On This Day In Judy Garland’s Life And Career – May 5

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“[Judy Garland] hates necking” – Sheliah Graham, 1941

May 5, 1933:  “The Gumm Sisters” (Judy as her sisters) made a personal appearance at the reception/open house for the Hamburger Memorial Home for Jewish Orphans (a home for Jewish working girls); Los Angeles, California.  The girls were mistakenly billed as “The Gunn Sisters.”).

The Garland Sisters

May 5, 1935:  “The Garland Sisters” were in the middle of their weeklong run at San Francisco’s Orpheum Theater.  The theater is still there and still hosts a variety of shows.



May 5, 1938:  Judy’s last appearance on the “Good News of 1938” radio show for NBC.  She had been making regular weekly appearances (more or less) on the show up to this point and appeared again several times in 1939 when it was renamed “Good News of 1939.”

According to the papers, this episode featured:
Clark Gable, one of the screen’s biggest box-office attractions, will re-enact his famous role of “Blackie” in “Manhattan Melodrama” when he makes a return engagement on “Good News of 1938” today.  Robert Young, popular young MGM featured player, will be master-of-ceremonies for the second successive week, when the program is broadcast over the NBC-WFBC network at 8 p.m. “How Baby Snooks Eats a Meal,” a course-by-course description of broken dishes and resultant indigestion for Daddy, will be presented by Fanny Brice as one of her famous comedy skits.  And Frank Morgan will again do his best to “oust” Robert Young as master-of-ceremonies. Meredith Willson will lead his orchestra in “The Most Beloved Serenade Ever Written,” as his MGM concert hall feature.  Two compositions in Willson’s series of the “Ten Kinds of Melody” remain to be played after this broadcast – “The Most Beloved Spiritual” and “The Most Beloved American Melody.”Willson will also play two other numbers – “Something Tells Me” and the late George Gershwin’s “Love Walked In” and provide the musical accompaniment for the popular singing of Judy Garland.  The 14-year-old MGM starlet is preparing special arrangements of two current hit tunes for Maxwell House Coffee. Gable was hailed for his smooth microphone preview performance of “Test Pilot” in a recent program.  This will make his third “Good News” performance.

Judy sang the following:

“God’s Country”


“How Deep Is The Ocean?”

Download the complete show here (zip file).

All of Judy’s songs from this show were expertly restored and remastered and included on the 2010 4-CD boxed set “Judy Garland – Lost Tracks – 1929-1959.”

Judy Garland is Sweet Sixteen

May 5, 1939:
  Judy is “Sweet Sixteen.”

Judy Garland and David Rose - 1941
May 5, 1941:
  Sheilah Graham devoted her entire “Hollywood today” column to Judy and her marital plans.  The column is dated May 4 but was published first published on the 5th.  Although Graham reports that Judy didn’t think she and David Rose would get married, he became Judy’s first husband when they were married just a few months later on July 28, 1941.  The article is filled with interesting, but untrue, factoids about Judy, such as the fact that she was buddies with Greta Garbo and that she was composing a concerto – by ear!  Oh, that MGM Publicity Department!

On this day at MGM, Judy was ill and did not work.

Sheilah Graham's Hollywood, May 4 –
Judy Garland and Dave Rose sat in front of me at the Deanna Durbin-Vaughn Paul marriage ceremony.  Every one in a while Judy furtively brushed away a tear.  “Of course, I cried,” she told me later in the evening.  “It was so beautiful – all the music and the flowers!  A few days later Judy was reversing her judgment.

“When I get married, she said over tea and cakes in her Bel-Air house, “It will not be like Deanna’s.  I won’t have it so publicly in a big church.  I’ll have the ceremony at home.  There won’t bet the 900 or so people Deanna invited.  I’ll just have a few close friends.  It won’t be in the evening (Deanna’s was at 8:30 P.M.), I’d like to have the sun streaming through the windows.  And it won’t have all-white flowers like Deanna did.  I’d like a gayer color scheme.  Some girls,” continues Judy, “Dream of a big wedding and all the trimmings that go with it.  And that’s all right for them.  But not me. All this led to the question:  “Well, when are you going to marry?”  Judy has been “going with” Dave Rose, ex-husband of Martha Raye, for nearly a year.  He will be free to marry about as soon as this story is in print, but from what Judy tells me, I doubt whether they will become husband and wife.  “I like him very much,” said Judy, “but we haven’t talked about marriage.  And if we ever do, it won’t be for a long time yet.”  (At least not before this story appears, I begged Judy, and she said, “Don’t worry about that.”)

