A Soaring Swan Song

February 16, 2015 8:11 PM

67 3

A Soaring Swan Song

The common perception of the last year of Judy Garland’s life is that she was a basket case, a blithering wreck and a mere shadow of her former self; even comparatively sympathetic portrayals depict her as, at best, triumphant in defeat. Yet Garland (1922-1969), like Billie Holiday, Elvis Presley, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra, still could reach down to the bottom of her soul and come up with something to dazzle and amaze the audiences that still flocked to see her. This is proved by “Judy Garland: Swan Songs, First Flights,” a new three-CD boxed set, on the Canada-based Hallow label, that is the first comprehensive and credible release of material from the final year of her life.

The package revolves around shows at three venues—a sports stadium (the John F. Kennedy) in Philadelphia, a supper club (Talk of the Town) in London, and a formal concert hall (the Falkoner) in Copenhagen—that were taped in the final 12 months of Garland’s life. In addition to those largely complete...

Read more

To category page

Loading...