Judy Garland Retrospective
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All good queer men like Judy Garland, right? Probably that was once more true than it is now. Gay male identification with torch singers and bitchy movie actresses is fading.
A few years ago a guy whose taste I greatly trusted said he found a Judy Garland CD that he really enjoyed. Since my friend's taste ran to rockabilly and jump blues that was quite a testimony. Pity he couldn't remember the title of the disc.
So on and off I try Saint Judy. It never takes. I know her singing mostly from her days as an MGM movie star. Much of that material is too hearty for me. Often seemed like the MGM studio execs thought their movies should be a poor man's grand opera.
I knew Judy Garland's 25th Anniversary Retrospective was probably a losing proposition. A long career to be reduced to a single disc. Too heterogeneous a selection. I was right: the range of songs is really too diverse. I'm not one for listening to a singer go from tragic to bouncy. And I have a strong bias toward bouncy.
But listening to the disc left me with the impression that I will eventually find Judy Garland CDs that I'll enjoy. I knew from watching the movies that she could sometimes swing. But in Easter Parade she was with Fred Astaire. Still see did a surprisingly credible performance of Purple People Eater. Irritatingly but inevitably in a compilation you find yourself going from perky to It's A Great Day For The Irish (doesn't really sound that way to me).
I wish there were more late material when all the mannerisms drop away. Probably this is a good CD for people who only want one Judy Garland CD and no more. But I'll keep my ear out for more focused collections.