On this day…
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April 29, 1937: Here’s a fun notice about Judy’s recent appearances on Jack Oakie’s “Jack Oakie’s College” radio show. The photo was quite popular and used throughout the year to promot the show and Judy’s association with it as a series regular.
April 29, 1938: The first known work for Judy on The Wizard of Oz. She posed for this preliminary hair and makeup test. She wouldn’t have any more work on “Oz” until production began that following September.
A year later on April 29, 1938, this fun blurb went out, courtesy of the MGM Publicity Department. It notes that The Wizard of Oz would have 200,000 sound effects including 8,000 birds allegedly recorded at Catalina Island.
April 29, 1943: Presenting Lily Mars premiered in New York. It was another success for Judy and MGM. The film was also a big step forward in advancing Judy to adult roles, although her first adult role (excepting her bit in Little Nellie Kelly as the title character’s mother), was a year prior with 1942’s For Me And My Gal.
Presenting Lily Mars presented to the public, for the first time, a very glamourized Judy via the big finale that ended the film. For the next few years, Judy blossomed on screen at her most beautiful as she became MGM’s biggest female musical star.
April 29, 1953: Judy headlined “The Blue Grass Festival” in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky’s governor Lawrence Wetherby proclaimed this day as “Judy Garland Day” in the entire state. Judy’s show was her Palace show, with a few alterations, and was part of the Derby Week event. She was backed by Vaughn Monroe and His Orchestra and received a standing ovation for her closing number, “My Old Kentucky Home,” accompanied by a single violin.
The Louisville Kentucky Courier-Journal published this report the following day:
Judy Garland Doffs Shoes And Sings at Lexington
An audience of 8,000 was on hand for the show that starred Miss Garland, Faughn Monroe and his band and comedian Frank Fontaine.
The show tomorrow night will feature comedian Bob Hope and Marilyn Maxwell. They’re due in Lexington tomorrow afternoon. Buddy Morrow and his band and dancers Nicholas and Julia Darvas will be the supporting stars.
Today was Judy Garland Day in Kentucky, proclaimed by Governor Wetherby.
Miss Garland was introduced with a medley of popular songs, “Me and My Gal,” “You Made Me Love You,” “The Boy Next Door,” and “The Trolley Song.”
The singer, dressed in a fluttery-skirted green dress and black shoes, doffer her shoes during the show and explained, “They’re new and they hurt.”
She talked some about her life being tied up in her songs and recalled her shows at the Palace Theater in New York.
There are no known recordings of this performance.
April 29, 1962: The glamorous and chic Judy Garland in London to begin work on her next (and ultimately final) film, I Could Go On Singing.
Also on April 29, 1962: This fabulous photo appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney, Australia. The article reported on Judy’s recent recording/semi-concert at the Manhattan Center in New York just a few days before on April 26th.
NEW YORK, Saturday – Judy Garland Gave her most unusual performance last night.
Before 1,000 people at the Manhattan Centre, the entertainer:
• Broke off in mid-note, wiper her forehead and moaned, “damn, damn, damn.”
• Shed her jacket and shoes
• Took a bow – and almost fell down.
But the audience at the centre just cheered.
From the start, their aim seemed to be to reassure the 1939 Academy Award winner, who was recording a new album.
They cheered when Judy began by saying: “I have an interesting news not, I have no voice.”
“I have the most awful case of laryngitis imaginable, but I’ll try to sing. So let’s take a whirl at it.”
They cheered when she finished the first song, “Sail Away,” after she had sung it three times to make sure it was right.
They cheered when, a sheet of her lyrics in her hand, she muttered “I’m getting so old I can’t see.” (Judy was 39 last June.)
• Picture shows Miss Garland on the stage.
The session was an attempt by Capitol Records recorded a “live” recording session, starting at midnight, for their planned album “Judy Takes Broadway.” Due to Judy’s laryngitis, a complete album was never released although in 1989 Capitol released most of the surviving good takes on CD titled “Judy Garland Live.”
An outtake of “Why Can’t I?” premiered on the 2002 CD set “Judy Garland – The Capitol Years – 1955-1965.”
April 29, 1964: The Australian newspapers were gearing up for Judy’s upcoming tour, her first and only tour down under which began when she arrived on May 11th and included concerts in Sydney and Melbourne. The concerts were Judy’s first work since the end of her T.V. series just six weeks prior.
The Pot of Gold
by NEIL JILLETT
HOW much booty do overseas entertainers take out of Australia? Although their fees are not always revealed, it is known that several have been paid £25,000 or more for short seasons here.
Judy Garland, for example, will receive £8000 for each of four concerts in Australia. This makes a comfortable total of £32,000, earned at the rate of £1 a second – quite a pot of gold to fnd at the end of her well-known rainbow.
The Taxation department, while not willing to go into the confidential matter of individual cases, says the tax on, say, £30,000 would be around £20,000.
But entertainers can use expenses to make a big hole in the taxable amount. If an entertainer paid his own accommodation and supporting artists, his tax on that £30,000 would be considerably less than £20,000.
Our guess is that Miss Garland will leave Australia at least £13,000 richer than when she came.
As one of the Taxation department men said, deadpan: “I don’t think these American entertainers lose money by coming out here.”
April 29, 1967: Judy’s departure from Valley of the Dolls was big news. As you can see from the clippings, there was some confusion as to whether Judy was fired or quit.
April 29, 2004: The final 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) –
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)