The long-awaited sequel to 2010's groundbreaking 4-CD set "Judy Garland Lost Tracks: 1929-1959," "Judy Garland Lost Tracks 2 - 1936-1967" features a whopping 40 new-to-CD tracks. In the years between the two releases many new, previously unreleased and/or thought-lost Garland recordings have been discovered. Also during that time, audio restoration software has advanced to the point that, as in the capable hands of audio engineer John H. Haley, "old" recordings can now sound better than ever thought possible.
Having previously only heard their hit single "Cinnamon Cinder" and it's instro B-side "Bandito," I had little to base an understanding of the band on, and even less to justify their reported extreme popularity as house band at Bob Eubanks' "Cinnamon Cinder" club. After listening to this whole CD, it becomes clear that they were one fun band, unpretentious, and utterly silly. They embraced the pure fun or rock 'n' roll without any pretext of art - just good fun. From this new view, I can easily see how they were the party band of choice on weekend nights at the CC. This is the sort of band that creates a perfect backdrop for your party, not the sort of band you'd sit listening to, mesmerized by the artistry. Too too fun. Oh, yeah, besides the handful of totally fun pop vocals, there are a bunch of really cool instros as well.
The late 1950s were tough on Judy Garland, but this live recording, cut on April 23, 1961, at Carnegie Hall, would (rightfully) bring the legendary icon back into the spotlight. Live would go on to win five Grammys, be Garland's bestselling record, and confirm that, yes, on certain levels, she still had it. Her vocals are as strong as ever on these tunes, and Garland has fun with an audience obviously enraptured by her charms. She's self-deprecating where necessary–on "You Go to My Head" she "forgets" the lyrics but pretends to improvise. Mostly she just shines, especially on tunes she made famous, such as "Come Rain or Come Shine," "Stormy Weather," and "Over the Rainbow." This is easily one of pop music's greatest live recordings and a fine testament to Garland's recorded legacy. This two-CD set has been remastered for EMI's 40th-anniversary reissue to coincide with the ABC film based on daughter Lorna Luft's memoir Me and My Shadows.
This is an essential package! Whoever put this together obviously knew what they were doing, and all is placed in chronological order. Discs 1-3 are a terrific compilation of material from the MGM years, consisting of commercial recordings of soundtrack materal. If no recording was commercially released, the original soundtrack is used-great for such numbers as "Hoe Down" with Mickey Rooney! But the last disc makes this package essential-here is a pristine soundboard recording of Judy's final performance at the Palace Theater, MYC-2/24/52! She was concluding a 19-week engagement, and the atmosphere is electric. Fantastic stuff!
The 1961 road accident that left Hank Garland unable to play cut short one of the most promising careers in country music. In 1949, Hank played on Red Foley's Sugarfoot Rag, and suddenly the world took notice of this incredible 18 year-old guitar prodigy. He was signed to Decca, and this set comprises his Decca sides from 1949 to 1951 and his 1957 Chic session.
Recorded at the Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, New Jersey on December 14, 1956 and May 24 & August 9, 1957. Originally released on Prestige (7133). Includes liner notes by Ira Gitler. Digitally remastered using 20-bit K2 Super Coding System technology. This is part of the Prestige Records 50th Anniversary Special Commemorative Edition series.