." 0:12
Get Happy 2:46
Orchestral “I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues” 0:33
"Now, what would you like to do?" 0:39
Over the Rainbow (E.Y. Harburg-Harold Arlen)+** 3:41


+ First time on CD
++ Composite performance
+++ First time on an established label
* Based on Mickey Deans’ tapes recorded by John Meyer and Mickey Deans
** First complete release
*** Opening verse first time on CD
^ Pianist unknown, possibly Bobby Cole
^^ Recorded January 28, 1969
^^^ Orchestra under the direction of Burt Rhodes

Talk of the Town+++*
London, December 30, 1968 – February 1, 1969
Orchestra under the direction of Burt Rhodes
Overture 3:52
I Belong to London+ ** 5:02
Get Happy 2:47
The Man That Got Away 3:57
"I haven't been taught a new song since Clive Brook was a girl.  Was he?" 0:34
I'd Like to Hate Myself in the Morning+ 2:18
"There's no business like show business.  Thank God." 1:52
Just in Time 3:17
"We'll do anything, you know." 0:24
Just in Time (reprise) 1:44
“I don’t want to break my image.” 1:53
Medley: You Made Me Love You/For Me and My Gal/The Trolley Song++ 3:27
For Once In My Life 3:02
“Don’t fool around with Elizabeth Taylor’s ring.” 0:48
San Francisco*** 3:40
“Nobody’s eighteen anymore." 1:04
Over the Rainbow 3:28
Chicago+ 3:06
Talk of the Town, London^^^

I Belong to London (reprise)+

“What are you smoking? Oh, well, get ready for the judgment day.” 0:31
The Man That Got Away+ 4:12
“It was written by a man who is in the audience, a marvelous gentleman composer, John Meyer.” 2:10
I’d Like to Hate Myself in the Morning+^^ 2:18
Medley: You Made Me Love You/For Me and My Gal/The Trolley Song+ 3:19
Sunday Night at the Palladium, ITV, January 19, 1969, London^^^
For Once in My Life+ 2:48
Get Happy+ 2:37
I Belong to London+ 4:45
Home Recording at Bel Air, California home, May 1967
My Man’s Gone Now+ 3:33
How Do You Feel?+^ 4:05


^Based on a 2-reel ¼” 15-IPS copy of the master tape provided by Danmarks Radio
+First time on CD
° New mastering based on original transfer from acetates
*Mickey Deans, piano

Falkoner Centret^
Copenhagen, March 25, 1969
Orchestra under the direction of Tony Osborne
Overture 4:14
Get Happy 2:52
“Oh, dear, that’s exhausting.” 0:35
Just in Time 2:39
“What in the world do we do next?” 0:12
The Man That Got Away 4:11
“I haven’t learned a new song since the original Vikings.” 0:45
I’d Like to Hate Myself in the Morning 1:56
“I have trouble with my English.” 1:47
For Once in My Life 2:39
Rock-a-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody 2:28
Orchestral “Over the Rainbow” 1:13
“That’s a nice tempo." 1:14
Chicago 3:06

San Francisco

“Shall we hit the song?” 0:21
Over the Rainbow 3:19
Interview by Hans Vangkilde for Danmarks Radio, March 26, 1969, King Frederick Hotel+ 12:35
Rehearsal at Half Note Club, New York, June 15, 1969
I Love a Piano+
When Sunny Gets Blue+*
That’s the Good Old Sunny South [The Gumm Sisters]
   From The Big Revue, filmed June 11-13, 1929, Tec-Art Studios, Hollywood
Where the Butterflies Kiss the Buttercups Goodnight [The Gumm Sisters]
   From A Holiday in Storyland, First National-Vitaphone, filmed November 1929, Burbank
Blue Butterfly [Frances Gumm]
   From A Holiday in Storyland, First National-Vitaphone, filmed November 1929, Burbank
Hang On to a Rainbow [Frances Gumm]
   From The Wedding of Jack and Jill, First National-Vitaphone , filmed circa December 1929, Burbank
The Land of Let’s Pretend [The Gumm Sisters]
   From Bubbles, filmed January 1930
   Instantaneous test acetates for Decca Records, recorded March 29, 1935, Hollywood; Ethel Gumm, piano
Medley: On the Good Ship Lollipop/The Object of My Affection/Dinah°
   Instantaneous test acetates for Decca Records, recorded March 29, 1935, Hollywood; Ethel Gumm, piano
La Cucaracha [The Garland Sisters]+
   From La Fiesta de Santa Barbara, filmed August 12, 1935, Culver City
I’m Feelin’ Like a Million
   Rehearsal on 78-rpm acetate, circa late summer/early fall 1937, Culver City; Roger Edens, piano
Silent Night+
   From Silent Night, filmed November 6-8, 1937, Culver City
If I Forget You+
   From If I Forget You, filmed early 1940, Culver City

TECHNICAL NOTES - by John H. Haley

Read The Judy Garland News & Events Blog interview with Haley here!

