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Decca Records

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INFO ABOUT THE LOST DECCA RECORDINGS



"Even at the age of three, Judy Garland knew what she wanted. She wanted to sing."

Decca Promo So wrote Decca Records in their second Judy Garland "Souvenir Album" in 1943. This statement would begin the first paragraph of most of Decca's album biographies of Judy throughout the 1940s and early 1950s. And they were right!

Twelve-year-old Judy Garland made her first studio recordings for Decca on March 29, 1935, when she and her sisters cut some tests for Decca Records. Judy is listed on the Decca test sheets as "Francis [sic] Garland" - the professional name she was using at the time.

On 11/27/1935, Judy went back to the Decca Recording Studios as "Judy Garland" and recorded two more (ultimately rejected) test recordings: "All's Well (Down In Coronado By The Sea)" and "No Other One" with Victor Young conducting (he would conduct her first commercial recording of "Over The Rainbow" on July 28, 1939. By this second test session, at age 13, Judy had already had several milestone events in her career:

1) She auditioned for and was signed by MGM Studios on 9/13/1935 (the contract would be drawn up on 9/16/35).

2) She made her first "official" radio appearance (via MGM) on 10/26/1935 singing "Broadway Rhythm" on NBC Radio's Shell Chateau Hour hosted by Wallace Beery (Judy had already been a part of various radio programs for years, and she was well known especially in the Los Angeles area). This is the earliest known recording of a Judy Garland radio performance.

3) Sadly, her father passed away on 11/17/1935 - in her words "the most terrible thing that ever happened to me in my life."

The first Judy Garland recordings that Decca released to the public ("Stompin' At The Savoy" & "Swing Mr. Charlie") were recorded in New York City while Judy was on her first trip there for MGM promotional appearances. She had just turned 14 when these recordings were made with Bob Crosby & His Orchestra. Crosby's manager was unhappy with the band having to perform with "this unknown girl" and refused to let Decca list the Band's name on the labels!
Rare Decca
Although Decca released these recordings in July, 1936, Judy did not sign an actual contract with the company until August 30, 1937. It was in August 1937 that Decca Records president Jack Kapp saw a preview of Judy's first MGM feature Broadway Melody of 1938 (1937) in which she stole the show with her hot swing version of "Everybody Sing" and her first hit song, the ballad "(Dear Mr. Gable) You Made Me Love You". Kapp immediately went to work to sign Judy to a contract, at which time she recorded "Everybody Sing" and "All God's Chillun Got Rhythm."


Brunswick FlyerJudy's association with Decca lasted through the end of 1947 and produced some of the most popular recordings in pop music history. Judy recorded a total of 90 recordings in 30 recording sessions from 1936 through 1947, creating a body of work that shows her progression from a young "hot" singer to an exciting and unique artist in full command of her incredible talents.

Judy's contract was not renewed due to two factors: Her hectic schedule was such that she did not have the time or energy to handle the usually late night recording sessions; and MGM had just entered into the new "Original Soundtrack" market, so there was no need for Judy to go into the Decca Studios to record studio versions of her film songs. Plus, per Judy's contract with MGM, the studio had first right of refusal for any of her services outside of the studio.

Judy would not record any "studio" recordings for any label until after her departure from MGM in 1950.

In 1953, riding the crest of her historic return to the stage (and the beginning of her legendary "Concert Years"), Judy recorded four singles for Columbia Records. These were mildly received. The jukebox market wasn't yet in full bloom.

In 1955, Judy signed with Capitol Records and produced some of the greatest studio albums ever recorded. Judy's association with Capitol lasted from 1955 until 1966.

Most of the Decca recordings listed below can be found on the Decca/MCA CD box set
"
Judy Garland - The Complete Decca Masters (Plus)".


