JUDY GARLAND: THE LOST VEGAS SHOW
FIRST RELEASE OF JUDY GARLAND’S UNRELEASED, LONG SOUGHT-AFTER LAS VEGAS DEBUT AT THE NEW FRONTIER HOTEL, JULY 16, 1956.
HDTT is pleased to present this incredibly rare, never-before-available live recording of the great Judy Garland making her Las Vegas debut in 1956, captured on tape in brilliant monophonic sound and carefully restored in a very high-definition format from the original tape. This recording has been a Holy Grail for Garland collectors and fans for decades, based on long-standing rumors of its existence and especially after the release of one tantalizing track on a 2005 generic compilation devoted to Las Vegas hotel entertainment, and mention of a recording of the show in Scott Schechter’s monumental work, Judy Garland: The Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Legend (Cooper Square Press, NYC, 2002).
Garland was in remarkably fresh voice, and the uncompressed recording conveys an accurate sense of her wide dynamic range and the remarkable fullness of her voice in full cry. These aspects of her art are often compromised by dynamic compression in her commercial recordings, which has become a commonplace feature of popular recordings. But here we have Judy caught live in her full glory. We hear her somewhat in transition, with a good amount of the more girlish timbre of her pre-1950s voice intact, but with the added depth and dimension familiar from her more mature concert and recording years. And as always, she is heard performing with inimitable artistry.
All dialog between musical selections is included, although we have raised its level a bit for greater audibility. Garland intentionally sang the final number of the show, her signature song “Over the Rainbow,” off-mic, so the level of her vocal is lower here, which we have addressed somewhat. At the end of the show we have included as bonus tracks her announcement of encores and the first few bars of her first encore, “Liza,” before the tape abruptly cut off. If the encores were captured on another tape, that tape appears lost.
Artist: Judy Garland – Vocals
Orchestra under the direction of Jack Cathcart
Recording Info: Recorded live at the Venus Room, New Frontier Hotel, Las Vegas, NV on July 16, 1956 (opening night of the five-week run and Garland’s Las Vegas debut), recording engineer unknown. High-Resolution transfer of original tape by Robert Witrak, HDTT (2022), at DSD256; restoration and remastering by John H. Haley, Harmony Restorations LLC (2022-23), at 352.8 kHz, 24 bits. Cover design by Robert Witrak. Cover photo: Judy singing at this concert, and a photo of Garland performing with her Boy Friends at this show that is included in the download version of the notes on the HDTT webpage for this release (photographers unknown). Grateful thanks to Lawrence Schulman for his excellent notes and for much other invaluable assistance, planning, and consultation. Thanks also to Raphael Geroni for the Venus Room restaurant menu, also included in the download version of the notes on the HDTT webpage. And special thanks, in memoriam, to Gerald E. Czulewicz, to whom we are grateful for the survival of the original tape. Booklet, compilation, restorations, and remasterings: © (p) 2023 High Definition Tape Transfers, Inc., 118 Tower Hill Road, Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada L4E 0K6. Product of Canada. All rights reserved.
Please Note: This is a monophonic recording. This release was edited in DXD PCM from a DSD256 Master. Then the DXD edited master was used to generate the final DSD files using Merging Technologies Album Publishing. DXD (352.8KHz 24/32 bit PCM) is one of the best and least destructive formats for post-processing DSD originated digital recordings.
- A Hot Time in the Old Town (Joe Hayden-Theodore August Metz) (The Eight Boyfriends) (3:38)
- This Is a Party (Roger Edens-Kay Thompson) (Judy and the Eight Boyfriends) (1:28)
- Dialog (0:49
- Judy’s Olio: You Made Me Love You (James Monaco-Joseph McCarthy)/For Me and My Gal (George Meyer-Edgar Leslie-E. Ray Goetz)/The Boy Next Door (Hugh Martin-Ralph Blane)/The Trolley Song (Hugh Martin-Ralph Blane) (6:20)
- Dialog (0:28)
- Come Rain or Come Shine (Johnny Mercer-Harold Arlen) (4:32)
- This Is Our Spot (Roger Edens-Kay Thompson) (The Eight Boyfriends) (3:25)
- Any Place I Hang My Hat Is Home (Johnny Mercer-Harold Arlen) (Judy and the Eight Boyfriends) (4:37)
- Dialog (0:46)
- A Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow (based on Thomas Moore-18th-century traditional Irish ballad) (2:58)
- Dialog (0:20)
- Happiness Is a Thing Called Joe (E.Y. Harburg-Harold Arlen) (2:30)
- Rock-A-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody (Jean Schwartz-Sam M. Lewis-Joe Young) (3:25)
- What Next? What’ll She Do Now? (Roger Edens-Kay Thompson) (The Eight Boyfriends) (2:21)
- Lucky Day (Buddy De Sylva-Lew Brown-Ray Henderson) (Judy and the Eight Boyfriends) (3:17)
- Orchestral interlude: The Trolley Song (1:37)
- Over the Rainbow (E.Y. Harburg-Harold Arlen) (Garland singing off-mic) (3:39)
- Orchestral: Over the Rainbow (0:44)
19: Dialog, introducing encores (1:01)
20: Opening notes of Liza (Ira Gershwin-Gus Kahn-George Gershwin) (end of tape) (0:15)