Musician Analyzes Judy Garland’s Isolated Vocals on the 1939 Recording of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’

Musician Fil Henley of Wings of Pegasus quite adeptly analyzed the brilliant isolated vocals of a 17 year old Judy Garland performing the 1939 recording of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”.

Tonight we’re having a listen to the isolated vocal of a 17 year old Judy Garland back in 1939!

Henley was really impressed with Garland’s natural ability to slide from one note into another through the use of glissando. He also compared her voice to an instrument, noting how accurate her use of vibrato captured semitones within the song. He also pointed out her amazing vocal control at such a young age.

Another thing I want you to look out for is her voice, how it sounds in relation to her age. She was seventeen when she recorded this. This does not sound like a 17 year old’s voice. It sounds mature, it is so controlled. It sounds like someon who as been singing for 30 years or 40 years because of the level of ability that we can when it’s isolated – It’s just on a totally different level that any other 17 year old’s voice.

Here’s the original scene from The Wizard of Oz.

Henley previously did an analysis of Garland’s voice during a live performance in 1963.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails. Lori can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.