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Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Judy Garland Week: Favourite Duets

It would be very easy for me to concoct a list of my twenty favourite Garland duets. Narrowing it down to five was rather difficult and there are some missing that will probably be seen as gaping holes to some fans. But these five touched me and I've got fond memories of them.

5. 'You're So Right For Me' with Mickey Rooney

Rooney appearing on The Judy Garland Show produced this magical number that not only shows off their evidently close friendship but also Judy's undiminished dancing skills (I love it when she kicks her shoes off prior to the dance). The energy and love in this number is undeniable and it makes me smile every time.

4. 'Walkin' My Baby Back Home' with Bing Crosby

This may only be short but it's gorgeous. I love the way Judy and Bing's voices work together in all their duets and this one allows you to visualise the scene through the words alone, and the impish smile Judy puts into the lyrics. 

3. 'Chicago' with Liza Minnelli

The Palladium concert recording is rightly considered one of the highlights of Judy's career and I think this song pretty much sums up its brilliance. Watching Judy sing while Liza dances is just wonderful, and the fun they both seem to be having on stage with each other is fantastic to watch. Their energy's infectious - I never get away from this song without a smile.

2. 'Friendship Duet' with Ethel Merman

This number was the one that spurred me on to listen to more of Judy's later work. The energy in this medley is unbelievable and I love the fact that Judy loses it during 'You're Just in Love' and gets straight back into the song. As she says, when they're singing together, what can go wrong? Nothing you can't fix. 

1. 'You've Got Me Where You Want Me' with Bing Crosby

Another unusual choice for number one? Maybe. But, as I said before, Judy and Bing together are magical and this song holds a special place in my heart as one of the first that made me sit up and pay attention to Judy the singer as opposed to Dorothy Gale. It's probably no coincidence that it was recorded in 1945, at the pinnacle of her MGM years, and it betrays all the affection and humour in her voice that she showed off so brilliantly in Meet Me in St. Louis and The Harvey Girls. There are so many gorgeous duets with Bing including the amusing 'Connecticut', 'Something to Remember You By', 'You're Just in Love' and 'People Will Say We're in Love' but this, for me, is one of their best.

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