The Judy Bridgewater schwag mystery

On Friday, I received a double-bubble-wrapped, via expensive DHL overnight, cassette tape. There was no letter or press release or anything resembling an explanation, just a tightly packaged tape with a retro cover of a Liz Taylor wannabe lounging on a couch holding a quellazaire, smoke elegantly emanating from the cigarette it's holding. The album description lists the artist as Judy Bridgewater and its title "Songs After Dark." It's labeled under Polestar Records.

The album has seven tracks listed, all pretty torch standard: "Dance With Me," "Moonlight Drive," "Never Let Me Go."

Pretty, I thought. But who's Judy Bridgewater and why did I get this thing? The key is in that last song above. Also in the cassette itself, which has no tape in it, just a curious gadget on the top demanding to be pushed. I did, and out popped a 2-gig flash drive.

This, it turns out (as solved by eagle-eyed OW retail gal Hollie Jirak), is a press kit for the upcoming film Never Let Me Go. What's the Judy Bridgewater connection? To Wikipedia, away! This is from the entry for the book upon which the film is based, a classic work by Kazuo Ishiguro:

The novel's title comes from a song on an American cassette tape called Songs After Dark by fictional singer Judy Bridgewater. Kathy buys the tape during a swap meet-type event at Hailsham. Hearing it as a mother's plea to her baby, Kathy on many occasions dances while holding her pillow and singing the chorus: "Baby, never let me go."

Scroll to read more Arts Stories + Interviews articles


Join Orlando Weekly Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.