Judy Garland lauded for “sanity in fashion”
May 24, 1930: Judy and her sisters, “The Gumm Sisters,” were billed as “The Hollywood Starlets Trio” performing this one night only at the Annual Milk Fund Benefit at the Shrine Auditorium; Los Angeles, California. 24 years later the Shrine was featured in the plot of Judy’s big film comeback, the masterpiece A Star Is Born, with pivotal scenes in the beginning and end of the film shot and/or taking place at the venue.
The event took place over the weekend of May 23rd, 24th, and 25th, and featured quite a few stars including Al Jolson, Eddie Cantor, Bill Robinson, and future “Tin Man” Jack Haley. It’s unknown if Haley performed the night Judy did and/or if they met during the event. It’s nice to think that maybe they did.
May 24, 1931: Here’s an article and ad for Maurice Kusell’s kiddie dance studio of which Judy and her sisters, as “The Gumm Sisters,” were a part of. The article notes the upcoming “Stars of Tomorrow” revue that took place on July 10th.
The sisters were featured in three numbers: “Puttin’ On The Ritz,” in which they played “Harlem Crooners”; “Garden of Beautiful Flowers,” in which they played “gardenettes”; and “Floatin’ Down the Mississippi.” Frances (Judy) was also featured in t9wo solos and was teamed with Miss Betty Jean Allen for a “Plantation Melody.”
May 24, 1932: Judy and her sisters, “The Gumm Sisters,” performed for The Los Angeles Examiner’s Cooking School/Prudence Penny Tuesday Cooking Matinee at the Barker Brothers Department Store, Los Angeles, California. Prudence Penny (Lena A. Males) was a popular columnist and expert in home economics, sort of a cross between Betty Crocker and Martha Stewart. There are no images from the event and I don’t have access to the Examiner’s archives (they were bought and sold a couple of times before closing) so I’m unable to find any ads for the event.
May 24, 1937: Judy sang “Broadway Rhythm” at the Trocadero Nightclub in New York, as part of her debut on Rudy Vallee’s program.
May 24, 1938: Judy was in a car accident and suffered three broken ribs, a sprained back and a punctured lung. It looked as though she might have to be written out of Love Finds Andy Hardy but she recuperated quickly enough to return to MGM and resume work on the film on June 11th.
Also on May 24, 1938: Judy and Mickey Rooney demonstrate “The Hot Pertater!” Obviously, the photos were taken before the accident.
May 24, 1939: Filming continued on Babes In Arms with scenes shot on the “Interior Palace Theater” set. Time called: 1:00 p.m.; dismissed: 4:00 p.m.
May 24, 1940: Filming on Strike Up The Band continued with scenes shot on the “Interior Gym” set. Time called: 9:00 a.m.; dismissed: 1:55 p.m.
May 24, 1941: This marvelous Kodachrome photo appeared in the “Movie World” section of the Australian “Women’s Weekly” newspaper.
May 24, 1942: This article tells the story of a soldier who allegedly is the one Judy kisses during the “Y.M.C.A. Montage” section in For Me And My Gal. Judy’s not singing “Over There” in the scene in question as the article states, she’s singing “How You Gonna Keep ‘Em Down On The Farm?” It’s most likely studio fiction from the always-creative MGM Publicity Department. The soldier in question might have actually been on call with the studio as an extra but it’s doubtful that Judy singled him out by surprise since director Busby Berkeley liked to control all of his musical numbers. It’s also highly doubtful that Judy took him to her home to treat him to dinner.
Kenneth Arlen, 24, now a private at Ft. MacArthur, was a film extra. He received a call to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and was outfitted in an Army uniform, vintage 1917. He was one of several score working ins a sequence with Judy Garland in “For Me and My Gal.”
Judy was singing “Over There” in a Paris cafe scene just before the Armistice. After finishing the song she was to select a random one of the soldier boys to give a kiss. Arlen was that lad.
He is alone here in Hollywood. His parents are in Chester, Pa. He worked in pictures and this was to be his last call before induction. It looked like a simal farewell for him until Miss Garland heard about him. She took him home that night for dinner with her and her husband, Dave Rose.
May 24, 1944: Judy appeared on the CBS Radio show “The Frank Sinatra Show” and sang “Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart” and (with Frank) “Embraceable You.”
May 24, 1945: The French Congress of Fashion named Judy as the world’s “smartest” dressed woman. The announcement was made the day before, May 23rd, by the International Artists Committee. Judy was the only movie star on the list, being “lauded for her ‘sanity in fashion.'” Judy was in some serious society company. Other women on the list included opera singer Lily Pons and Mrs. John Paul Getty.
On this day Judy was scheduled to record “loops” for The Harvey Girls. “Looping” was, and is, the process of post-recording dialog for sections of the film for which audio was either missing, corrupted, or changed.
The production notes state: “Miss Garland at a 1 p.m. call today to do loops; at 12:45 she telephoned Ted Hoffman on stage 2A that she was hoarse and could not be able to record the loops today but that the hoarseness was breaking and she’d be able to do them tomorrow. The loops were then set for 10 a.m. tomorrow.”
Judy was off the following day and the loops were scheduled for May 26th at which time Judy called in sick again. She was unable to complete the loops until June 5. During the interim, she filmed “Exterior Desert” and “Exterior Picnic Grounds” scenes. Judy’s final work on the film was more loops on June 13th and 14th.
May 24, 1949: This article provided details about the recent (May 10th) problems on the set of Annie Get Your Gun at MGM comparing them to the problems with Forever Amber at 20th Century-Fox.