Decca PromoAbout the recordings, from the liner notes to the Decca/MCA CD box set "Judy Garland - The Complete Decca Masters (Plus)":

     Garland's earliest recordings were cut using a huge mechanical lathe about the size of a small truck. The 78 rpm turntable was powered by the force of gravity; a flywheel underneath the machine was triggered by the release of a 250 lb. counterweight, which had to be hand-cranked back into position after each take.
     Two three-inch thick wax "pies" were cut simultaneously on twin turntables. The first was used for playback reference during the session. The second was either held, if a take was chosen, or shaved clean, if the take was rejected. The master take would be designated "A," the second and third choices "B" or "C". The choice takes were then shipped to one of Decca's manufacturing plants where a hard copper/nickel replica "negative" was made. From this metal master another metal part called a mother, a playable positive copy of the master, was produced and eventually stampers and commercial shellac pressings.
     During the 1942-43 recording ban, Decca purchased the World Broadcasting Company, a radio transcription service which recorded on 33 rpm acetate lacquers. World began transcribing Decca's recording sessions onto these 16" lacquer safeties, called "covers," which replaced the 78 rpm reference disc. While being good for multiple playbacks, those World transcriptions were also of superior fidelity and often preserved numerous takes other than the master.



A note about inserts:

In the 1930's, record labels were beginning to assemble several records all by the same artist, packaged in a book-style jacket with bound sleeves to hold each record. The term "album" was coined to describe these sets, a term still used to this very day.

Decca PromoDecca records would also include what is now referred to by collectors as an "insert," a brochure that came with the album set. This insert had a small biography of the performer being highlighted in the album, a list of other records by the artist that were available, and in the case of film soundtracks, a short plot synopsis.

Eventually, these inserts were phased out, when Decca began using the otherwise blank inside covers of the albums to show photos, have liner notes, a performer biography, and a discography. Judy Garland 78 albums had inserts until 1946, when the switch was made to these liner notes.

Garland's 78 album sets that came with inserts are: "The Judy Garland Souvenir Album" (DECCA A 76, 1940), "The Wizard of Oz" (DECCA A 78, 1940), "George Gershwin Songs, Vol. 2" (DECCA DA 97, 1940, Judy featured on only one disc), "Christmas Candle" (DECCA DA 347, 1942, Judy featured on only one disc), "The Judy Garland Second Souvenir Album" (DECCA DA 349,1943), "Girl Crazy Cast Album" (DECCA DA 362, 1944), "Meet Me In St. Louis Cast Album" (DECCA A 380, 1944), "The Harvey Girls Cast Album" (DECCA A 388, 1945) and "Christmastime" (DECCA A 488, 1946).

All of the aforementioned inserts, with the exception of the "Gershwin" and "Christmas Candle" sets, can be found right here in The Judy Room Discography.


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Stompin' At The Savoy
On the left is Judy Garland's first commercially released record "Stompin' At The Savoy", released in July 1936. To the right is Judy's final record for Decca, "I Wish I Were In Love Again" released July 19, 1948 (both from the collection of Eric Hemphill).

In-between the two, Judy Garland amassed an amazing body of work that is still enjoyed by multitudes of people around the world. As you'll see in these pages, not only was Judy Garland one of the youngest artists signed to a major label, but she was also a recording artist of the highest caliber, who grew from a young and enthusiastic "hot" singer into an artist in full command of her talents.

It is our hope that you will enjoy perusing through these pages by taking a trip back in time when people bought "albums" to play on their "record players"!    Enjoy!
I Wish I Were In Love Again

spacer Original Decca Albums
Oz
The Wizard Of Oz
Souvenir 1
Souvenir Album
No image Gershwin Songs
Christmas Candle Christmas Candle
Souvenir 2
Second Souvenir Album
Girl Crazy Girl Crazy
MMISL Meet Me In St. Louis
Harvey Girls The Harvey Girls
No image Christmastime
No image The Wizard Of Oz
Sings with... Judy Sings With...
Sings with... Judy Sings With...
Souvenir 3 Souvenir Album
The Palace At The Palace

