On This Day In Judy Garland’s Life And Career – April 23

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On this day…

For more details and more photos, check out The Judy Room’s Facebook Page where daily “on this day” updates are posted chronicling Judy Garland’s incredibly rich and busy life!

Note:  Colorization and effects added to the collage above created by Adrian Wild.  Thanks, Adrian!


April 23, 1938:  In her column, Louella Parsons notes that Judy is set to wear her “first evening dress” in the upcoming production of Love Finds Andy Hardy.  Judy began work on the film that May.  The “blond vamp” Parsons talks about ended up being played by Lana Turner, a new contract player at the studio who made quite a name for herself at the studio.


Lester Stoeffen, Judy Garland, Paulette Goddard and Bill Tilden play tennis at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles April 21, 1940

April 23, 1940:   Louella Parsons’ column reported on a recent tennis fundraiser for the British War Relief that Judy took part in.  The event took place on Sunday, April 21, 1940, which was Judy’s only day off during the week although this event didn’t give Judy a real “day off.”  The preceding week was devoted to working on Strike Up The Band, including rehearsing the “Gay Nineties” number as well as the start of filming on April 19th filming scenes on the “Interior Library” set.  Most days lasted from 9 a.m. through 6 or 6:30 p.m.

Judy Garland plays tennis with Lester Stoeffen in the background, April 21, 1940 at the Ambassador Hotel in Los AngelesSeveral pictures of the tennis event were taken including those shown here.  The caption (provided by MGM who sent a photographer to the event) for the photo above reads STARLETS AT TENNIS … Judy Garland and Paulette Goddard against Lester Stoeffen and Bill Tilden, at the tennis matches staged at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles for British War Relief.  Miss Garland and Mickey Rooney took time off from their work at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer for the matches.  Left to right, Lester Stoeffen, Judy Garland, Paulette Goddard and Bill Tilden.

Parsons wrote:  Outstanding event of the week-end, the tennis matches at the Ambassador with Bill Tilden and Paulette Goddard meeting Lester Stoeffen and Judy Garland for mixed doubles and Tilden and Mickey Rooney teaming against Stefan and Rudy Valle for men’s doubles.  The gals made hits (both literally and figuratively) but Mickey stole the show, rolling his pants to his knees and admonishing Tilden “Uncle Bill, you’ll have to do better than that!”

On this day (April 23) at MGM Judy was at work on Strike Up The Band pre-recording the “Nell of New Rochelle” production number with the rest of the cast.

Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, June Preisser in "Strike Up The Band" (MGM 1940)The 19-minute sequence includes excerpts from “The Sidewalks Of New York (East Side, West Side)”, Walking Down Broadway”, “Light Cavalry (Overture)”, “After The Ball”, “I Just Can’t Make My Eyes Behave”, “Over The Waves”, “Heaven Will Protect The Working Girl”, “While Strolling Through The Park One Day” (aka “The Fountain By The Park)” (deleted), “Home Sweet Home”, “Flower Song”, “Ta-Ra-Ra-Boom-Dee-É”, “Father, Dear Father, Come Home With Me Now”, “Wintermarchen”, “Curse Of An Aching Heart” (deleted), and “Jingle Bells.”  The complete sequence was included on the 1995 Rhino Records 4-CD set “Mickey & Judy – The Judy Garland & Mickey Rooney Collection” which is to date the only comprehensive collection of the soundtracks to all four of the Rooney/Garland film musicals.

As if that wasn’t enough work, later that evening Judy made her weekly appearance on “The Pepsodent Show Starring Bob Hope” on NBC Radio.  No information is known about the show other than the fact that jazz bandleader “Skinnay” Ennis and series regular Jerry Colonna also appeared.  It’s safe to assume that Judy sang two songs as she usually did.


Ontra Cafeteria Chicago April 23, 1941 ad featuring Judy Garland in MGM's

April 23, 1941:  This amusing tie-in to Ziegfeld Girl ran in the Chicago Times.  Ontra Cafeteria cleverly used Judy’s image as well as the current popularity of the film to bring in customers.  I hope it worked!  The cafeterias listed in this ad were part of a popular chain that began in Chicago in 1909.  The third location “uptown” could seat more than 1,200 people at a time.  Sadly the cafeterias no longer exist, the last one having been sold in the early 1960s.  A McDonald’s now occupies the uptown spot on Wilson & Sheridan.  Progress. 😦

Check out The Judy Room’s Extensive Spotlight Section on Ziegfeld Girl at http://www.thejudyroom.com/ziegfeldgirl.html


Costume Test - Judy Garland in

April 23, 1949:  Annie Get Your Gun filming continued with the “U.S. and European Montages” scenes.  Time called: 8 a.m. in makeup; Judy arrived at 7:50 a.m., 10 minutes early; due on set: 9 a.m.; arrived at 9:42 a.m. at Backlot #3; ready at 9:57 a.m.; lunch: 12:00-1:00 p.m.; time dismissed: 4:35 p.m.  The footage for these scenes no longer exists.

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Pages on Annie Get Your Gun at  http://www.thejudyroom.com/annie.html


Judy Garland at Carnegie HallApril 23, 1961:  “The Greatest Night In Show Business History” occurred when Judy took the stage at New York’s Carnegie Hall.  The concert was a stunning success as well, of course, and the apex of Judy’s 1960/61 concert tour.  Gone were the vaudeville trappings of her previous shows, it was all Judy and the band in what was, to steal a phrase from Time Magazine’s review of Judy’s 1954 masterpiece A Star Is Born, “the greatest one-woman show” in history.  “Judy at Carnegie Hall” was and is the gold standard by which all other one-woman concerts would be judged.

The original LP version of "Judy at Carnegie Hall"
The original LP version of “Judy at Carnegie Hall”

Brilliantly arranged and conducted by Mort Lindsey, “Judy at Carnegie Hall” was recorded by Capitol Records and the resulting 2-record set was a stunning success, spending 13 weeks in the #1 spot upon its release that July, and winning 5 Grammy Awards.  It has never been out of print.

For information about all of the various releases of the album check out The Judy Garland Discography’s “Judy at Carnegie Hall” pages at http://www.thejudyroom.com/capitol/carnegie.html.


Judy Garland at Carnegie Hall April 23, 1961

April 23, 1962:  On the one-year anniversary of “Judy at Carnegie Hall” Judy reminisced about the concert on the live radio show “Make Believe Ballroom” broadcast out of New York.  Listen to, and download, the complete interview here: April 23, 1962 WNEW Interview

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