INTERVIEW WITH LAWRENCE SCHULMAN – THE MAN BEHIND “LOST TRACKS”
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RAVES FOR “JUDY GARLAND – LOST TRACKS 1929 – 1959”
– Joe Marchese, TheSecondDisc.com
“One could reasonably presume by now that every surviving Judy Garland (1922-1969) recording would have surfaced and been released in CD format… Such a presumption is now proven wrong by Garland historian and audiophile Lawrence Schulman , leaving Garland admirers to rejoice. Schulman’s new four-disc set generously featuring 100 tracks presents rare and previously unavailable material of both significant historical interest and incomparable entertainment value, again adding further luster to Garland’s reputation… Like Schulman’s excellent Judy Garland: Classiques et inédits: 1929-1936, a 2008 two-disc set of other rare Garland vocals, this set fills in many gaps and preserves little-known or rarely anthologized material. And like Schulman’s other Garland-related releases, Judy Garland: Child of Hollywood  and Judy Garland at the Olympia, 1960 ), Judy Garland: Lost Tracks 1929-1959 is an essential set for devoted Garland idolaters and an exceptional pleasure for anyone interested in the sounds, history, and variety of the golden age of American popular music and show business.”
– James Fisher , ARSC Journal
“A real treat for JUDY GARLAND fans can be found on Lost Tracks 1929 – 1959 (FIVE STARS – JSP). A must-have for all Garland fans and a slice of budding and flowering genius for everyone else… Raise a glass and hoist the Garland…”
-Paul Ribgy, Record Collector
“Garland’s first recordings—made in March 1935 and now released commercially for the first time in ‘Lost Tracks,’ a new boxed set from England—show that she had this rare gift to project her emotional neediness to an entire audience before she was even a teenager. What’s more, the discovery of these tracks, essentially lost for 75 years, represents a similar culmination of the hopes and dreams of several generations of fans and collectors. […] The money number is Garland’s amazing performance of ‘Bill’ from ‘Show Boat.’ […] The rest of the four-CD set—100 tracks total—is well worth owning. The first three discs otherwise consist of radio performances from 1935 to 1953; the last volume is a fascinating assemblage of live concert cuts as well as three prehistoric talkie soundtracks by the Gumm Sisters trio recorded in 1929. […] Nothing astonishes more than that 1935 ‘Bill,’ which shows that even at age 12, Judy Garland was already larger than life.”
-Will Friedwald, The Wall Street Journal
“Collectors of Garland will certainly want this fascinating archival set. In fact, many of them will have it already.”
– Russell Davies, BBC Radio 2
“Altogether remarkable. The set has been produced by John Stedman and compiled by Lawrence Schulman , with liner notes by Schulman and Scott Brogan. The whole thing, from the U.K. label JSP, is fascinating. Most fascinating of all, and presumably the most important items included, are two test recordings Garland made in March 1935 at Decca. These discs are astounding. Not just some quaint old records, these; this is Judy Garland at the start, and remarkable in the pure sense of the word.”
– Steven Suskin, Playbill
“Lovingly compiled and introduced by producer Lawrence Schulman, Lost Tracks 1929 – 1959… is a must-have for serious Garland fans and a sweet tribute to the raw talent that has upheld her as a Hollywood legend for decades. Formidable.”
– The Daily Beast
“Judy Garland fans’ heartstrings will zing!…”
“Compiled by Lawrence Schulman, this JSP/U.K. four CD set will delight fans of the legendary Judy Garland. There are true rarities in this collection… Altogether, a remarkable overview of Judy Garland performances from 1929-1959. No fan will want to be without it.”
– Max O. Preeo, founder and editor of Show Music
“If you’re a fan of Judy Garland’s musical talents, this boxed set is all you.”
– Cheboygan Daily Tribune
“A treasure trove. Amazing. Overall, it really is a mitzvah… .”
– Will Friedwald, author of the forthcoming A Biographical Guide to the Great Jazz and Pop Singers (Pantheon) and journalist at The Wall Street Journal
– Gerald Clarke , author of Get Happy, The Life of Judy Garland (Random House, 2000)
“An extraordinary coup.”
– John Fricke, author of Judy Garland: World’s Greatest Entertainer (Henry Holt and Company, 1992)
“Lawrence Schulman’s superbly curated collection vividly traces Garland’s development as a performer. The two early, never released recordings from 1935 beautifully set the stage for the wealth of material that’s never been on CD before, from radio performances in the 1930s to personal appearances in the 1950s. Judy’s fans will be rejoicing once they’ve received ‘Lost Tracks.’”