She Hates Necking.

And here is more proof (perhaps) that Judy will remain in single blessedness – at least as far as Mr. Rose is concerned.  “I still hate necking,” she told me.  “I even hate the word.  I guess it’s all right to do when you’re in love.  So far I have not necked.”  After a slight shudder, Judy continued, “girls look so unattractive after a necking session.  I’ve seen them with lip-stick all over their faces and mascara running down from their eyes.  It looks awful!”Judy will be 19 next month, but is younger in many ways than the 19-year-old Miss Durbin, which home she started her movie career five years ago in the two-reeler “Every Sunday Afternoon..”  Deanna gives one the impression of being in complete control of every situation now and in the future.  Nothing can disrupt her calm acceptance.  Judy is more mercurial.  She goes up and down, is depressed and gay with whatever is happening around her.  Deanna is now passionately interested in clothes.  Judy buys a new dress only when there is a special occasion for it.  The ermine fur coat she wore to Deanna’s wedding was borrowed.  “I do have a mink coat,” she said, “but I didn’t buy it – my mother gave it to me for Christmas.”

Stole ‘Ziegfeld Girl.

Judy’s method of taking her role in “Ziegfeld Girl” explains why, in my opinion, she stole the picture from the rest of the top starring names.  When she was given the script to read, she was depressed at the smallness of her part.  Then she said, “well, even though it isn’t so big, I’m going to do the best I can.”  Judy’s best is very good. Judy has shed 17 pounds in the past few months, and she is delighted with her new svelte figure.  “Dieting?” I asked her.  “Oh, no,” said Judy cramming a cookie into her mouth, “just working hard, and then I had my tonsils out because I had laryngitis.  I feel so sorry for all those stars who earn a fortune, but can’t eat a good square meal.”  Judy’s earning power recently was placed at $2000 a week by her Metro bosses.  Seventy-five percent of it is placed in a trust for her and will yield an income when she is 25 years old. Miss Garland’s close friends range all the way from seventy-ish Lady Mendl to Greta Garbo, with Oscar Levant thrown in for balance.  “I was going to stay with Lady Mendl on the Riviera, but the war broke out.”  Her friendship with Garbo dates from the day six years ago when she wandered on to the set of “Anna Karenina.”I didn’t know that visitors were forbidden, and seeing the door open I went in.  There were black screens around the camera, and I went closer to find out why.  There was a sudden hush.  Miss Garbo looked and looked at me, and I ran from the set.  A couple of days later she passed me on the street at Metro and said, “‘Hello.’ Then said she was sorry she had frightened me.  And from then on, we have been friends.

Heads Normal Life.

How does a 19-year-old star spend her evenings in Hollywood?  Just like a 19-year-old salesgirl in any small town.  “I go to the movies seven times a week,” said Judy.  Wednesdays and Saturdays are reserved for Dave Rose.  And after the movies, they go to Ciro’s or the Mocambo, but not to dance – to talk.  Mr. Rose does not like dancing. At odd moments during the past three years, Judy has written poetry.  She read me some of the verses.  They are quite good.  She is currently composing a concerto – by year!  Like Mickey Rooney, she does not read music.

May 5, 1943:  Judy was still in Palm Springs for location shooting on Girl Crazy.  On this day she had no “call” for work and thus was not needed.  In other words, a rare day off!  Meanwhile, For Me And My Gal was still playing in theaters around the country.

May 5, 1945:  Filming continued on The Harvey Girls.  Time called: 10 a.m.  The time was changed to 1:35 p.m.  Per the Assistant Director’s notes: “JG had 10 a.m. call; at 10:15 she phoned that it would take her quite a while to get ready – she didn’t feel well; at 10:55 assistant phoned her to relax as we wouldn’t use her until after lunch.  Arrived: 2:05. Dismissed: 5:05 p.m.

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Page on The Harvey Girls here.

