I’ve stumped a lot of people with this song choice, people who know the American Songbook inside and out. I discovered it as a kid, in a sweet recording by a young Judy Garland for Decca Records in the 1940s. It charted for a week on the US Billboard but never really stuck to her repertoire. Harry Warren was a massively popular songwriter yet there are very few covers of this song and I’ve never heard a male sing it… so I had to do it!
I cover this song on my album Wanderlust. It shares the same romantic idea as On a Slow Boat to China, that time flies by when you share it with the one you love. My take on it is inspired by my love for old Hollywood movies and musical production numbers. It’s soft and romantic in the beginning then builds and swings to a finish that makes me want to dance around the furniture like Fred Astaire.
It’s a tribute to Garland too. I’ve been a huge fan of hers all my life, not just the star of MGM movies but also the mature concert artist of latter years who could weave a story out of every lyric she sang, needing nothing but a microphone and a spotlight. Check out It Never was You, or Just in Time or A Cottage for Sale or her version of Old Man River, among so many others. She is among the greatest of a kind of singer I love, one who acts when she sings, one craft in service of the other. Aside from that she was also a consummate entertainer too who knew how to work an audience and who could belt it out of the park when needed.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Garland’s death, and it marks the 80th anniversary of the release of The Wizard of Oz. Understandably these milestones are generating an upsurge of interest, including the releases of a new documentary and a new bio-pic this year. I guess it feels like good timing then to be releasing my little tribute to her and I can’t wait to see which fans of hers might connect the dots.
You can preview the track and/or buy here: A Journey to a Star