Today, Decca and Republic Records announced the release of two star-studded duets to appear on the Judy soundtrack, which coincides with the release of the feature film starring Renée Zellweger and opening on September 27. The film is based on the true story of Judy Garland’s final concerts in London in the late 1960s.
Academy Award winner Renée Zellweger is joined by Sam Smith for a totally unique version of one of Garland’s best-loved numbers, “Get Happy,” and teams up with Rufus Wainwright for a beautiful rendition of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” – both newly-recorded especially for the album.
Long-time Judy Garland fan and fellow Academy Award winner, Sam Smith, said: “When I was 17 years old I did a project on Judy Garland for my Film Studies A-Level. I was immediately immersed into the magic of Judy and her incredibly brave and triumphant story. She has remained as one of the icons of my life. She was one of the bravest humans out there and her vulnerability and honesty in her art still gives me goose bumps like it did the first time. It was truly an honour to sing with Renée. Nobody could have played Judy as well as Renée, and it is a career highlight for me to be singing with her, and in some small way, with Judy. I hope everyone loves the film as much as I did.”
Rufus Wainwright, whose live album Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall, received critical acclaim and earned him a Grammy Award nomination, said: “Judy Garland has been a constant force in my life. ‘The Wizard of Oz’ was one of the pyramids of culture that I gazed at as a small child. It’s nice to come back and observe her again in the film and through this wonderful duet with Renee, her performance is astounding in a film that focuses on the love and the generosity that Judy always had for the world around her. It reminds me of how unique her life and art were.”
The Judy soundtrack features Renée Zellweger’s recordings of Judy Garland’s award- winning and most popular numbers, which have become some of the most iconic songs in film and theatre history, including “For Once in My Life,” “Come Rain or Come Shine” and “Over the Rainbow.”
In the Roadside Attractions and LD Entertainment movie, it is winter 1968 and showbiz legend Judy Garland arrives in Swinging London to perform a five-week sold-out run at The Talk of the Town. It is 30 years since she shot to global stardom in The Wizard of Oz, but if her voice has weakened, its dramatic intensity has only grown. As she prepares for the show, battles with management, charms musicians and reminisces with friends and adoring fans, her wit and warmth shine through. Even her dreams of love seem undimmed as she embarks on a whirlwind romance with Mickey Deans, her soon-to-be fifth husband. Written by Tom Edge, the film also stars Jessie Buckley, Finn Wittrock, Rufus Sewell, and Michael Gambon.