01/25/2013 04:54 pm ET

Judy Garland's Last U.S. Performance Paid Tribute To Harold Arlen

On Nov. 17, 1968, Lincoln Center's Philharmonic Hall was paying tribute to Harold Arlen with a show. Judy Garland, who debuted Harold’s most famous song, "Over The Rainbow," was asked to perform. Unfortunately, she was in the hospital with a foot injury and not able to pay her hospital bill.

“Harold went to her bedside, paid her hospital bill, took her home and asked her, if she were feeling up to it, it would mean a lot to him if she could attend the tribute,” George Bugatti, vice president of the Harold Arlen foundation and the star of off-Broadway's "The Wonderful Wizard of Song," tells The Huffington Post.

That evening, a weak and frail Garland took the stage to perform for what would become the last time she would ever sing on an American stage.

“In this recording, you can hear her weak yet unmistakable tenor of her voice,” says George. “During the performance, she takes pause to say 'Thank you Harold,' who was accompanying her on piano.”

Just seven months later, on June 22, 1969, that voice would be silenced forever.

“There was no official recording of the evening, except one man had in his overcoat a recording machine, which captured one of her final moments,” reveals George.

For information about "The Harold Arlen Show," including rare home video Harold shot himself while working on "The Wizard of Oz," visit www.thewonderfulwizardofsong.com.



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