Judy Garland at the John F. Kennedy Stadium, Philadelphia, July 20, 1968.
Photo from the collection of Kim Lundgreen.

John F. Kennedy Stadium,
Philadelphia, July 20, 1968.
Photo from the collection
of Kim Lundgreen
The goal of this release has been to present both the earliest and the latest recordings of the inimitable Judy Garland in the best possible state-of-the-art sound, employing sophisticated modern restoration techniques that have been more usually applied to the restoration of historical classical recordings. Before now, the earliest recordings from her youth have not been available in painstaking restorations, and countless hours have been spent in striving for a natural sounding presentation of the vocals in these rare 1929-1937 recordings while minimizing their substantial noise, not all of which has been removed in the interest of preserving the musical content.

With respect to the recordings of live performances from the last year of Garland’s too-short life, she has no doubt been judged unfairly as to the state of her performing abilities due primarily to the crude sound in which such live performances could be heard, when they could be heard at all. Listeners accustomed to hearing the mature Judy Garland in carefully crafted studio recordings or in commercial live-performance recordings made under highly controlled conditions (e.g., Carnegie Hall in 1961 or “At Home at the Palace” in 1967) have been understandably dismayed to hear her in non-commercial live recordings that have mostly presented her in rough, off-pitch, highly distorted, fake stereo-ized sonic disasters. In contrast, the present release will readily demonstrate that Garland remained in full command of her extraordinary voice and riveting performing ability in her final year.

As heard in the live Copenhagen recording presented here, which occurred less than three months before her untimely accidental death, her voice remained generally supple, steady and fresh, fully capable of a broad range of dynamics and expression. As happens in most live concert performances by any performer, and as probably happened in live concert performances from all phases of Garland’s career, there is an imperfect note here or there, but this fact is more than offset by the spontaneity and genuine excitement of a masterful unedited live performance, the building of a cathartic emotional experience by one of the canniest performers who ever stepped out on stage before an audience. This exquisite live Copenhagen show is surely the crown jewel of this set. A remarkable concert, it has been sourced and restored from a very high quality Danmarks Radio tape prepared for broadcast several days later. This “Swan Song” performance is caught in wide-ranging, sparkling stereo sound having impressive dynamic range, a blessedly excellent signal-to-noise ratio, and very few spots of noticeable distortion by Falkoner Centret’s sound system. Another plus is that the balance between orchestra and soloist is mostly ideal.

The other substantial live show, here presented in excerpts from different evenings some three months earlier, was a five-week run at The Talk of the Town, which was the old Hippodrome Theatre in Leicester Square, London, refurbished as a night club. Garland had probably given a number of shows already, and while there are many remarkable performances, here she is hampered by a sound system sometimes driven into distortion in an attempt to “stay up” with the overly aggressive, brassy orchestra; we can hear why she was reportedly dissatisfied with the conductor who was so obviously ignoring his soloist’s needs. I have minimized that sound system distortion as much as possible while attempting to present as lifelike a presentation of what occurred at these concerts as possible, avoiding the gimmickry that drastically changes the quality of her voice heard in prior incarnations of this material.

Substantial restoration efforts have been applied to the two other live appearances here, both obviously taped surreptitiously from the audience, of (1) a one-time appearance at the London Palladium occurring during the run of The Talk of the Town shows, and (2) a tribute to her long-time friend, song composer Harold Arlen at Lincoln Center. While the sound quality is far from ideal, the enjoyable quality of these vibrant historic performances fully justifies their inclusion.

©2015 John H. Haley

Read The Judy Garland News & Events Blog interview with Haley here!


Remastered by John. H. Haley

Liner notes by Lawrence Schulman

Technical notes by John H. Haley

Discographical notes by Scott Brogan

Composer’s notes by
John Meyer

Brochure layout by Lawrence Schulman, design by Andrew Aitken

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