The music that most reminds me of my childhood Certainly the songs from The Wizard of Oz [starring Minnelli’s mother, Judy Garland] and Bye Bye Birdie. And my father would play records — Ella Fitzgerald songs and Gershwin, Rodgers and Hart.
The song that reminds me of my mother ”Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” I think because my father directed the movie [Meet Me in St. Louis] and she looked so beautiful and the song was so sweet. But because she did it for a living, Mama didn’t really sing at home unless she was rehearsing.
The music that makes me want to dance now Anything by Lady Gaga and My Chemical Romance! I went to see [Gaga] in concert and she asked me to come backstage. She was so nice and normal and complimentary and genuine.
The first song I sang live I think it was on the Art Linkletter show; I was 4 and sang a little bit of ”Over the Rainbow,” impromptu. I remember that a piano player started to play with me to help me, and I shot him a dirty look — like, ”I don’t need you!”
The song that reminds me of heartbreak ”Chances Are” [by Johnny Mathis] or anything Bobby Darin. It makes me remember a crush on a boy named Bobby Mariano. He and Marvin Hamlisch and I were best friends. Marvin was my friend, but my crush was on Bobby.
The song fans always want to hear Either ”New York, New York” or ”Cabaret.” I like it. If they want you to do it, then you’re in business.
The song I love to sing live ”But the World Goes ‘Round,” because it changes with age. When I first sang it, it was kind of desperate. Now it’s just like, well, the world goes round, honey. And it still cooks!