On This Day In Judy Garland’s Life And Career – April 21

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On this day…

For more details and more photos, check out The Judy Room’s Facebook Page!

April 21, 1938:   Judy made her weekly appearance on the “Good News of 1938” radio show broadcast by NBC Radio.  She sang “My Heart Is Taking Lessons” and “There’s A Gold Mine In The Sky.”  Listen to, and download, “My Heart Is Taking Lessons” here.   “There’s A Gold Mine” is not known to exist.  The cast list for this show is pretty amazing: Robert Taylor (emcee), Clark Gable, Myrna Loy, Lionel Barrymore, Fanny Brice, and Frank Morgan.  The appearance of Gable, Loy, and Barrymore could have been an audio clip of a scene from their latest film Test Pilot.  MGM released long-playing records for play on radio shows that featured scenes and songs from their films for local theaters to have their local radio stations use to promote the films.  This could have been the case for this show.


Also on April 21, 1938:  Judy in the news!  MGM was doing a great job of keeping Judy’s name in the public consciousness.  Published on this day:  An article about Judy knowing the A, B, C’s of the stage and screen; ads for her latest hit film Everybody Sing; the “Judy Garland Dresses” that were instances of stores using Judy’s name (and teen image) to sell children/teen fashions.

Article text (talk about fiction!):

Judy Garland Knows Her Stage and Screen A, B, C’s

AprIL-21,-1938-KNOWS-HER-SCREEN-A-B-Cs-The_Lathrop_OptimistWhen romance broke up Judy Garland’s vaudeville act, she decided that she’d be a screen actress.  And, without any help, the fourteen-year-old singer “sold herself to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer executives and received a long term contract as a reward.

Judy and her sisters, Virginia and Suzanne, were known as the Garland sisters on the stage and when they appeared at the Chicago World’s Fair, Suanne married and left the act and that gave Judy her opportunity to go to Hollywood.

Born in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, Judy first wanted to become a lawyer, but her parents were “show people” and she made her debut when she was less than three-years-old in her father’s act.

Judy still likes law and as one of her studies at the studio school, it takes top place.  She plans to continue it in college and still may become a Portia.

Being in pictures hasn’t changed her life from that of the average girl her age.  Her favorite reading matter is the daily and Sunday comic sections, with Pop-eye, as the head man.  She plays baseball and swings a mean golf club, and would like to play football, but the studio says no.

She has appeared in “Every Sunday,” “Pigskin Parade,” “Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry” and “Broadway Melody of 1938.”  She makes her latest appearance in “Everybody Sing,” playing Sunday and Monday at the Lathrop Theatre.

She is also a tap dancer of note, having taken lessons during the filming of “Broadway Melody of 1938” from Buddy Ebsen.


April 21, 1939:  Judy sang the National Anthem at the opening game of the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland, Ohio.  The team played the Detroit Tigers and won the game, 5-1.  Judy was on a personal appearance tour that included her return to New York’s Loew’s State Theater.

The caption for the third photo:  Young film star Judy Garland attends the Indians home opener at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, April 21, 1939. A month earlier, Garland had just finished work on The Wizard of Oz, the picture which would launch her career. From left to right: Indians owner Alva Bradley, Garland, Cleveland mayor Harold Burton, and Indians manager Oscar Vitt. The Indians beat the Detroit Tigers, 5-1, thanks to a three-hit complete game from Indians pitcher Robert Feller, who struck out ten batters.


April 21, 1940:  This great photo of Judy with Bob Hope and Jerry Colonna appeared in the Minneapolis Star’s full-page feature about Minnesotans who made a name for themselves in Hollywood.  At the time, Judy was a regular on Hope’s show for NBC Radio “The Pepsodent Show Starring Bob Hope” with the series regular, Jerry Colonna.  It’s unknown at what episode of the show this photo was taken.  Check out The Judy Room’s “Judy Sings! – On the Radio” pages for performances from Judy’s many radio appearances, including “The Pepsodent Show Starring Bob Hope.”


Judy Garland "The Trolley Song" Decca Records single #23361 A, Album No. A-380

April 21, 1944:  Judy returned to Decca Records for the second, and last, recording session for the “Meet Me In St. Louis” album.  Recorded on this day, in the following order, were: “The Trolley Song”; “Skip To My Lou”; and “Meet Me In St. Louis, Louis.”  The album was released on November 2, 1944 (No. DA-3360 Personality Series), and peaked at the #2 spot on the newly created “album” charts.  The single of “The Trolley Song” (with “Meet Me In St. Louis, Louis” on the B-side) peaked at the #3 spot on the singles chart. 

An alternate take of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” (L-3387-C) has survived and was first released on the MCA (Decca) 1992 CD “Judy Garland – Changing My Tune – The Best Of The Decca Years Vol Two.”  It was also included on the 1994 CD boxed set “Judy Garland – The Complete Decca Masters (plus)” and the 2011 definitive Decca Records Judy Garland anthology “Judy Garland – Smilin’ Through – The Singles Collection 1936 – 1947.”

Check out The Judy Room’s Extensive Spotlight on “Meet Me In St. Louis” at http://www.thejudyroom.com/louis.html


Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli on Easter Sunday at the Beverly Hills Hotel on April 21, 1950

April 21, 1950: Judy and husband Vincente Minnelli celebrate Easter Sunday at the Beverly Hills Hotel.


April 21, 1952 Philharmonic Curtains

April 21, 1952:  Judy’s opening night at the Los Angeles Philharmonic was the stellar event of the year.  Anyone who was anyone in Hollywood and Los Angeles was there as you can see from these wonderful photos.  Judy played for four weeks grossing $220,000.  Her salary was $25,000 per week; she had been paid $15,000 per week for her recent blockbuster run at The Palace Theater in New York.  This Philharmonic opening night was her return to her “home base” of Hollywood where she hadn’t performed, aside from a few radio appearances, since leaving MGM a year and a half prior.  This engagement solidified her comeback.

Two slideshows:  One that features photos prior to the concert showing Judy getting ready and the stars arriving; program page provided by Bobby Waters.  The second features photos and clippings that were taken at the post-show party at Romanoff’s where Judy and her success were celebrated by everyone.

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