“Judy can still make a song her own, and though most of her years were spent before the camera, the old trouping spirit of her beginnings in vaudeville is still alive within her and she knows how to wrap her audience around her little finger.” – Albert Goldberg, 1952
April 22, 1939: “Something New In Table Decorations.” Judy, along with Virginia Bruce, Una Merkel, and Maureen O’Sullivan shows off her table decorating skills. My apologies for the quality of the clipping, it’s the best version I could locate.
April 22, 1939: This ad touting agent Al Rosen was published in the trade magazine “Box Office.” Rosen was Judy’s first real agent and was the one who secured that successful audition with MGM on September 13, 1935. In 1937, Judy’s mom Ethel replaced Rosen with agent Jesse Martin. As Judy was still a minor, this was not unusual, although the reasons for the change are unknown.
Also in this issue of “Box Office” was a mention of The Wizard of Oz in MGM’s “Lion’s Roar” ad.
April 22, 1939: Judy’s appearance at the opening game of the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland, Ohio, the day before is reported on in this local column. Judy opened the game by singing the National Anthem. 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. Judy’s appearance in Cleveland was documented in the trade magazine “Box Office.”
April 22, 1940: Filming continued on Strike Up The Band with more scenes shot on the ‘Interior Public Library” set. Time called: 9:00 a.m.; dismissed: 4:40 p.m.
April 22, 1941: Ziegfeld Girl.
April 22, 1943: Filming continued on Girl Crazy with more scenes shot on the “Interior Assembly Hall” set. Judy also rehearsed “Bidin’ My Time.” Time called: 10:00 a.m.; dismissed: 4:30 p.m.
April 22, 1944: Here’s a notice from columnist Hedda Hopper who reported that MGM bought “Cabbages and Kings” for Judy and Gene Kelly to star in. A few years later the project was mentioned again as a follow-up to Easter Parade (1948).
For more about the various projects Judy was allegedly considered for, check out The Judy Room’s “Films That Got Away” page.
April 22, 1946: “Votre Amie” magazine cover. Photo provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim!
April 22, 1947: Judy returned to the set of The Pirate after being out sick for seven days. Time called: 10:05 a.m.; dismissed: 5:25 p.m. Scenes were shot on the ‘Interior Show Tent” and “Interior Manuela Recreation Room” sets. The assistant director’s notes state: “Co. [company] wrapped up at 5:25 p.m. as Miss Garland was too tired to continue.”
April 22, 1948: Columnist Bob Thomas reported that Bing Crosby was being “wooed” to co-star with Judy in Annie Get Your Gun. That would have been interesting.
April 22, 1952: The reviews of Judy’s opening night at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Auditorium (April 21) hit papers around the world. Judy was a smash hit. Everyone from Hollywood heavyweights to “society folk” to Judy’s fan base and the general public were there (those who could get tickets). The Los Angeles Times printed two reviews in their morning edition under the headline “Judy Garland Scintillates in Philharmonic Comeback,” one by their society editor and one by their staff writer, Albert Goldberg. Both are copied below, along with images of other notices from the United Press and the Associated Press.
Little Girl With Big Voice Given Rousing Ovation
BY ALBERT GOLDBERG
Plucky Judy Garland made her comeback in Philharmonic Auditorium last night and all the bigwigs, bright stars and just plain fans – who lined up 10 deep outside the entrances – were there to speed her on and wish her well.
This was Judy’s International Variety Show, in case there is anyone still unaware of the facts, and her four weeks in the Philharmonic are billed as a pre-season preliminary to the official opening of the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera Association with “Song of Norway” on May 26.
Hollywood Out Front
It was not an easy night for Judy Garland, for practically all of Hollywood that counts was out there in front, laughing for the first hour at the revival of vaudeville in the old style but really only killing time until Judy was to come out and prove – or disprove – that she was back in form again.
It was a friendly and loving audience, but Judy could not be altogether sure of that until she sneaked out behind her “Eight Boy Friends” and stood there alone on the big stage while the applause suddenly swelled to the size of an ocean wave and all but inundated the little girl who humbly smiled and bowed.
Echo From Broadway
After a time they let her go ahead and Judy gave out with a salute to Hollywood and then sang the song – or songs, rather – with which she reopened Broadway’s Palace Theater to the two-a-day, a retrospect of vaudeville’s great days that brought in the old names and the old songs for a new start in the old stand.
But something seemed to be holding Judy back and pretty soon she came out with it – she had on new shoes and they were killing her. So she did the smart thing and took them off right then and there and after that the tension was gone, Judy was comfortable and the audience loved her more than ever.
