For this St. Valentine’s Day, 1959’s super-rare Judy Garland concept masterpiece THE LETTER makes its re-premiere on THE MUSIC OF THE STARS with Lou Rugani on the Sunday, February 10th 2013 show over WLIP AM 1050 and worldwide at www.wlip.com . Musical director/arranger/composer Gordon Jenkins created this experimental song-cycle narrative, and the Ralph Brewster Singers offer solid back-up for Garland's vocals and co-star John Ireland, their chance to explore the full spectrum of romance emotions.
This lost treasure tells the story of a relationship throughout its first meeting, a breakup, and then reconciliation. A letter is written to Garland by her beau (Academy Award nominee John Ireland). As Judy reads his letter, her thoughts meld with his, and she answers him musically, through ten songs, beginning with her exquisite interpretation of "Beautiful Trouble" and carries us through other magnificent renditions of "Love In The Village," "Charley's Blues," "The Worst Kind Of Man," the spectacular "That's All There Is, There Isn't Any More," "Love In Central Park," "The Red Balloon," "The Fight," "At The Stroke Of Midnight" and the slam-bang knockout closer "Come Back" which ends with a kiss … a real one, as Garland and Ireland really laid one on each other in front of the microphones. Method acting at its best.
Gordon Jenkins was famously associated with Nat "King" Cole and Frank Sinatra. Back in ‘59, concept albums were rarities and only recorded by a handful of greats. “The Letter” is a whole new listening experience. THE MUSIC OF THE STARS has featured other of Jenkins’ concept albums … “Manhattan Tower” on the Sundays closest to 9/11, and “Seven Dreams” in the haunted month of October … and “The Letter” was last aired on MOTS in 1994 for lack of a quality recording. These original tapes, with their sparkling sound, feature rare singles meant for radio play in 1959 and insider stories, like the revelation about the real kiss that topped off the session. No words could fully sum up the genius behind this Jenkins/Garland romantic classic, but some Web previewers have said “Beyond Amazing!!!” – “5.0 out of 5 stars” “A Love Letter from Judy” - ”The Broadway Show Judy Never Got to Do” - “A Mini American Opera with Judy” – “ AT LAST !”