On this day…
For more details and more photos, check out The Judy Room’s Facebook Page where daily “on this day” updates are posted chronicling Judy Garland’s incredibly rich and busy life!
April 7, 1938: Judy appeared on the NBC Radio show “Good News of 1938.” Robert Taylor was the emcee. The other guests were Frank Morgan, Hanley Stafford, Fanny Brice, and Sam Levene. Judy sang “Stompin’ at the Savoy” and “Why? Because!” the latter with Fanny Brice, her co-star in the recently released “Everybody Sing.” No recording of the show is known to exist.
Listen to, and download, Judy’s radio performances from this era and throughout her life at http://thejudyroom.com/radiosongs.html.
April 7, 1947: The newly formed MGM Records label was promoting the release of the very first MGM Records album, the soundtrack to “Till The Clouds Roll By.” In today’s parlance, the album “dropped” on Tuesday, March 11, 1947.
Record critics welcomed the new label and the “Clouds” set was given good reviews. MGM was off and running with a new revenue stream while also creating a new market, the original soundtrack album. MGM Records released soundtracks to just about all of their musicals, and a few dramatic films, in the next 20+ years. All of Judy’s MGM musicals from 1946 through the end of her tenure with the studio in 1950 had MGM Records soundtracks created to compliment them.
Originally the soundtracks were four 78 rpm discs with two sides each meaning only eight songs from the films could be included. This means that there was a lot of editing of the musical numbers to fit the short time constraints of the 78s and also some cherry picking of the “best” numbers from films with more than eight numbers, as most of them were. It wouldn’t be until the long-playing records were developed that MGM began to include more songs from their recent musicals, “Kiss Me Kate” (1953), was one of the first in the long-playing format.
Oddly enough, MGM Records never released updated and expanded versions of their originally-78rpm-albums in the LP era. They were content to re-release the existing soundtracks, over and over again. In the late 1980s and early 1990s CBS Special Products (later Sony Music Entertainment Inc./Sony Music Special Products), released expanded soundtracks which were taken directly from the actual film soundtracks and not the pre-recording sessions.
Finally, in the mid-1990s, Rhino Records, working with Turner Entertainment, began to release expanded “complete” soundtracks to MGM musicals utilizing the surviving pre-recordings as their main source of content.
Recent technology in audio restoration software has resulted in the revisiting of some of these pre-recordings. The results are phenomenal. Hopefully, Warner Bros., who now owns the Rhino soundtracks, will revisit all of the soundtracks and remaster them with today’s technology giving us the ultimate in audio clarity and sonic enjoyment.
The most recent example of what our new technology is capable of is the FANTASTIC two-CD set “Soundtracks” (http://www.thejudyroom.com/soundtracks/soundtracks.html) from Mint Audio Records. The set features not just a great compilation of Judy’s film performances, but also several new-to-CD versions of Garland film favorites including some MGM Records album versions, film versions, and stereo versions previously unavailable on CD. This is the compilation that fans of Judy’s film soundtracks have been waiting for! More details on each recording and how some of the audio magic of these tracks was accomplished, can be found here: http://www.mint-audio-restoration.co.uk/judy.
Check out The Judy Garland Online Discography’s “Till The Clouds Roll By” pages for information about the original and all subsequent releases of the classic MGM soundtrack: http://www.thejudyroom.com/soundtracks/clouds78.html.
April 7, 1954: “It’s Tough All Over” – Army Archerd’s column was devoted to Judy’s movie comeback in “A Star Is Born” which was currently filming at Warner Bros. At this time Judy was on a two-week vacation from the film which had finished principal photography in late March. In mid-April, Judy returned to work on on the film for retakes, post-recording of dialog, and the lengthy “Born In A Trunk” sequence.
Check out The Judy Room’s Extensive Spotlight Section on “A Star Is Born” at http://www.thejudyroom.com/astarisborn.html