‘Annie Get Your Gun’ Provides Plenty Of Grief For Film Bosses
Hollywood, may 24 (U.P.) – It’s beginning to look like “Annie’s” having as many troubles in Hollywood as “Amber” did.
Accidents, temperaments, and behind-the-scenes squabbles have been piling up on MGM’s “Annie Get Your Gun” in an almost blow-by-blow repeat of 20th Century-Fox’s ill-fated “Forever Amber.”
The two ladies aren’t exactly sisters under the skin. “Annie’s” a gun-totin’ western gal – and “Amber’s” antics were more of the “indoor” variety. But the Hollywood beauties who got mixed up in the middle of their escapade all wish they’d never heard of the dames.
Judy Garland got fired from her starring role in “Annie Get Your Gun” yesterday afternoon after languishing on suspension for 10 days. MGM signed bouncin’ Betty Hutton to start the picture over from the beginning.
Peggy Cummins, the English blonde who snagged “Amber” from 215 hopefuls, got whisked off the job within three months. Linda Darnell replaced her and finished the picture eventually, but she got stomach trouble en route.
The twin-troubles of “Annie” and “Amber” hit a peak last week when MGM chopped big-eyed Judy Garland from the payroll for storing off the set of “Annie Get Your Gun” in a huff.
She hit the roof when the studio bosses accused her of slowing up production. She said she had a migraine headache. Her doctor said so, too.
The studio said it was sorry, but she was costing ’em money. Mis Garland said they could take their picture and their money and toss it into the ashcan. She said she was going home. And she did.
Yesterday morning Miss G. sneaked off to Mayer’s mansion for a “confidential talk.” She’d told friends she wanted the role back even if he made her “sweep up the studio.”
Apparently Mr. Mayer wasn’t impressed. Less than 48 hours later he announced Miss Garland was out and Miss Hutton was in.
It took 20th Century-Fox almost three years – and $5,000,000 – to wind up the sizzling boudoir amours of “Amber.” Starting over cost Darryl F. Zanuck a cool million he hadn’t counted on.
“Annie’s” been around only four weeks, but already she’s nicked Bossman Mayer for than $1,250,000. Now that he’s hired himself another “Annie” he’ll have to junk one whoppin’ big musical number, one long dramatic scene and eight songs which Judy’s already recorded.
He and Mr. Zanuck have other headaches in common. Three weeks ago Mayer replaced “Annie’s” director, Busby Berkeley, with Charles Walters. The same thing happened on “Amber.” Director John Stahl stalked off the set and Otto Preminger took over.
Ever their doctor bills read about the same. Miss Cummins had influenza twice, Miss Darnell got blisters from her “Amber” corsets, and Miss Garland had her headaches.
Then, two days after the picture started, a horse fell on her co-star, Howard Keel, and broke his ankle.
There’s only one difference on the two technicolor epics so far. The “Amber” set caught fire one day during a bedroom love scene. MGM can’t match that – but if you ask them, they’ve had enough fireworks, as is.
May 24, 1950: Judy had another rehearsal for Royal Wedding. Time called: 11:00 a.m.; dismissed: 3:400 p.m.
May 24, 1956: This wonderful photo was taken of Judy enjoying Maurice Chevalier’s show at Ciro’s in Los Angeles, California.
May 24, 1958: This photo of Judy with husband Sid Luft was one of the featured photos for an article titled “The Truth About Actresses and Their Men” written by Lloyd Shearer for Parade Magazine. The article was written in response to the recent stabbing murder of Lana Turner’s boyfriend, John Stompanato, by Lana’s daughter and focused mainly on that event while also mentioning other actresses and their bad choices in men. The little bit about Judy read: Judy Garland charged that her husband, Sid Luft, had beaten and attempted to strangle her on many occasions. Later she announced a reconciliation.
May 24, 1959: Judy’s Opera House tour continued. She had just been a huge hit at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House and was en route to Chicago where she would open a the Chicago Opera House on June 1st. This article from the Chicago Tribune notes that Judy’s upcoming show will feature selections from her recent Capitol LP, “The Letter.” Judy’s show did indeed feature songs from the album, “Ricky’s,” “The Worst Kind Of Man,” “The Red Balloon,” and “Come Back.” Gordon Jenkins was the musical director for the show, and it was Jenkins who conducted the orchestra for the album. Also in the show was comic Alan King and dancer John Bubbles, plus Judy’s dancing boys.
May 24, 1963: Logan Pope of “The Courier-Journal” out of Louisville, Kentucky, liked the artwork in Gay Purr-ee, and that’s about it.
May 24, 1964: Here are three interesting articles in “The Sydney Herald” out of Sydney, Australia, regarding her recent appearances in Sydney and Melbourne all published on this day in 1964.
May 24, 1968: Judy was in concert at The Back Bay Theater in Boston, Massachusetts. She was in fairly good voice for the performance, which was a little over two hours. Tickets ranged from $4 to $7. These recordings were made from the audience and are of varying sound quality. It’s been previously noted that Judy was the last performer to appear at the theater but in fact, the Four Seasons were the last, performing there on May 26, 1968, the night after Judy’s two-night appearance.
On a side note, the theater had originally been a Loew’s movie theater until it was converted into a live venue in 1959. It’s safe to assume that Judy’s MGM films most likely were screened there during the 1930s, 40s, and 50s.
Listen to selections from the concert here:
“For Once In My Life”
“I Can’t Give You Anything But Love”
“Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody”
Download the entire show here (zip file – 56 megs) – These are the unaltered original recordings taken from the audience.