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The Wizard of Oz

Judy Garland (Et Al.)

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Album Review

In July 1939, in anticipation of the release of The Wizard of Oz, the film's star, 17-year-old Judy Garland, who was contracted to Decca Records as a recording artist in addition to her movie contract with MGM, went into Decca's Hollywood recording studio and cut a version of "Over the Rainbow" from the film's score, to be backed on a Decca single by "The Jitterbug," a song written for but ultimately cut from the film. On the latter, she was accompanied by the Ken Darby Trio, which consisted of Harold Arlen, the composer of the film's songs, playing the Scarecrow; Bud Lyon playing the Tin Man; and Garney Bell playing the Cowardly Lion. The single was released in September, by which time bandleader Glenn Miller had already released his rendition of "Over the Rainbow," sung by Ray Eberle, but Garland's version also helped make the song a standard, and, of course, it became her signature song. Original soundtrack albums did not exist in those days, but Decca was beginning to pioneer the concept. In March 1940, the label combined the two sides of the Garland single on an album padded out with additional songs from the movie sung by the Ken Darby Singers backed by Victor Young & His Orchestra and, confusingly, billed it as an "original cast album" (a phrase later used to refer exclusively to records drawn from stage shows). Of course, the only original member of the movie cast was Garland. Still, this was the first album-length treatment of the song score from The Wizard of Oz, and it was a pleasant effort recreating the arrangements and style of the movie music. And for the next 16 years, until MGM issued a true soundtrack recording on LP, it was the only album of The Wizard of Oz in existence.

Customer Reviews


Gotta love this song.



Great song

One of my favourites. A deserved no 1 whatever the week

The Wizard of Oz, Judy Garland (Et Al.)
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