While Judy Garland will forever be associated with the song “Over The Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz, the actress and vocalist only sang the iconic tune on television twice. This rendition, from 1955s "The Judy Garland Special," is remembered as one of the most soulful and emotional performances of the star’s tragically short life.
Prior to singing the song, Garland and guest David Wayne performed the dance to "A Couple of Swells" from 1948s Easter Parade. Originally performed alongside Fred Astaire, the dance required Garland to wear tramp makeup. When Garland came out for "Over The Rainbow" there was no time to remove the makeup, due to the live nature of the broadcast. It didn’t matter. Her deeply heartfelt vocal performance resonates with honest pain and reflection.
At the time, Garland was dealing with problems in her romantic life and professional career. By the end of the performance she sounds like she’s on the verge of tears, but never once misses a note. Garland passed away in 1969 at the age of 47, but her legacy has lived on. Enjoy this rare look at a lost icon.