Judy can still make a song her own, and though most of her years were spent before the camera, the old trouping spirit of her beginnings in vaudeville is still alive within her and she knows how to wrap her audience around her little finger.
Composer at Piano
She sang most of the old songs like “You’ve [sic] Made Me Love You” and the “Trolley Song” – with the composer, Hugh Martin, at the piano – in the style that is distinctly her own with the gift that every singer of any persuasion must have if he is to win his audience and make his point – the ability to make the words understood. You could understand Judy’s words, all of them, and she colored and caressed them for all they were worth.
After the string songs there was the “Get Happy” number with the goys, then Judy came out in her tramp costume to do “We’re a Couple of Swells” with Jack McClendon and then she was really inimitable – a tussled little ragamuffin of a Charlie Chaplin with a battered top hat, a couple of teeth missing and a smile that would melt an iceberg.
Sings ‘Over the Rainbow’
There could have been only one climax after that and apparently that was what everyone was waiting for. She sat down on the edge of the stage and with her legs dangling over the footlights sang “Over the Rainbow” from “The Wizard of Oz,” without a mike and with the guides and heart-reaching simplicity that proclaimed founder than any capital letters that Judy Garland had made her comeback in Hollywood.
That was supposed to have been the end but it wasn’t. The waves of applause swell again and down the aisle came 15 ushers – we counted ‘em – bearing what seemed to be a junior edition of the International Flower Show. When the bouquets were finally all arranged they spread clear across the stage and Judy in her tramp outfit said good night with a catch in her voice and everyone went home happy.
Judy, of course, was what everyone came to see but the first half of the evening had its diversions, too. The note of old-time vaudeville was struck right off with the Shyrettos and their cycling act that looked so easy some of us old bike hands will probably endanger our lives trying out the new ideas come the first warm Sunday.
Then there was Bob Williams’ dog act – an old standby with some new twists, with a Springer that seemed to be made of rubber and a little white mutt that had the whole house rooting for him while he warmed up for his backward flips.
Giselle and Francois Szony did some smart novelty dancing with ballet trimmings, Jesse James and Cornell took care of the inevitable tap dancing in neat style, and an English newcomer, Max Bygraves, got a little trying before he called it a day but did come up with a few good jokes.
Society Editor Cordell Hick’s column:
Vaudeville Fans Rub Elbows With Society Folk, Acclaim Judy’s Magic
“Zip, zip, hoo-ray!”
And we mean “zip.” The little girl with the big voice, Judy Garland, had plenty of it last night, plus her seasoned trouper’s magic of experience.
There to cheer her until hoarse, with dignity cast aside in the fever of excitement, was one of the most heterogeneous and interesting audiences we have ever seen in Los Angeles.
The Does Were There
John and Jane Doe were there. So were the cinema great and the would-be greats. Society came and the city fathers were well represented at Philharmonic Auditorium. But our favorites were the followers of vaudeville who haven’t had any vaudeville to follow for a long time – you couldn’t miss them for they know the lingo and were employing and enjoying it.
First nighters at the preseason-opening to the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera Association’s 15th season witnessed one of the liveliest interludes of “show business” in many years here and the elite guffawed and clapping with enthusiasm equaling that of the ticket buyer who spent his last shekel to see the show.
Mr. and Mrs. Henry Ford II flew in from Detroit in their private plane expressly to attend the performance. With them were Howell van Gerbig and the Allen Merrells. The Fords and their party will remain in Bel-Air until Thursday and are here on a pleasure trip only, a spokesman said.
Preopening parties included those of Mr. and Mrs. D.A. Doran at Perinos; the Hoyt Mitchels’ dinner at the same spot for Mr. and Mrs. Norman Herman; Mr. and Mrs. Cyril Nigg’s gathering at their Mulrfield Road home for the George Wells from San Marino and the J.K. Nunans and Mr. and Mrs. Nelson A. Howard Jr.’s no-host dinner at the California Club.
Others dining early at the California Club included the Elvon Musicks party with Messrs. and Mmes. Neil Petree, George Martin, Robert Lawson, Roy McLean Van Wart and George Baraclough.
Film Folk Attend
Prominent Movie Industry personalities glimpsed in the foyer were Messrs. and Mmes. Henry Hathaway, William Goetz, Charles Skouras, Jerry Wald, Joe Pasternak, Sam Goldwyn, Jack Warner, Humphrey Bogart, Van Johnson, Eddie Mannix, Henry Koster, Dick Powell, Stewart Granger, Mervyn Leroy, Robert Mitchum and Bert Allenberg.
