Ruth Leon recommends…  Judy Garland – By Myself

Ruth Leon recommends… Judy Garland – By Myself

Ruth Leon recommends

norman lebrecht

September 11, 2022

Judy Garland – By Myself

 This is another kind of great. Or maybe the same kind.  Judy Garland  in 1964, late in the run of her CBS television series. As so often when she stood alone in a spotlight, a mic in her hand, she sang the truth, her truth. By Myself is the song, by myself was her reality. It comes through so strongly, so blisteringly, that you hurt for her even while you’re drowning in her artistry.

The pain and loneliness are naked in her face and body, warring with the defiance, the confidence, the belief that as long as she stands there and sings, she’s safe. This is an amazing performance.

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  • Patrick says:

    Her voice was huskier, but still had a beautiful velvetiness. Nice orchestration – any idea who wrote it?

    • Robert Holmén says:

      Most likely, Mort Lindsey… IMDb lists him as musical director and he would be a typical suspect for that sort of show.

      Mel Tormé may also have had a hand in it.

  • Ludwig's Van says:

    Her television show was amazing! Every week she sang her heart out, and her featured guests were the greatest pop singers of that era. It was the highlight quality entertainment, yet it only ran for one season.

    • Robert Holmén says:

      Mel Tormé wrote a memoir of his year working on that show. As he tells it, the production was always teetering on disaster and some tapings ended up being unusable.

      Also per Mel, Judy ran it on the cheap for the last set of episodes. Not enough production to hold an audience.

  • JamesM says:

    Yes. The facial, hand and body movements convey her belief in the lyrics and connection with her audience,
    which she taught Liza and Lorna Luft, who has a great symphony show by the way.

    Check out the even better color version, in stereo from her last film, “I Could Go On Singing”:

    Sadly, according to Sid Luft’s book and another recent one by her assistant, her agent stole much of her money from the TV show/movie.