On This Day In Judy Garland’s Life And Career – May 24

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Judy Garland lauded for “sanity in fashion”

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.”

The Gumm Sisters, 1932

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.

Lobby 6 CROP

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.

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Pages on Babes in Arms here.


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.

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Page on Strike Up The Band here.


May 24, 1941:  This marvelous Kodachrome photo appeared in the “Movie World” section of the Australian “Women’s Weekly” newspaper.

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Pages on Little Nellie Kelly here.

May 24, 1941:  This edition of the “What The Picture Did For Me” feature in the trade magazine “Motion Picture Herald” included this about Strike Up The Band:  “Fine.  Rooney is really an artist.  Is there anything in the entertainment line that he cannot do?” – Sammie Jackson, Jackson Theatre, Flomaton, Alabama.

Also in that same issue was this article about some of the Ziegfeld Girl contests around the country.

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, but it’s a nice story.

May-24,-1942-KISS-TO-SOLIDER-The_Los_Angeles_TimesLucky Kiss From Judy Garland Brightens Soldier’s Leavetaking
By Read Kendall

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 in 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 dismal farewell for him until Miss Garland heard about him.  She took him home that night for dinner with her and her husband, Dave Rose.

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

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.”

Listen to “Embraceable You” here:

You can listen to the entire show here:

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.

Judy Garland and John Hodiak in "The Harvey Girls"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.

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


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

By Virginia MacPherson
Judy Garland in "Annie Get Your Gun"
United Press Hollywood Correspondent

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.

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

May 24, 1950:  Judy had another rehearsal for Royal Wedding.  Time called: 11:00 a.m.; dismissed: 3:400 p.m.  Also on this day, Edwin Schallert’s column noted Judy being assigned to the film.

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

Judy Garland watches Maurice Chevalier at Ciro's, May 1956

May 24, 1956:  This wonderful photo was taken of Judy enjoying Maurice Chevalier’s show at Ciro’s in Los Angeles, California.

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

Judy Garland and Sid Luft 1958

May 24, 1958:  This photo of Judy with her 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 short 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.

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

Judy Garland at Chicago's Civic Opera House

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 at 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 were comic Alan King and dancer John Bubbles, plus Judy’s dancing boys.

Judy Garland and John Ireland - The Letter - Capitol RecordsCheck out The Judy Garland Online Discography’s “The Letter” pages here.


May 24, 1962:  Here’s an ad for Decca Records’ latest compilations, available for only $1 if you purchase Morrell bacon or franks!  Judy was featured on both the “House Party” and “Open House” LPs.


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.

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Pages on Gay Purr-ee here.

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.

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

May 24, 1968:  Judy was in concert at The Back Bay Theater in Boston, Massachusetts.  She was in a fairly good voice for the performance, which was a little over two hours.  Tickets ranged from $4 to $7.  The recordings shared here were made by audience members with home tape recording equipment.  The sound quality varies.  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 the night after Judy’s two-night appearance, May 26, 1968.

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.

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


  1. While I support the cutting of most numbers (especially “Paging Mr. Greenback”, and even the magnificent “Mr. Monotony”, as their respective films play much better without them), I feel Freed and Sidney made a HUGE mistake in cutting “My intuition” and “March of the Doagies.” The first furthers the relationship between Susan and Ned, and the second improves the film’s narrative. As cut, WHY are all the Harvey Girls running BACK to the Harvey House they were just celebrating in??? Also, what’s the significance of Susan’s necklace? HOW did Susan get the white silk wrap after finishing “Doagies?” She didn’t take it up with her. This gorgeous, highly entertaining film was poorly cut. I know when I watch it, I “re-insert” both numbers in WHERE THEY BELONG!! The film isn’t much longer; just a richer experience. And John Hodiak had a very pleasant singing voice. Would love to see a copy of the shooting script, so I could see the dialogue leading up to both numbers.

    1. If I’m not mistaken, the reason Sudas and the Harvey Girls and the rest of the “good folks” are coming back to the Harvey House is to confront the “bad folks” and let them know they’re not going anywhere. That’s why there is that rather somber reprise with them singing to the (off-screen) Alhambra and then they all turn away and leave, with Susan the last to go. Here’s the clip: https://youtu.be/rZ3tW7b2SGQ. I don’t know the significance of the necklace, but it’s probably a gift from Ned.

  2. Yeah, that “Doagies” reprise makes things even MORE confusing (that reprise was rightfully cut, as it’s just too much already).
    But I’m curious. How do YOU feel about the cuts? Do you think Freed and Sidney did right by cutting those numbers? I feel the film plays choppy without them, and it’s weird to have Judy totally songless in the film’ second half. The film is really something when they are returned in their rightful place (I uploaded my DVD, and had a tech friend “Insert” them where they belong). I would never consider watching the The Harvey Girls (one of my faves) without them. Too bad Virginia O’Brien had to leave mid-shoot.

  3. I first saw the film long before the existence of “March of the Doagies” was known, let alone seen, outside of playback disc recordings. I had wondered where Judy and the rest of the Harvey Girls and friends had been when their place was on fire. It didn’t make sense that none of them seemed to be in the building as they all ran to it from the outside. I would have thought they’d have been asleep upstairs. So that seemed odd, but then when I saw the outtake footage it made sense. I like the film without the number even with that timeline gap, but I also think it would have been great with the number. Even if it made the film “long” (by 1945 standards) it’s certainly an exciting and fun number that would have punched up the last act a bit. 🙂

  4. Thanks for you input. I, too, saw THG many, many times before even knowing of the existence of these two numbers. I always liked the film, but now LOVE it with “My Intuition” and “Doagies” back. I feel many of the complaints against the finished film could be rectified if they were PROFESSIONALLY put back in (with the missing dialogue) like they did with “A Star is Born.”

    1. It would be fun if Warner Home Video did a true HD remastering of the film, and presented it in both its original form and then an “extended” edition giving us an idea of how it would have played out with those numbers put back in. Photos could be used for the missing dialogue that no doubt were a part of the scenes either before or after the songs, or both. 🙂

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