Sing Like Judy: Get Happy!

This week the blog is sponsored by Crown and Covenant Publications, and the post is written by Nathan Eshelman, pastor of the Orlando Reformed Presbyterian Church in historic downtown Orlando, Florida. He is the author of two Grassmarket Press books: I Have a Confession: The What and Why of the Westminster Confession of Faith (2022) and Worthy: The Worship of God (Fall 2023). Nathan also writes for Gentle Reformation and Meet the Puritans and is a co-host of The Jerusalem Chamber podcast. Nathan is married to Lydia and they have five children. You can order Grassmarket Press books here. In 1951, Judy Garland sang at the swanky Palace Theatre in New York City week after week with a tedious two-a-day schedule. The house was always packed. As Judy Garland sang her old classics, she ended each show with a medley of Over the Rainbow and Get Happy, two classic Garland numbers. She had 184 performances at The Palace that year. “Night after night, the result was the same: tears streaked down Judy’s cheeks as she tried to follow her rainbow, and more tears—a rivulet, then a salty waterfall—came from all those watching and hearing her,” wrote historian Gerald Clark in his book on Judy’s life. Tear-filled standing ovations ensued. One newspaper recorded a three minute, eighteen second standing ovation. Her singing was described as a kiss that awakened New York. Contrast the joy of Judy Garland’s vocal expressions with so much of what passes for congregational singing in our churches. This is not a new … Continue reading Sing Like Judy: Get Happy!