On This Day In Judy Garland’s Life And Career – May 1

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On this day…

“The town is so small the train stops there only for laughs.”
– Judy Garland about her birthplace, Grand Rapids, Minnesota


Judy Garland costume test for "For Me And My Gal"

May 1, 1942:  Filming on For Me And My Gal continued with scenes on the “Interior Jo’s Hotel Room/Interior Harry’s Room” set.  Time called: 10 a.m.; dismissed: 5:55 p.m.


Original text on the back of the first photo in the trio above reads JUDY AND GENE . . . Judy Garland, in a dramatic scene from M-G-M’s “For Me And My Gal,” story of vaudeville and its people played against the background of the year 1919, tells Gene Kelly that she isn’t happy his self injured hand will keep him out of the army and enable them to keep on the stage. Busby Berkeley directed and Arthur Freed produced. (provided by Kim Lundgreen, thanks, Kim!)

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Pages on For Me And My Gal here.


"Garlands for Judy" - Judy Garland on the MGM Backlot

May 1, 1947:  The Pirate filming continued with scenes on the “Exterior Don Pedro’s House” set which was actually the “Verona Square” set on MGM’s Backlot #2 (originally constructed for the 1936 adaptation of Romeo and Juliet).  Time called: 10:30 a.m.; dismissed: 2:10 p.m.

The image above is a page from the “Garlands for Judy” article “Judy on the Backlot” [link is to the PDF of the article] which goes into detail about MGM’s famous backlot and where on that backlot scenes in  Judy’s movies were filmed.

Also be sure to check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Pages on The Pirate here.


May 1, 1953:  This great photo (see below) of Judy accompanied this article about Judy’s success opening the Blue Grass Festival the previous night at the Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Kentucky.  The photo was one of many taken during Judy’s visit to the local Shriner’s Children’s Hospital.

Judy Garland at the Bluegrass Derby Week in Louisville, Kentucky May 1, 1953

Judy Garland Sings Fine Tune About Wonders of Bluegrass
By Joe Reister

Judy Garland at the Shriner's Children's Hospital in Lexington, KentuckyLEXINGTON, Ky., April 30 – Petite Judy Garland thinks either Native Dancer or Correspondent will win all the gold and glory in Saturday’s 79th Kentucky Derby.

The talented actress’ opinion about the probable winner of The Run for the Roses jibes with that of most of the so-called turf experts.

Judy, however, insists she doesn’t know one horse from another.  “Honestly, I’m really dull about this business of picking the Derby winner.”

She’s Not A Green Hand

But the hardboots down here in this race-horse section would describe the singing star of the movies and entertainment world as being “better than a green hand” at picking hosses.

Miss Garland appeared last night at huge Memorial Coliseum as one of the stars in the first of the two shows sponsored by Blue Grass Festivals, Incorporated.  The new organization plans to bring top-flight entertainment to Lexington as an attraction for Derby visitors and townfolk.

The dark-haired singer, who isn’t one white over 5 feet tall, appeared with Vaughn Monroe, nationally known band leader, and other entertainers.

Between numbers, Judy took time out to sing the praises of the Bluegrass country.  “Your country around here is simply wonderful,” she said.  “I’m really wild about it.”

Takes Time Out for Praise

In response to a jesting remark that she was “just being nice about saying Lexington and the Bluegrass was wonderful,” the singer said:

“No, cross my heart, I mean every word of it.  You see I am making my first trip to Lexington, in fact, my first trip to Kentucky.  I have heard so many nice things about this section.  Now that I have seen it, I am inclined to believe some things I was told were real understatements instead of the other way around.”

Judy and her husband, Sid Luft, are house guests of Mrs. Edward S. Moore at nearby Circle M Farm.  They will watch the running of the Derby from a vantage point in one of Mrs. Moore’s boxes.

Judy Garland at the Shriners Hospital in Lexington, KYWhen told that all the girls around would want to know what she planned to wear to the Derby, Judy replied:

“By golly, I haven’t thought much about that.  If it is a dull, rather cool day, I’ll wear a suit.  If it is nice and bright, I’ll wear a light dress.”

Outside of the charms of the Bluegrass countryside and the “oh, so very nice hospitality of all its people,” Judy likes best to talk about her husband’s plans to produce a film centered around the great Man o’ War.

Will Make Movie About Great Horse

“You see, Sid and I are associated in the production of movies in Hollywood.  He has a wonderful script on this story of Man o’ War.  I have read it and it is really good, I think.  The story will tell of the racing career of the great horse and the effect that career had on the lives of people closest to him.”

Luft spent some time today and will spend more later this week in looking over farms and countryside here as possible sites for scenes of his Man o’ War movie.

Judy’s plans for the future?

I’ll return to Hollywood sometime in June to start work on a new picture, ‘A Star Is Born,’ which Sid and I will produce.”  The story is a remake of the one in which Janet Gaynor starred.


Judy Garland at the Flamingo in Las Vegas 1957

Judy Garland at the Flamingo in Las Vegas May 1957May 1, 1957:  Judy returned to Las Vegas for a three-week engagement at the Flamingo Hotel.  Her 90-minute act included “Lucky Day”; “How About Me?” (soon to be released on her new “Alone” album from Capitol Records); “Rock-a-Bye Your Baby”; “Mean To Me”; “By Myself”; “The Man That Got Away”; “Come Rain Or Come Shine”; “A Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow”; “A Couple of Swells”; and “Over The Rainbow.”  Judy was joined by Sid Krofft & His Puppets, and she joked to the press that the puppets’ wardrobe cost more than hers, allegedly a $50,000 Balmain wardrobe.

Liza Minnelli joins her mother, Judy Garland, on stage at the Flamingo in Las Vegas 195711-year-old Liza was part of the act on May 18th singing “In Between” and four-and-a-half old Lorna sang “Jingle Bells” (which was Judy’s official stage debut song at Christmas way back in 1924).

Louella Parsons reported in her column that the opening night audience surprised Judy: Judy Garland nearly fell apart when, as a tribute to her singing “Over the Rainbow,” the entire first-night audience at the Las Vegas Flamingo rose to its feet in the middle of the song and stood silently until she finished.

Columnist Mike Connolly reported:  Pearl Bailey stayed over in Las Vegas after her engagement at the Flamingo to catch Judy Garland’s gala opening, same spot.  Pearl phoned me next day with this – “Who can top that Judy?  I’m coming back in October, Honey, but I’m not coming alone – I’m gonna have 16 Navajo Indians backing me up!”



May 1, 1961:  Judy fulfilled a prophecy.


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