Judy Garland's Ruby Slippers from the MGM Auction 1970

On This Day In Judy Garland’s Life And Career – May 6

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“She is smaller than you might think and totally unpretentious.”
– Claudia Cassidy, Chicago Tribune

May 6, 1939:  Judy had a rehearsal of the “Opers Vs. Jazz” number for Babes In Arms.  Time called: 10:00 a.m., Dismissed: 12:40 p.m.

May 6, 1939:  An extensive recording session of the background scoring for The Wizard of Oz.  Judy was not a part of this session but it’s included here for historical purposes.  As you can see, it was a very extensive session covering many great pieces that have become iconic.  Although the end of the second page notes “continued” the session wasn’t continued until the next day.

Scene #2525 – “Main Title” – Take 7 – Alternate Version without the choir

Scene #2526 – “Cyclone” – Take 7
This is the “far mike” pick-up channel, and it is the only one that survives. Longer here than in the finished film, this music was to have scored an extended scene.

Scene #2527 – “Poppies” – Take 3 – Orchestra Only

Scene #2528 – “Poppies” – Take 3 – Orchestra with Chorus

Scene #2529 – “Optimistic Voices” – Take 3 – Orchestra with Chorus

Scene #2529 – “Optimistic Voices” – Take 3 – Orchestra Only

Scene 2530 – “Spell” – Take 5

Scene 2531 – “Dorothy’s Rescue” – Take 6

Scene 2532 – “March of the Winkies” – Take 9

Scene 2533 – “Haunted Forest” – Take 5

Scene 2534 – “Jitterbugs Attack” [Flying Monkeys] – Take 2

Scene 2535 – “Witches Castle” – Take 2

Scene 2536 – “Toto Brings News” [ & “Over the Rainbow” reprise] – Take 7

Scene 2537 – “On the Castle Wall” – Take 2

Scene 2538 – “Woodman Lament Part 1” – Take 1

Scene 2538 – “Woodman Lament Part 1” – Take 2

Scene 2539 – “Woodman Lament Part 2” – Take 2

Scene 2540 – “Intro. Forest of Wild Beasts” – Take 4

Scene 2541 – “Sign on Gate Part 1” – Take 1

Scene 2541 – “Sign on Gate Part 1” – Take 2

Scene 2541 – “Sign on Gate Part 1” – Take 3

Scene 2541 – “Sign on Gate Part 1” – Take 4

Scene 2542 – “Sign on Gate Part 2” – Take 2

Check out The Judy Room’s Spotlight on The Wizard of Oz here.

May 6, 1942:  For Me And My Gal filming consisted of scenes on the “Interior Palace Backstage” set with co-stars Gene Kelly, George Murphy, Keenan Wynn, and Ben Blue.  Time called: 10:00 a.m., dismissed: 5:20 p.m.

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

May 6, 1943:  Filming continued in Palm Springs on Girl Crazy, specifically the scene on the “Exterior Roads” set.  Time called: 11:00 a.m.; dismissed: 4:15 p.m.

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Page on Girl Crazy here.

May 6, 1948:  Judy appeared on the NBC-Radio show “The Chesterfield Supper Club.”  She sang three songs to promote the upcoming release of Easter Parade: “I Wish I Were In Michigan,” A Fella With An Umbrella” (with Perry Como), and “Easter Parade” with Como again and Fred Astaire tap dancing in the background.

“I Wish I Were In Michigan”

“Easter Parade”

Images: Newspaper ad for the show; A two-page MGM trade ad promoting their upcoming releases including The Pirate and Easter Parade.

May 6, 1948:  Columnist Lillian Campbell noted that Judy’s previous profession was as a Vaudevillian as her previous job.

May 6, 1948:  Columnist Louella Parsons noted the success of Judy’s best female friend, and Liza’s godmother, Kay Thompson.  Thompson’s influence on Judy’s performance style cannot be overestimated.

May 6, 1949:  Judy had a scheduled 2:00 p.m. rehearsal for Annie Get Your Gun, but it was canceled at 11:00 a.m.

May 6, 1954:  The filming of retakes of the “Lose That Long Face” number in A Star Is Born continued.  Time started: 10:00 a.m.; Finished: 5:55 p.m.



May 6, 1957:  Judy’s third album for Capitol Records, “Alone,” was released. To this day is a fan favorite and one of her very best studio albums for the label.  Some consider it her best.  Judy recorded the songs for the album in February and March 1957.

Orchestrated and conducted by Gordon Jenkins, “Alone” was Judy’s first and best “conceptual” album.  All of the songs reflect the album’s title of being “alone.” as does the artwork.

