The Canada-based High Definition Tape Transfers label recently released Judy Garland's The Final Concert in Copenhagen, bringing the legendary artist's last public concert on March 25, 1969 to a variety of high-resolution formats. As the celebration of Garland's centennial continues, the label has turned its attention to Garland's most famous live performance, and indeed one of the most famous concerts of all time. The Greatest Night in Show Business History: April 23, 1961 is HDTT's reissue of the singer's world-famous Carnegie Hall concert, first preserved on Capitol Records' Grammy-winning, chart-topping release Judy at Carnegie Hall. It's available from the label in DSD256; DSD128; DSD64; 24/352.8 DXD PCM FLAC; 24/192 PCM FLAC; and 24/96 PCM FLAC digital formats as well as on 2 CDs (standard or gold).
This isn't 2022's first reissue of Garland's extraordinary Sunday evening at Carnegie Hall. Earlier this year, the U.K.'s Avid label remastered the title under the aegis of engineer Nick Dellow. (These many releases are possible because the 1961 recording is in the public domain in many territories around the world, including Canada.) Like the Avid release and a 2012 JSP reissue of the original mono mix, the HDTT iteration of the stereo album boasts the involvement of Garland historian Lawrence Schulman who has written the liner notes for the release.
The initial transfer for HDTT was made by engineer Robert Witrak at a sampling rate of Direct Stream Digital 256. The audio was then restored and remastered in DXD PCM 352.8 kHz, 24/32 bit by John H. Haley of Harmony Restorations LLC. Witrak and Haley also handled the transfer and mastering, respectively, for HDTT's The Final Concert in Copenhagen. Raphael Geroni has once again designed the cover artwork.
HDTT's press release states that the label's "goal has been to present as realistic a sonic image as possible of Garland appearing live on the stage of Carnegie Hall, performing in front of her brilliant accompanying orchestra led by Mort Lindsey. This endeavor includes precisely correct pitching (the original release and many subsequent ones were slightly sharp), as well as respect for the unique acoustic of Carnegie Hall, universally recognized as a crown jewel of the world's concert venues. Abetted by the far greater level of detail permitted by the high-definition format, this new release strives to put listeners in a prime seat in Carnegie Hall, at what has been recognized as 'the greatest night in show business history.'" [Note that the drummer in Lindsey's electrifying orchestra was none other than Bill LaVorgna. Eighteen years after Garland's Carnegie Hall stand, LaVorgna would be leading the orchestra from his drum kit for Garland's daughter as she began her own incendiary stand at the Hall. Liza Minnelli's 1979 record-breaking run at Carnegie Hall is out now from Second Disc Records and Real Gone Music on Live in New York 1979.]
If you'd like to hear this new sonic interpretation of Judy at Carnegie Hall for yourself, The Greatest Night in Show Business History: April 23, 1961 is available now directly from HDTT's website. You'll find the track listing and direct order link below.
Judy Garland, The Greatest Night in Show Business History: April 23, 1961 (Capitol SWBO 1569. 1961 - reissued High Definition Tape Transfers, 2022)
- Overture: The Trolley Song/Over the Rainbow/The Man That Got Away (4:40)
- When You're Smiling (The Whole World Smiles with You) (3:13)
- Medley: Almost Like Being in Love/This Can't Be Love (3:33)
- Do It Again (4:44)
- You Go to My Head (2:36)
- Alone Together (3:19)
- Who Cares? (As Long as You Care for Me) (1:18)
- Puttin' on the Ritz (1:53)
- How Long Has This Been Going On? (3:28)
- Just You, Just Me (1:20)
- The Man That Got Away (4:41)
- San Francisco (3:42)
- I Can't Give You Anything But Love (6:14)
- That's Entertainment (2:20)
- Come Rain or Come Shine (3:42)
- You're Nearer (2:04)
- A Foggy Day (in London Town) (2:52)
- If Love Were All (2:15)
- Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart (3:26)
- Stormy Weather (6:02)
- Medley: You Made Me Love You/For Me and My Gal/The Trolley Song (3:45)
- Rock-A-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody (3:01)
- Over the Rainbow (5:49)
- Swanee (2:43)
- After You've Gone (3:00)
- Chicago (4:42)