– Andy Propst, Theatermania
“Judy never disappoints. 3 Stars”
– Simon Gage, Express
“This new four-CD collection should easily take fans over the rainbow.”
– Bill Dean, The Gainesville Sun
“ Lawrence – You are a true fan of the world’s greatest entertainer. Gratefully, Mort Lindsey”
– Mort Lindsey, conductor on Judy at Carnegie Hall (1961)
and musical director of The Judy Garland Show (1963-1964)
“The voice of Judy Garland swells from a past 75 years gone. On a remastered disk that retains the continuous crackle of an early recording, Garland’s sound is sophisticated and sultry…”
– Laurie Schreiber, The Bar Harbor Times
August 2, 2010 will be a date to remember in the legacy of Judy Garland’s recording career. It’s definitely important to Judy’s legion of fans. It’s the date that, finally, after all these years, the “Lost Decca Tests” are being released to the public. This is important for two main reasons.
1: These are the very first studio recordings of one of the most loved, greatest (some say THE greatest) voices of the 20th century.
2: The film shorts from 1929/1930 are the earliest recordings of Judy, but those were recorded live on the film sets, not in a studio, and they feature a loud 7-year-old Judy who, while obviously photogenic and exhibiting some vocal prowess, had not fully matured as a vocalist. But within a few short years she would, and these Decca tests are the only record of her voice as audiences thrilled to it before her tutelage with Roger Edens at the MGM Studios. They’re the “missing link” between those early shorts and the Edens tutelage that fans (and vocal experts) have always wanted to hear. The closest we’ve ever gotten are the two radio air check recordings made just after she signed with the studio at 13 in the fall of 1935.
Thought to have been lost, two of the three test recordings made on March 29, 1935 for Decca, and ultimately rejected, miraculously survived these past 75 years. Luckily, they’re Judy’s two solos: “Bill” (the torch song from “Show Boat” – test record shown at right) and a medley of “On The Good Ship Lollipop/The Object of My Affection/Dinah” both with mom Ethel providing piano accompaniment. A third recording, “Moonglow,” that Judy sang with her two sisters (as “The Garland Sisters”) has not survived. That we know of.
The two discs were found in 1960 in a garbage heap outside of Judy’s recently vacated home in the Hombly Hills of Los Angeles, California. The family who found them had no idea what they had, until 2004 when an internet search by their now grown-up daughter Cynthia led her here to The Judy Room, where she found the information she was looking for and was pleasantly surprised to find out just how rare these discs really are. CLICK HERE to read the full story.
These records do not disappoint. Judy’s voice is amazingly mature. Her delivery is fresh out of Vaudeville, in a charming way. She’s socking it across the footlights. Plus, in the span of the two tracks, Judy covers torch singing, jazz/swing, growling, and just about every other vocal inflection one can think of. And all at 12 years old! Regardless of what people might say about Judy’s mom Ethel Gumm and her motives, vocally she had Judy on the right track. This girl was obviously going to be a star. It’s easy to hear why audiences were blown away.
But this new set isn’t just these two amazing performances. It’s a comprehensive 100 track compilation, 55 on CD for the first time! Included are many rare, previously unreleased radio and live performances, plus some previously released (mostly on old bootleg LP’s) that are newly remastered here. A stellar set, a “must have”, and to date the best overall CD compilation of Judy’s rare, radio, and live performances.
Now available in the UK (as of August 2nd) and coming to the U.S. on August 10, “Lost Tracks” is THE Judy Garland CD release of the year. Even if it were just one CD with the famous “Lost Decca Tests” it would be a milestone. However, at a generous FOUR CDs, it’s an item that should be a requirement for any serious Judy fan.
CLICK HERE to read The Judy Garland Discography Spotlight on The “Lost” Decca Records (and the auction).
CLICK HERE to read The Judy Garland Discography page devoted to the entire set.
Although my name is on the first CD’s liner notes as co-author, I really can’t take any credit for this release. My name is there solely because some of my website reporting on the history of the Decca tests is included. And while I’m honored to be a small part of the Decca tests being released officially to the public, the man behind the set and the one who did all the work in brokering the deal for the Decca tests and in compiling the set is Lawrence Schulman. He deserves all the accolades the set will, and should, receive. There really is something for everyone here: Rarities, oddities, expected songs, performances we’ve heard before and many we haven’t.
JSP Records’ JUDY GARLAND – LOST TRACKS 1929 – 1959
Available August 2 in the U.K., and August 10 in the U.S.
CLICK HERE to purchase in the U.S. from Worlds Records
CLICK HERE to purchase at Amazon.com U.K.