This album is quite a departure for Judy, who shows her versatility as a vocalist by performing very bluesy and jazz-infused numbers.  If you ever want to show people that Judy Garland sang more than just “show tunes”, this is the album to play.

The 1989 premiere CD release includes a bonus track of “Then You’ve Never Been Blue” which was recorded on March 6, 1957, but not included on the album until this 1989 release.  The CD quickly went out of print and became a hot collector’s item until the 2002 reissue coupled with “Judy In Love.”

Little Girl Blue
I Get The Blues When It Rains
How About Me
Me And My Shadow
Mean To Me
By Myself
Blue Prelude
Then You’ve Never Been Blue (first released in 1989)
I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues
Happy New Year
Among My Souvenirs
Just A Memory

Subsequent Releases:

  • 18341785_10155269671184859_1172779848350898515_n33RPM; World Record Club (U.K. – 1957) #TP-154, as “Alone With Judy Garland”
  • 33RPM; Capitol EAP-835 7″ 45rpm “Extended Play” set (1957)
  • 33RPM; Capitol SM-11763 (1978) (Abridged version missing “I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues”)
  • Capitol CD #CDP-7-92346-2 (6/20/1989)
  • SP/EMI Capitol Music Special Markets CD #SPR-703/72435-37823-2-0 (paired with “Judy In Love”) (2002)

Check out The Judy Garland Online Discography’s “Alone” pages here.

May 6, 1958:  Here is a rather unflattering article about Judy and some recent issues.  Even the great Garland was not immune to bad press.


May 6, 1961:  Judy’s concert tour took her to the Civic Opera House in Chicago.  After the show, there was a dinner party at midnight given for Judy at the Cafe De Paris.

Claudia Cassidy wrote the following for the Chicago Tribune:

Judy and More Judy at Opera House – What Garland Fan Wants More?

Judy Garland at the Chicago Opera House May 8, 1961AS JUDY GARLAND is to one kind of audience what Maria Callas is to another, it seemed a plausible idea to track her to a Callas stamping ground Saturday night – the Civic Opera house, which she packed even to the orchestra pit – and find out why.  No problem.  They both get people excited.  Not necessarily the same people.  But almost anyone will admit that Judy is a darling, and that when she and her microphone ride the high brass to belt out a song, that song has been belted.

She is smaller than you might think, and totally unpretentious.  When she walks out in a short black dress with a jeweled turquoise jacked she looks like a child.  But a child born backstage, probably at the Palace, cradled in a theater trunk, and carried to the wings to watch Sophie Tucker, Jack Benny and Harry Richman.  Completely and casually at home, she is a bit like a friendly little hausfrau, mopping her dripping face, pushing back her hair, gossiping – until she sings. 

Then she is a changeling.  An all out extrovert in a blaze of the blare who can remind you of Ethel Merman, tho Merman used to blast the walls down with a mike.  An introvert when the lights dim, a spot hits the round face and gives it cheek bones, and a curious wobble comes into her low voice that can make you remember how Libby Holman’s chin quivered with “Moanin’ Low.”  In still another shift of gears, her voice is all wobble, so flat that it can make you want to hurry up the aisle.  Oddly, this seems to put the true Garland audience, which has shouted and stood up and roared its delight, into a kind of trance.  It sends me too, but home, and without rancor.  Not everyone likes to hear Callas sing E above high C.

The girls broke out even, orchestra-wise.  Maria had more players, but Judy’s 30 or so under Mort Lindsey’s direction made more noise.  The more noise, the better Judy sings.

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

May 6, 1970:  The now-legendary MGM auction was making headlines.  The auction opened on May 3rd with the first day of the sale devoted to “Antiques and Furniture.”  The entire event lasted for 18 days, each day split into categories that included three days of “Antiques and Furniture”; two days of the larger props such as the “Cotton Blossom” paddlewheel steamer from Showboat (1951), and various wagons, tanks, buses, statuary, more furniture and props, and even portable dressing rooms; a day devoted to weaponry ranging from Roman swords and armor to more recent rifles and handguns; a day devoted to “Nursery” including trees, bushes, flowers, and other plants; and of course, the big day on May 17th which was devoted to “Star Wardrobe” and included what was then assumed to be the only pair of Ruby Slippers that Judy wore in The Wizard of Oz (1939).

Judy Garland's Ruby Slippers from the MGM Auction 1970

May 6, 2020:  Strike Up The Band on Turner Classic Movies.


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