In the Christmas Spirit: Judy Garland and Mel Torme | Eastern North Carolina Now

   Judy Garland was an iconic fixture of my childhood, and most everyone else of my generation. Her rendition of Dorothy Gale from the "Wizard of Oz", reprised each Autumn on CBS, remained etched in my prepubescent thought process, and I could hardly wait each triumphant return of Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow, Toto, and the Wizard. I had every line memorized, and could hardly wait each year for the flying Monkeys wearing an ornate, possibly 1930 vintage Bell Hop uniforms.

    Later, imagine my amazement when I discovered that Judy Garland was a full grown woman in 1960, and looking quite a bit worse for the wear. Regardless of Judy Garland's rough transition into middle-age, she certainly still could sing almost as well as in her Dorothy days.
Judy Garland from "Meet Me in St. Louis": Above.

   
Here below is Judy singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" from "Meet Me in St. Louis", 1944. THe song is a bittersweet tome written for that film, and now the song is one of the most cherished Pop Christmas melodies ever written.



Here below, Judy sings "Chestnuts Roasting Over an Open Fire" with Mel Torme, on her live variety show in the early 1960's. Mel Torme, also know as The Velvet Fog, was a great Jazz singer with perfect pitch and extraordinary phrasing.


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A very young Mel Torme making his early mark in the music industry: Above.
An older Mel Torme sings "Chestnuts" one more time. One can certainly understand how Mel became known as the Velvet Fog: Below.



    Publisher's note: If you are really in the Christmas spirit, or just in the need for more, please click here to access all of the holiday spirit in melody and narrative that BCN can harness and offer for this Yuletide Season.
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Comments

( December 4th, 2017 @ 1:32 pm )
 
Thanks for the link B.T. I tried it again last night and the third line "From now on ..." gets me, and it's not because I am dividing concentration between guitar and voice. The guitar is getting easy, the voice is not.

I must be in your camp on the octave range.
( December 2nd, 2017 @ 3:11 pm )
 
As someone who has the vocal range of at least 1/2 an octave, I have always been amazed at Mel's ability to span the range of several octaves almost effortlessly. Here is a link to him and Ella singing nonsense, but doing it very well.

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( December 2nd, 2017 @ 1:53 pm )
 
Definitely one of my Christmas songs.

December 1, 2017: I learned to play it on the guitar, at least an accomplished good first run. The version that I was working with had 16 different chords, so, it will take me a while to memorize them all and when to play them; however, I already knew most chords so, I can just read and play.

Tough song to sing for me. After spending about 40 minutes getting down the melody on the guitar, I sure can play it far better than I can sing it. Mel Torme I am not.



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