“Judy Garland is the latest example of how Hollywood can ‘glamorize’ a pretty and talented girl – make her a topnotch star. Judy today has been turned into a strikingly slender beauty, with big brown eyes and curly, brown-red hair.” – Uncredited article, 1944
April 9, 1939: Judy was in New York for a personal appearance (see the photo of the marquee at Loew’s State) when she participated in the famous Easter Parade. Shown here behind Judy is Broadway star, Mary Martin. The woman seated directly behind Judy is unknown. Judy’s appearance at Loew’s lasted a couple of weeks before she returned to Los Angeles and MGM on April 30th to film some retakes of Wizard of Oz and begin filming Babes in Arms with Mickey Rooney.
April 9, 1939: “Forty Thousand Poppies Cover Set” – another studio-fed blurb to interest people in the upcoming release of The Wizard of Oz. The film was officially in post-production although, as noted above, Judy filmed some retakes on April 30th.
Click on the poppy field image above to see the full panorama of this gorgeous set.
April 9, 1940: Judy appeared on Bob Hope’s radio show, “The Pepsodent Show Starring Bob Hope” for NBC Radio. She sang “Say Si Si.”
Listen to Judy singing “Say Si Si” from this broadcast here: http://www.thejudyroom.com/songs/Say%20Si%20Si.mp3
April 9, 1940: Judy jokes. This is another example of the kind of light fodder that kept a star’s name in the public eye, usually released by the studio’s publicity departments.
April 9, 1942: This photo was taken of Judy on the “Interior Nick’s Cafe” set while filming the title number for For Me And My Gal with Gene Kelly. Time called: 10 a.m.; dismissed: 6:05 p.m. Judy also posed for some publicity photos for the film.
April 9, 1942: “Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart” was one of the most requested songs whenever Judy performed live for the troops.
April 9, 1943: Judy had another music rehearsal of “Embraceable You” for Girl Crazy. Time called: 10:00 a.m.; Judy arrived at 10:45 a.m.; dismissed: 5:00 p.m.
April 9, 1944: “Judy Comes Of Age” – If Judy had seen this article she would have liked it. It touted her arrival as a “Glamor Girl” and a serious, adult actress.
April 9, 1945: Meet Me In St. Louis (released in 1944) was still a hit in theaters around the country/
April 9, 1947: Filming on The Pirate continued with scenes shot on the “Exterior Plaza” set. Time called: 10:15 a.m.; dismissed: 3:30 p.m.
April 9, 1949: Filming on Annie Get Your Gun continued on the “Interior Pullman Car” set. The assistant director’s notes state: “At 8 a.m. Miss Garland called asst. director to say that she had a sore throat. Miss Garland called back at 8:15 a.m. and was given an 11 a.m. call ready on set (instead of 10 a.m. as previously called).” As you can see from the following running record, the production was incredibly detailed about every single thing that happened.
No photos are known to exist from this day’s shooting, nor does any footage exist, although the costume test photo of Judy in costume for this scene does survive and is shown here.
11:44-11:58 – Shoot 6 takes and stills
11:58-11:59 – Record soundtrack
11:59-12:07 – Rehearse with principals
12:09-12:17 – L & L
12:17-12:25 – Rehearse
12:25-12:42 – Shoot 9 takes
12:42-12:45 – Select setup
12:45-1:45 – Lunch
1:45-1:50 – Move out 2 pullman chairs
1:50-2:20 – Reh. with principals
2:20-2:30 – L & L
2:30-2:42 – Rehearse set boom action
2:42-2:55 – Add lighting
2:55-3:10 – Reh set B.G. action, set boom, action add lighting. Note: at 2:50 p.m., Miss Garland told Asst. Director that she was too ill to work and was going home. She left set at 3 p.m.
3:10 – Company dismissed: had nothing to shoot without Miss Garland
April 9, 1951: Judy’s legendary “Concert Years” began with her opening night at The London Palladium, London, England. Judy’s act at this point was more “Vaudeville” than the two-hour one-woman shows she began, and perfected, in the early 1960s. This Palladium show consisted of a 35-minute set put together by Roger Edens and Oscar Levant that Judy performed twice a night at 6:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., six nights a week.
The songs in the act were: “At Long Last Here I Am”; “Judy’s Olio” (the first version of this “greatest hits from MGM” consisted of “You Made Me Love You”/”For Me And My Gal”/”The Boy Next Door”/”The Trolley Song”); “Get Happy”; “Love Is Sweeping The Country”; “Rock-A-By Your Baby With A Dixie Melody”; “Limehouse Blues”; “Just One Of Those Things”; A medley of “Embraceable You”/”But Not For Me”/”Easter Parade”; and “Over The Rainbow.”
Judy was paid $20,000 a week – $80,000 total (the run lasted through May 5th) – which was quite a bit more than the $6,000 per week she had been receiving at MGM.
A recording of her act at The Palladium survives and can be heard here (zip file)
“At Long Last Here I Am”:
“Love Is Sweeping The Country”:
Just One Of Those Things:
Medley: “Embraceable You”/”But Not For Me”/”Easter Parade”:
The reviews were ecstatic, which didn’t go unnoticed back in Hollywood where Judy was either offered, or wanted for, several film projects including Just For You (with Bing Crosby), Meet Me In New York (a sequel to Meet Me In St. Louis), a biography of the producer/songwriter Buddy De Sylva (another project with Bing Crosby), Kiss Me Kate (which was made by MGM in 1953), and The USO Story for RKO Studios. Of those projects, only Just For You and Kiss Me Kate made it to the screen. The first co-starring Bing Crosby and Jane Wyman in 1952 and the latter starring Howard Keel and Kathryn Grayson in 1953.
For more about the unfinished films of Judy Garland and those that she was allegedly in the running for, check out The Judy Room’s “Films That Got Away” Pages here.
April 9, 1952: Judy’s divorce from second husband Vincente Minnelli became final, freeing her up to marry Sid Luft who’s noted as being a “theatrical agent and producer.”
April 9, 1961: Judy was set to play in Greensboro, North Carolina, on April 17th. The article notes that this is her last stop before what would become her legendary concert at Carnegie Hall in New York.
April 9, 1961: Ad and article for Judy’s upcoming concert engagements in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Houston, Texas.
Also on this day, Judy and Sid Luft attended a dinner party hosted by Robert and Ethel Kennedy at the White House.
April 9, 2004: Here’s another review of the recent DVD premiere of Meet Me In St. Louis.