Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Holiday Moment with Judy and Mel...




On December 6, 1963, Judy Garland taped "The Christmas Show" to air a few weeks later as the holiday episode of her weekly CBS-TV variety show. She was joined by by both family (including Liza) and friends...like singer/songwriter Mel Torm√©, writer (with Bob Wells ) of  "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)"...Click to watch Judy and Mel sing this holiday classic...


8 comments:

  1. What a great post, Eve. Judy was having some trouble with lyrics, wasn't she? It looked like they were having a lot of fun. Thanks for this lovely Christmas moment!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great clip. The scary part is I kind of remember seeing this on TV when I was a kid and not really appreciating it at the time. I am sure I moaned and groaned about it to my parents about "why do we have to watch this?"

    ReplyDelete
  3. I like the idea of Mel teaming up with Judy to sing this song. Mel has an extraordinary voice, and Judy with her "rainbows really know how to fly" is really endearing. The fireplace a blaze makes me want to pull out the chestnuts and wassail. Merry Christmas, Lady Eve.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I remember this. Thanks for posting this classic Christmas performance. Mel Torme was Garland's musical director for a good chunk of her variety show. In his wonderful autobiography, "It Wasn't All Velvet", Mel writes about a lot of the trials and tribulations he went through with the incredibly insecure Judy while working on the show . . . mixing up lyrics was insignificant compared to some of what he had to deal with. He loved her, though. The thing about Mel Torme was that he seemed incapable of hitting a sour note - ever. Its a real Christmas gift seeing these two together.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Judy Garland was one of the great talents of the 20th century - it was more than her powerhouse voice and ability to do so many things well, it was also the full-on energy she invested her performances with - and the heart she put into it. Mel Torme was also multi-talented but not a headliner in the same way Judy was - and not so well-known today. This clip makes it plain that he was a virtuoso singer - listen to him harmonize with Judy! And, obviously, he was a very fine songwriter, too.
    Judy was probably having some fun with the "rainbows" vs. "reindeer" lyrics (she just plain blew the other one)...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Judy is definitely more than a singer or star, she's an icon. Her artistry was never about perfection, it was poetic and communicated emotional vulnerability, real pathos. Mel Torme was a total musician. He was hired as a writer and arranger by Harry James when he was still in high school and later he was offered the drum chair in Tommy Dorsey's band after Buddy Rich left (it was a great honor but he had other professional pursuits at the time). He was also a master of harmonies and formed probably the first really modern sounding vocal group, the Meltones. Judy and Mel had, as you pointed out, very different careers - Torme was too closely linked to jazz to be super popular but he was very much admired by other musicians.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Eve, Merry Christmas and thank you for this heartwarming post. Judy Garland, was a wonderful actress who left behind her amazing ability to communicate to us through her songs.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Dawn...Merry Christmas to you, too, and thanks for stopping by.
    Motorcycle Boy...thanks for all the background on Mel Torme's career...I've always admired him and knew he was gifted in many ways, but had no idea he was as multi-faceted as he was.

    ReplyDelete