May 2, 1928: The first night of a three-night engagement of “The Gumm Family” at patriarch Frank Gumm’s Valley Theater in Lancaster, California.
May 2, 1930: “The Gumm Sisters” (Judy and her two sisters) performed at their father’s theater, the Valley Theater in Lancaster, California.
May 2, 1943: This article is a perfect example of how “legends” get started. It was allegedly written by Judy but was most likely written by the MGM Publicity Department. It made the rounds of various newspapers on this day and subsequent days. There’s no way to tell definitively if Judy’s stories are ones she actually told or if they were made up by MGM. Considering how busy Judy was at this time it’s doubtful she had time to take a writing assignment when the studio had a cadre of people to do it. The story about Judy’s fingernails at the Babes in Arms premiere has been repeated many times as fact when it’s most likely untrue.
Started On Day Of Birth, Judy Says.
By Judy Garland
Hollywood, May 1 (NANA) – Just call me “Judy Put-Your-Foot-In-It.” If there is anyone who commits more faux pas than I do, let him speak now or forever hold his peace. I’d like to see the poor unfortunate. It would be interesting to compare notes.
My very first boner was registered June 10, 1922. The day I was born. Mother and dad expected a boy. In fact, they were so sure that they had decided to hame him Frank. Then I appeared. Frank became Frances, and my parents graciously concealed their disappointment.
Three years later, I did it again. My father managed the local theater in Grand Rapids, Minn. Occasionally my sisters, Sue and Virginia, appeared in a song duet on the vaudeville program. This particular night I was brought to the theater and told to remain quietly in the dressing room. Mother was playing the piano for the act and dad was busy in the box office. I was on my own.
Taking advantage of the situation and wanting desperately to sing, I marched right out on the stage just as the girls were coming off. I sang “Jingle Bells.” It would have been all right if I had sung it once. I repeated it seven times before dad rushed on the stage to carry a kicking and squealing baby back into the wings. I’ve never lived it down.
One of the most exciting nights of my life turned out to be one of the most embarrassing. It was the premiere of “Babes in Arms,” and the night Mickey and I placed our foot and handprints in the forecourt of Grauman’s Chinese theater. I wanted to look more glamorous than ever before in honor of this great occasion. Now, I must confess I had the habit of biting my fingernails. I was just sick that I couldn’t have long, glittering fingertips. But the manicurist promised to fix that up for me. She did – by putting false nails on.
After I placed my hands in the cement, we went inside to see the picture. Suddenly I thought creeping paralysis had set in, beginning at my fingertips. They were numb and heavy. I was in a cold sweat before we left the theater – then I realized some of the cement had gotten under my nails and hardened on the false ones. I went to a party afterward feeling much like the “tiger woman with talons.” The next day I had to have them chipped off. The manicurist considered using a blowtorch for the job, but finally settled for a small hammer.
Then there was the night of my first formal dinner party. It was at Jackie Cooper’s home. I had quite a crush on Jackie at the time and was so nervous that manipulating the fork from the plate to mouth was a most hazardous journey for me. Came dessert time. Plates were brought on which were a lace doily and finger bowl. Not familiar with the custom of removing both doily and finger bowl to the side, I removed the bowl, but completely forgot the doily. I then helped myself to a generous share of chocolate soufflé.
Forgot Colonel Is Not Corporal.
At the first bite I discovered, to my utter hour, that I had not only a mouthful of soufflé, but a good part of the doily as well. All I could t think of was the tittering among the servants when my plate was brought into the kitchen displaying half a doily. Slyly I managed to stuff the other half into my pocket before dinner was over.
You’d think I would improve with age and not get into such ridiculous situations. I haven’t – not one bit.
Only last week I returned home, tired after a hard day’s work on my new picture. After a shower, I pinned my hair atop my head, threw on an old flannel robe and sat down to dinner with my husband. Just as we were finishing, the doorbell rang. I answered to find two motion picture stars (whose name for obvious reasons will not be mentioned). I had invited them to dinner and had completely forgotten about it.
“Why, hello,” I gulped. “Do come in. I was just changing.”
I dashed madly into the kitchen and asked the cook to put dinner for four on the table. She looked at me as if I were a bit insane. But, bless her, she came through. Fifteen minutes later, I strolled nonchalantly into the dining room, sat down to my second dinner of the evening. However, I will never forget those first few minutes.