May 5, 1947 You Can Do No Wrong - Unused

May 5, 1947:   A previously unknown recording session.  Judy pre-recorded an unused version of “You Can Do No Wrong” for The Pirate.  No usable takes were made, as noted in the Daily Music Report.  Judy didn’t re-record the song until May 13, 1947, at which time the Scene Number was changed to 2029.  That session resulted in three takes being “printed” (kept for possible use in the film).

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Pages on The Pirate here.

May 5, 1949:  Busby Berkeley was replaced as director of Annie Get Your Gun by Charles Walters, who had directed Judy in Easter Parade.  Judy spent three hours in Walters’s office, discussing Annie from 3:30 p.m. to 6:20 p.m.  The rest of the company was on layoff.

Photo:  Judy in costume for the “I’m An Indian, Too” number, with co-stars Howard Keel (trying to hide the cast on his right leg), and Keenan Wynn.

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Page on Annie Get Your Gun here.


May 5, 1952:  This article from the Philadelphia Inquirer relayed the story of Judy’s reception at Romanoff’s in Los Angeles after her opening at the Los Angeles Philharmonic.  That took place on April 21st (the engagement lasted through May 18th).  It’s interesting that the paper would run a story about something that happened two weeks prior.  It’s also interesting that the paper would use a photo of Judy that was, at the time, already a decade old.

Photo:  Judy Garland and Van Johnson at Romanoff’s after Garland’s Los Angeles Philharmonic opening night on April 21, 1952.

Check out The Judy Room’s “Judy Garland – The Concert Years” here.

Also on May 5, 1952:  The Wizard of Oz was being shown at the Colony Theater in Orlando, Florida.

May 5, 1952:  Columnist Sheilah Graham reported that Judy had purchased a co-op in New York City with “the expected proceeds from her Victor Records deal.”  Neither was true.  However, Judy did marry Sid Luft but it was during her engagement in San Francisco, not after.

Check out The Judy Room’s “Judy Garland – The Concert Years” here.

May 5, 1954:  Filming continued on A Star Is Born with retakes of the “Lose That Long Face” number.  Time started: 10:00 a.m., finished: 5:30 p.m.  The assistant director’s reports note: “Miss Garland very tired, shot called off, company dismissed at 5:35 p.m.

May 5, 1956:  This ad for Maurice Chevalier’s show at Ciro’s quotes Judy.

May 5, 1961:  Hedda Hopper reported that Chuck Walters wanted to direct Judy in a movie version of the Dorothy Fields musical, “By the Beautiful Sea.”  Judy would have played a Coney Island boarding house owner in the 1900s.  Shirley Booth had played the part on the stage.  The project never happened and it’s unknown if it was ever really a project or just more gossip.

For more about the various projects that Judy was considered for and/or didn’t complete, check out The Judy Room’s The Films That Got Away page here.

Check out The Judy Room’s “Judy Garland – The Concert Years” here.

May 5, 1962:  Judy had to cancel her plans to fly from London (where she was preparing to film I Could Go On Singing) to New York for John F. Kennedy’s birthday party at Madison Square Garden on May 19th.  Judy was currently in a legal dispute with her husband Sid Luft and her English lawyers advised her not to leave England.  The official statement to the press, delivered by her press agent, was: In view of the fact that Miss Garland’s two younger children are wards of the British court, Miss Garland’s London lawyers have advised her firmly that she should abandon her plan to go to New York May 19 to perform at the celebrations planned for President Kennedy’s birthday at Madison Square Garden.

Judy Garland and John F. Kennedy at the Democratic National Convention fundraising event at the Beverly Hills Hilton July 10, 1960

It’s a shame Judy was unable to attend.  The event was filmed, and we would have hopefully had some great footage of Judy performing for her good friend, JFK.  This was the birthday event at which Marilyn Monroe famously sang “Happy Birthday” to the President.

Check out The Judy Room’s “Judy Garland – The Concert Years” here.

May 5, 1970:  Here is more about the infamous MGM auction.

May 5, 2009:  The latest budget-priced boxed set of DVDs was released by Warner Home Video.

Check out The Judy Room’s DVD Page about this release here.


One comment

  1. May God bless all of Judy Garland’s living children,grand children and great grand children!

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