Garland was posthumously awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997. Several of her recordings have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. These include "Over the Rainbow", which was ranked as the number one movie song of all time in the American Film Institute's "100 Years...100 Songs" list. Four more Garland songs are featured on the list: "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" (No. 76), "Get Happy" (No. 61), "The Trolley Song" (No. 26), and "The Man That Got Away" (No. 11). She has twice been honored on U.S. postage stamps, in 1989 (as Dorothy) and again in 2006 (as Vicki Lester from A Star Is Born). While on tour in 1964, Garland identified "Over the Rainbow" as her favorite of all the songs she had ever recorded, to which Trussel observed that "Her career would remain inextricably linked". Garland would frequently use an overture from "Over the Rainbow" as her entrance music during concerts and television appearances. According to Paglia, the more Garland performed "Over the Rainbow", the more it "became her tragic anthem ... a dirge for artistic opportunities squandered, and for personal happiness permanently deferred". In 1998, Carnegie Hall hosted a two-concert tribute to Garland, which they promoted as "a tribute to the world's greatest entertainer".
Garland possessed a contralto vocal range. Her singing voice has been described as brassy, powerful, effortless and resonant, often demonstrating a tremulous, powerful vibrato. Although her range was comparatively limited, Garland was capable of alternating between female and male-sounding timbres with little effort. The Richmond Times-Dispatch correspondent Tony Farrell wrote she possessed "a deep, velvety contralto voice that could turn on a dime to belt out the high notes", while Ron O'Brien, producer of tribute album The Definitive Collection – Judy Garland (2006), wrote the singer's combination of natural phrasing, elegant delivery, mature pathos "and powerful dramatic dynamics she brings to ... songs make her [renditions] the definitive interpretations". The Huffington Post writer Joan E. Dowlin called the period of Garland's music career between 1937 and 1945 the "innocent years", during which the critic believes the singer's "voice was vibrant and her musical expression exuberant", taking note of its resonance and distinct, "rich yet sweet" quality "that grabs you and pulls you in". Garland's voice would often vary to suit the song she was interpreting, ranging from soft, engaging and tender during ballads to humorous on some of her duets with other artists. Her more joyful, belted performances have been compared to entertainers Sophie Tucker, Ethel Merman, and Al Jolson. Although her musical repertoire consisted largely of cast recordings, show tunes and traditional pop standards, Garland was also capable of singing soul, blues, and jazz music, which Dowlin compared to singer Elvis Presley.More Info
By the time of her death in 1969, Garland had appeared in more than 35 films. She has been called one of the greats of entertainment, and her reputation has endured. In 1992, Gerald Clarke of Architectural Digest dubbed Garland "probably the greatest American entertainer of the twentieth century". O'Brien believes that "No one in the history of Hollywood ever packed the musical wallop that Garland did", explaining, "She had the biggest, most versatile voice in movies. Her Technicolor musicals... defined the genre. The songs she introduced were Oscar gold. Her film career frames the Golden Age of Hollywood musicals." Turner Classic Movies dubbed Garland "history's most poignant voice". Entertainment Weekly's Gene Lyons dubbed Garland "the Madonna of her generation". The American Film Institute named her eighth among the Greatest female stars of Golden Age Hollywood cinema. In June 1998, in The New York Times, Camille Paglia wrote that, "Garland was a personality on the grand scale who makes our current crop of pop stars look lightweight and evanescent." In recent years, Garland's legacy has maintained fans of all different ages, both younger and older. In 2010, The Huffington Post contributor Joan E. Dowlin concluded that Garland possessed a distinct "it" quality by "exemplif[ying] the star quality of charisma, musical talent, natural acting ability, and, despite what the studio honchos said, good looks (even if they were the girl next door looks)". AllMusic's biographer William Ruhlmann said that "the core of her significance as an artist remains her amazing voice and emotional commitment to her songs", and believes that "her career is sometimes viewed more as an object lesson in Hollywood excess than as the remarkable string of multimedia accomplishments it was". In 2012, Strassler described Garland as "more than an icon... Like Charlie Chaplin and Lucille Ball, she created a template that the powers that be have forever been trying, with varied levels of success, to replicate."More Info
On August 28, 1963, Garland and other prominent celebrities such as Josephine Baker, Sidney Poitier, Lena Horne, Paul Newman, Rita Moreno, and Sammy Davis, Jr. took part in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, a demonstration organized to advocate for the civil and economic rights of African Americans. She had been photographed by the press in Los Angeles earlier in the month alongside Eartha Kitt, Marlon Brando, and Charlton Heston as they planned their participation in the march on the nation's capital.More Info
Writing for Turner Classic Movies, biographer Jonathan Riggs observed that Garland had a tendency to imbue her vocals with a paradoxical combination of "fragility and resilience" that eventually became a signature trademark of hers. Louis Bayard of The Washington Post described Garland's voice as "throbbing", believing it to be capable of "connect[ing] with [audiences] in a way no other voice does". Bayard also believes that listeners "find it hard to disentwine the sorrow in her voice from the sorrow that dogged her life", while Dowlin argued that, "Listening to Judy sing ... makes me forget all of the angst and suffering she must have endured." The New York Times obituarist in 1969 observed that Garland, whether intentionally or not, "brought with her ... all the well-publicized phantoms of her emotional breakdown, her career collapses and comebacks" on stage during later performances. The same writer said that Garland's voice changed and lost some of its quality as she aged, although she retained much of her personality. Contributing to the Irish Independent, Julia Molony observed Garland's voice, although "still rich with emotion", had finally begun to "creak with the weight of years of disappointment and hard-living" by the time she performed at Carnegie Hall in 1961. Similarly, the live record's entry in the Library of Congress wrote that "while her voice was still strong, it had also gained a bit of heft and a bit of wear"; author Cary O'Dell believes Garland's rasp and "occasional quiver" only "upped the emotional quotient of many of her numbers", particularly on her signature songs "Over the Rainbow" and "The Man That Got Away". Garland stated that she always felt most safe and at home while performing onstage, regardless of the condition of her voice. Her musical talent has been commended by her peers; opera singer Maria Callas once said that Garland possessed "the most superb voice she had ever heard", while singer and actor Bing Crosby said that "no other singer could be compared to her" when Garland was rested.More Info
Garland was left in a desperate situation which saw her sell her Brentwood home at a price far below its value. She was then cast in February 1967 for the role of Helen Lawson in Valley of the Dolls by 20th Century Fox. According to co-star Patty Duke, Garland was treated poorly by director Mark Robson on the set of Valley of the Dolls and was primarily hired so as to augment publicity for the film. After Garland's dismissal from the film, author Jacqueline Susann said in the 1967 television documentary Jacqueline Susann and the Valley of the Dolls, "I think Judy will always come back. She kids about making a lot of comebacks, but I think Judy has a kind of a thing where she has to get to the bottom of the rope and things have to get very, very rough for her. Then with an amazing inner strength that only comes of a certain genius, she comes back bigger than ever".More Info
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