December 17th – Judy Garland – It Never Was You

OK, so we’re back after a break with a real doozy.  This might just be Frances Ethel Gumm’s finest hour.

Her last significant movie, I Could Go On Singing, featured a live recording of this 1938 Kurt Weill/Maxwell Anderson masterpiece with pianist Dave Lee.  It was presumably a last minute (albeit inspired) idea since she had already pre-recorded the number in an arrangement by Mort Lindsey.  This version went unreleased for more than 40 years and yet it is completely extraordinary – better, I would venture, than the version that ended up in the movie.

There are actually two versions of this ‘alternate take’ knocking around – a second one appears on a beautifully remastered 2011 compilation from First Hand Records – The London Studio Recordings – but, for me, this one just has the edge.