The dowager queen of the legitimate stage, Ethel Barrymore, was there to toss a few “Bravos!” stageward in Judy’s direction … More were Lana Turner, Fernando Lamas, Judith Anderson and Peter Lawford.
Entertaining before the initial performance were Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Coates with Dr. and Mrs. Reginald A. Stocking for the Rober Heinzes and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Stanley. Following the performance the group celebrated birthdays of Mrs. Stocking and Mrs. Heinze with a champagne party.
Other Parties Held
Mme. Yeatman Griffith and her son, William Griffith had as guests Constance Moore and her husband, John Maschio. Dr. and Mrs. William Quinn were dinner hosts at the Jonathan Club for Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Viault.
Others attending the opening night included Messrs. and Mmes. William J. Brandenburgh, George Schaufer, Irving Day, Herman Slemers, Lloyd Dodson, Frederick H. Murray, John Ferraro, Loren Le Munyon, Leon and Matson, Charles Lick, James McReynolds, John Newell Hunt, Olin Wellborn III, Stuart Cooper and Lon V. Smith.
April 22, 1962: Judy wrote this letter to a fan.
April 22, 1962: Judy is briefly mentioned in this article about Hollywood astrologer Carroll Righter. Judy never called on his services, but it’s an interesting article and shows that “astrologers to the stars” is nothing new.
April 22, 1965: Judy returned to the Memorial Auditorium at the Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina. She had previously appeared there on April 17, 1961, which was the last concert before her legendary show at New York’s Carnegie Hall. This 1965 show was a Democratic Gala that raised money for the state’s Democratic party. Judy sang “several Cole Porter songs.” No recording of this appearance is known to exist.
April 22, 1987: This article appeared in a Danish newspaper “Ekstra Bladet” about a showing of A Child is Waiting on Danish TV. Scan provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim!
April 22, 2004: The fourth night of TCM’s month-long celebration of Judy as their Star of the Month. Every Thursday in April was devoted to Judy’s films, documentaries, and more. April 15th was themed “The Ugly Duckling Becomes A Swan” (see below).
TCM’s focus on Judy made sense because that same month Warner Home Video premiered Meet Me In St. Louis on DVD for the first time in a special 2-disc edition. Additionally, several other Garland films made their debut on DVD: Love Finds Andy Hardy; Ziegfeld Girl; For Me And My Gal; and In The Good Old Summertime – sold separately or as part of the new boxed set “The Judy Garland Signature Collection.”
DVD Press Release (with details and pics) here (scroll to the bottom of the page).
The TCM schedule for the month was as follows (all times Eastern):
Thursday, April 1 – The Beginning
8 p.m. – Broadway Melody of 1938 (’37)
10 p.m. – Listen Darling (’38)
11:30 p.m. – The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: 50 Years of Magic (’90)
12:30 a.m. – Little Nellie Kelly (’40)
2:30 a.m. – Everybody Sing (’38)
4:30 a.m. – Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry (’37)
6 a.m. – Thousands Cheer (’43) (Cameo)
Thursday, April 8 – Judy and Mickey
8 p.m. – Girl Crazy (’43)
10 p.m. – Babes on Broadway (’41)
12 a.m. – Strike Up the Band (’40)
2:15 a.m. – Babes in Arms (’39)
4 a.m. – Love Finds Andy Hardy (’38)
5:45 a.m. – Andy Hardy Meets Debutante (’40)
7:15 a.m. – Life Begins for Andy Hardy (’41)
Thursday, April 15 – The Ugly Duckling Becomes A Swan
8 p.m. – For Me and My Gal (’42)
10 p.m. – Meet Me in St. Louis (’44)
12 a.m. – The Clock (’45)
2 a.m. – Presenting Lily Mars (’43)
4 a.m. – Ziegfeld Girl (’41)
6:30 a.m. – Ziegfeld Follies (’46) (cameo)
Thursday, April 22 – In Glorious Technicolor
8 p.m. – The Harvey Girls (’46)
10 p.m. – The Pirate (’48)
12 a.m. – In the Good Old Summertime (’49)
2 a.m. – Summer Stock (’50)
4 a.m. – Easter Parade (’48)
Thursday, April 29 – Life After MGM
8 p.m. – A Star is Born (’54)
11 p.m. – A Child is Waiting (’63)
1 a.m. – Judgment at Nuremberg (’61)
4:30 a.m. – Impressions of Garland (’72) (documentary)
6 a.m. – Words and Music (’48) (cameo)