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  45's
Christmastime 45
1950
Christmastime
At The Palace
1951
Judy At The Palace
Oz
1951
"The Wizard Of Oz"
"Girl Crazy"
1953
Selections From
"Girl Crazy"
45 Extended
1953
Judy Garland, Vol. 2
Oz
1953
"The Wizard Of Oz"
At The Palace
1953
Judy At The Palace
Just Judy
1954
Just Judy
Black Magic
1954
Bing And Judy
Black Magic
1955
That Old Black Magic
Chasing Rainbows
1955
I'm Always Chasing Rainbows
Over The Rainbow
1955
Over The Rainbow
Dear Mr. Gable
1955
Dear Mr. Gable
Greatest Hits
1969
Judy Garland's Greatest Hits
Best Of
1970
The Best Of Judy Garland
 

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  Notable Compilations
  Oz
1951
"The Wizard Of Oz"
Girl Crazy
1952
Selections From "Girl Crazy"
Judy At The Palace
1953
Judy At The Palace
(Brunswick version)
Judy At The Palace
1953
Judy At The Palace
(South African)
Girl Crazy
1953
"Girl Crazy" (Australian)
Greatest
1955
Greatest Performances
The Wizard Of Oz
1956
The Wizard Of Oz/Pinocchio
Decca Cast Album
1957
Meet Me In St. Louis
Christmas Music
1950's
Christmas Music
From The Stars
Christmas Tree
1958
Around The Christmas Tree
Magic Of
1961
The Magic Of Judy Garland
Best Of
1963
The Best of Judy Garland
Miss Show Biz
1963
Miss Show-Biz
Hollywood Sings
1964
Hollywood Sings
My Greatest Songs
1960's
My Greatest Songs
Lo Mejor De Judy Garland
1960's
Lo Mejor De Judy Garland
Volumen 1
Lo Mejor De Judy Garland
1960's
Lo Mejor De Judy Garland
Volumen 2
On The "In" Side
1960's
On The "In" Side
National Guard
1967
Your National Guard
Greatest Hits
1969
Greatest Hits
Oz Pic Disc
Circa 1970
The Wizard Of Oz Picture Disc
Greatest Performances
circa 1970
Greatest Performances
Collector's Items
1970
Collector's Items
Christmas Is...
1972
Christmas Is...
The Best of Judy Garland
1973
The Best Of Judy Garland
More Than A Memory
1974
More Than A Memory
Rendezvous
1975
Rendez-Vous with
Judy Garland
Meet Me In St. Louis - The Harvey Girls
circa 1978
Meet Me In St. Louis
The Harvey Girls
More Than A Memory
1979
More Than A Memory
Beginning
1979
The Beginning
More Than A Memory
1982
More Than A Memory
Young Judy
1982
The Young Judy Garland
Over The Rainbow
1982
Over The Rainbow
  Decca Vaults
1984
From The Decca Vaults
Golden Greats
1985
Golden Greats
 

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  Miscellaneous CD Compilations
Best of Decca
1989
The Best Of The Decca Years
Volume One
Best of Decca
1991
Over The Rainbow
Over The Rainbow
1991
Over The Rainbow
Changing My Tune
1992
The Best Of The Decca Years
Volume Two
Always Chasing
1992
Always Chasing Rainbows
The Young Judy Garland
Classic Songs
1993
Classic Songs From
The Stage And Screen
Complete Decca
1994
The Complete Decca Masters (plus)
The Great Judy Garland
1994
The Great Judy Garland
Decca Cast Album
1996
The Complete Decca
Cast Recordings
Platinum
1996
The Platinum Collection
Rainbows
1998
Rainbows
The Box
1998
Judy (aka "The Box") spacer
Over The Rainbow
1999
Over The Rainbowspacer
21 Hollywood Hits
2000
21 Hollywood Hits
Very Best Of
2001
Very Best of Judy Garland
Over The Rainbow
2002
Over The Rainbow
Judy Garland
2004
Judy Garland
Songs From Her Movies
2006
Songs From Her Movies
Classiques
2008
Judy Garland -
Classiques et inédits
1929 - 1956
 

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Rare Brunswick
Australia India Argentina Aussie 78
Canadian 1952 Promotional 1950's 45rpm 1960's 45
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