On the camp tour I made recently, it was my fate to commit an almost unforgettable breach. I knew very little about army and rank. Insignia meant nothing to me. One afternoon, mother and I attended a tea at the Officers’ Club. We were introduced to everyone.
“Judy, I’d like you to meet Colonel So-and-So,” one of the guests said.
I acknowledged the introduction and after a long conversation with the gentleman, left saying, “It’s been a pleasure meeting you, Corporal!”
Yes, Judy Garland is indeed French for faux pas.
May 2, 1942: Filming on For Me And My Gal continued with scenes shot on the “Interior Eve’s Apartment” set.
April 2, 1943: Judy left Los Angeles at 2:00 p.m. for Palm Springs and location shooting for Girl Crazy.
May 2, 1945: St. Louis fashions. Six months after its premiere, Meet Me In St. Louis is still popular as evidenced by this blurb about the fashions reviewed by the college board of St. Louis, Missouri. “Judy Garland’s movie costumes are responsible.”
May 2, 1949: Filming continued on the “I’m An Indian, Too” number for Annie Get Your Gun. A studio photographer was on the set on this day and snapped these photos. In the third pic, Judy is shown with her longtime makeup guru Dottie Ponedel and fellow film star Joan Blondell.
On this day, Judy was due at the studio and in the makeup chair at 7:30 a.m., on the set at 9 a.m. She arrived on set on time. Lunch was from 11:58 a.m. – 12:58 p.m. The assistant director’s notes state: “2:01-2:18 – Wait for Miss Garland – went to her dressing room ill at 1:30 p.m.; doctor called and was to meet her there. Miss Garland on arrival at studio informed Asst. Director that she was indisposed and not feeling well, but that she would work until the number was completed and the dancing group would be finished after which time she would go home.” Time dismissed: 2:40 p.m. at which time Judy went home ill.”
In spite of her being ill, Judy managed to look happy for the photographer as these photographs prove.
This was the last noted day of shooting on the “I’m An Indian, Too” number. The footage survives. The complete footage was released on a bootleg VHS in the 1980s however that footage is very murky looking. Warner Home Video remastered the footage and presented an abridged version in the 1994 film That’s Entertainment! III as well as on the 2000 DVD release of the final film starring Betty Hutton. That DVD release was also abridged, leaving out the multiple attempts by “Annie” to become an Indian (“Am I an Indian yet?”). At some point, it would be nice to see all of the footage remastered and edited together to present the entire sequence as it was intended to be seen.
April 2, 1961: Judy was in concert at The Mosque Theater in Newark, New Jersey.
May 2, 1962: Judy and Dirk Bogarde participated in a ninety-minute press reception for I Could Go On Singing (which began filming in mid-May 1962) held at the Dorchester Hotel in London, England.
During the press conference, Judy mentioned she’d be re-recording the “quieter songs” for the “Judy Takes Broadway” Capitol album while in London. That session never happened. However, additional session tapes for the album were dated May 10, 1962, and included notes that “master sent to Andy Wiswell [Judy’s record producer] 5-10-62 [via] overseas shipment.” Judy and Wiswell worked in England on the soundtrack to “I Could Go On Singing.” The tapes sent to Wiswell were derived from the April 18 rehearsal and the April 28 session.
Photos provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim!
Also on May 2, 1962: “The Judy Garland Show” was nominated for four Primetime Emmy Awards: Outstanding Program Achievements in the Fields of Variety and Music – Variety; The Program of the Year; Best Musical Performance; and Best Art Direction. At this point, “The Judy Garland Show” meant her February 25, 1962, special with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, commonly known as “Judy, Frank, and Dean,” and not the 1963/64 series. Although quite a number of stars were nominated in the various categories, Judy’s name is the one that made the headlines with most touting “Judy Garland Vs. Queen Victoria.” Unfortunately, the show did not win any of the awards when they were given out on May 22, 1962.
May 1, 1963: A year later I Could Go On Singing was in wide release. Below are scans of the British campaign book, also provided by Kim Lundgreen. Click on the images to see details. Thanks, Kim!
April 2, 1972: Here’s a fun ad for a showing of “World Famous ‘Movie Memories'” which were no doubt purchased at the MGM auction in 1970. Note that Judy gets billing over everyone, including Garbo. It’s unknown what costumes, props, and scenery were shown. Maybe someone out there has snapshots from the exhibit?