Not exactly Broadway but very Broadway theme, we have this little gem I have been kicking around for some time. For a double record set, it only cost me a dollar. I bought it because I thought I could get a good story out of it and it was only a buck. However, soon after purchase, I kind of dreaded listening to it, seeing it was a double album. In the words of my friend Sam, it seemed a bit much for one listening, at least for a straight man who likes old school country music.
However, I will say, for a double album, it went quick and relatively painless. I mean two records of two women singing showtunes, it could of been a lot worse. It could have easily spun into a Sweeny Sister’s type affair (even though that would not be bad either).
So there was this, recorded at London’s Palladium during a series of concerts Judy Garland put on in 1964. The first show sold out quick, prompting a second performance, which did the same, at which point the duo performed an hour long set for the BBC. This was Judy’s first performance from her daughter, Liza Minnelli, who I believe was still in High School at the time and was really not too famous at the time, other than for being Garland’s daughter. Garland would pass five years later in 1969. This album, incidentally, came out in 1965 and peaked at #41 on the Billboard charts.
This show is from the first performance, although I am not 100% sure “live” is in quotes. For a rising up and comer, Liza has a good chunk of songs on her own, along with duets with her mother. The album does a really good job of showcasing Liza’s then emerging talent at times, kind of serves as a debutante’s coming out party of sorts. Of course there are solo efforts by Judy as well. Mostly all stage and movie standards on this. Medley count is a bit high with four (so it is slightly Sweeny-ish in that regards). Did I mention I dreaded listening to this? In actuality, it was not a bad album but I would not listen to it again any time soon.
For a sample, I went with Liza’s Medley on side 3, as I was really impressed with her work on this record. Consisting of songs in tribute to her famous mother, here is “Take Me Along”, “If I Could Be With You”, “Tea For Two”, “Who”, “They Can’t Take That Away From Me”, By Myself”, ‘Take Me Along”, and “Mammy”. Also for good measure, here is one of the encores which is mentioned at the start of the album, “Chicago”, featuring the duo.
OK. I was pleasantly surprised by this album. Not nearly as painful to listen. Satisfactory.