On This Day In Judy Garland’s Life And Career – May 26

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“Miss Show Business?  Who else but Judy Garland?”
– “Picturegoer” magazine, 1955

May 26, 1937:  “The Hollywood Reporter” announced that Judy would star in the film The Ugly Duckling.  The film was later renamed Everybody Sing after briefly being titled Swing Fever.  Production didn’t start until August 1937.

May 26, 1939:  Judy was out sick from MGM and her work on Babes in Arms.  This blurb about Judy was printed on this day.  Her weight issues are mentioned first followed by a mention of her recent personal appearance tour.  The obsession of the press with Judy’s weight started early – actually earlier than this seemingly innocuous article.

May 26, 1940:  Judy appeared on the joint 60-minute CBS/NBC Radio show “Red Cross War Fund Program” and sang “Over The Rainbow.”  No recording of this program is known to exist.

May 26, 1941:  Judy Garland Junior-Miss Slips.

May 26, 1942 YMCA Montage

May 26, 1942:  MGM recording session for For Me And My Gal.  Judy and her co-star Gene Kelly pre-recorded the “YMCA Montage” which included “It’s A Long Way To Tipperary”; “Pack Up Your Troubles”; and “Don’t Bite The Hand That’s Feeding You.”  They also pre-recorded their duet of “When You Wore A Tulip” which is “Scene No. 2046 – Vaudeville Montage part 1” noted on the Daily Music Report shown here (only Take 9 was printed).

It’s been previously (and incorrectly) noted that “Smiles” was recorded on this date when in fact it was recorded on June 25, 1942.

Listen to “Don’t Bite The Hand That’s Feeding You” here:

Listen to the complete “YMCA Montage” (“It’s A Long Way To Tipperary,” “Goodbye Broadway, Hello France,” “Smiles” (recorded on June 25, 1942), “Oh, Frenchy,” “Pack Up Your Troubles”) here:

Listen to “When You Wore A Tulip” Take 9 here:

“Don’t Bite…” was deleted while “Smiles” was trimmed.  The complete audio versions of both made their CD debut on the 1996 Rhino Records version of the soundtrack.

The pre-recordings first appeared on the 1994 laser-disc boxed set “Judy Garland – The Golden Years at M-G-M” as part of the alternate audio tracks that featured the mostly unedited pre-recording sessions.

Note that the working title of the film, as shown in the Daily Music Report above, was The Big Time.  The title hadn’t yet been changed to For Me And My Gal.

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

May 26, 1945:  This photo of Judy appeared in the Australian news magazine Women’s Weekly.

On this day at MGM, the production notes for The Harvey Girls state: “Judy Garland had a 10:30 a.m. call today to do loops; at 10:15 she telephoned that she was feeling ill and would not be able to do the loops.”

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

Meanwhile, the French Congress of Fashion gave Judy their Number One spot on their list of the “10 Smartest Dressed” women.  The Clock was enjoying success and great reviews.  Finally, an article about John Hodiak’s case of the mumps delaying Judy’s wedding to Vincente Minnelli, which was a studio fabrication.


May 26, 1947:  Filming on The Pirate continued.  Judy had a call for 9:45 a.m.; she arrived at 10:15 a.m.  The scenes shot were those on the “Interior Don Pedro’s” set.

The assistant director’s notes state: “3:45-4:07:  Wait for Miss Garland Note: At 3:40 Miss Garland asked to see Dr. Jones in her dressing room – she complained of a severe toothache and said she could not continue to work unless Dr. Jones gave her a pill to deaden the pain – Dr. Jones gave Miss Garland the pill and she was ready to work at 4:07.” The company was dismissed for the day at 5:30 p.m.

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

May 26, 1949:  Columnist Wood Soanes commented at length about Judy’s recent troubles with MGM.

royal Wedding Title

May 26, 1950:  Judy had another day of rehearsals for Royal Wedding.  Time called: 11:00 a.m.; dismissed: 3:30 p.m.

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

May 26, 1952:  Judy opened at the Curran Theater in San Francisco, California.  Her engagement lasted through June 22nd during which time (on June 8th) Judy married her third husband, Sid Luft, in a quiet ceremony at a private ranch in Hollister, California, south of San Francisco.

Download a recording of the complete June 22nd show here (zip file).

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


May 26, 1955:  The UK “Picturegoer” magazine featured Judy’s first album for Capitol Records (and the first-ever LP of Judy Garland studio recordings), “Miss Show Business” as their “Disc Of The Week.”

This HD edition of the album is the best version yet, get it here: www.hdtracks.com/miss-show-business-247853,  It’s well worth the price!

The text reads:


Miss Show Business?  Who else but Judy Garland?  And what better title for a Judy Garland LP?  America’s Capitol Records pacted Judy for a Fort Knox cache last year.  And Capitol, whose dollar-target enterprise is the envy of lesser mortals in the toughly competitive disc business, has launched Judy with a typical strike-up-the-band bang.

On LCT6103 there is a bumper package of sixteen songs that helped the Garland gal to stardom.

All the Hollywood trimmings are there, too – an immaculate chorus and orchestra conducted by Jack Cathcart; brilliant arrangements by Harold Mooney, one of America’s top scorers of vocal accompaniments; and a technically superb recording.

The songs? A happy whiff of nostalgia embracing “This Is The Time Of The Evening,” “While We’re Young,” “You Made Me Love You,” “For Me And My Gal,” “The Boy Next Door,” “The Trolley Song,” “A Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow,” “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody,” “Happiness Is A Thing Called Joe,” together with “Shine On Harvest Moon,” “My Man,” “Some Of These Days,” “I Don’t Care,” “Carolina In The Morning,” “Danny Boy,” “After You’ve Gone,” and “Over The Rainbow.”

An Enchantress?

Those last eight titles were sung by Judy to enthralled audiences at New York’s vast Palace Theatre. 

There she was – as the sleeve note recounts – “a small tramp figure all alone in the huge spotlight . . . sitting on the edge of the stage and dangling her feet in the orchestra pit, creating intimacy in that cavernous hall.”

An enchantress?  Truly.  And Judy’s magic can be recreated in the more intimate domestic atmosphere through the medium of this “Miss Show Business” LP.

My pop page colleague PETER MYERS adds this PS.: “I’m a little disappointed – but perhaps only because I expected too much. In only one or two numbers do I feel the heart that always made Judy unique to me.” 

“The last number, ‘Over The Rainbow,’ ends with Judy in tears.  Tears really flowed at her TV performance; but this is a studio session. Is the girl just a good actress . . . ?”

Myers pics the record, despite these grumbles, as PICTURGOER’S Disc Of The Week. And I agree.

Check out the various releases of “Miss Show Business” at The Judy Garland Online Discography’s “Miss Show Business” pages here.

Article scan provided by Kim Lundgreen.  Thanks, Kim!


May 26, 1958:  The second of three sessions for Judy at the Capitol Records Studios in Hollywood, for the “Judy in Love” album.  On this day she recorded “I Hadn’t Anyone Till You,” “More Than You Know,” “I’m Confessin’,” and “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love.”

Listen to “I Hadn’t Anyone Till You” here:

Listen to “More Than You Know” here:

Listen to “I’m Confessin'” here:

Listen to “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” here:

Judy In Love” was released in the mono format on November 3, 1958, and in stereo on February 16, 1959.  The album was recorded in true stereo and the mono and stereo versions are the same except “Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart” which is a slightly different take on each version.

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


May 26, 1964:  While Judy was in Hong Kong, her sister Mary Jane Gumm (1915-1964), nicknamed “Sue,” died.  She was living in Las Vegas, Nevada, and visiting her friend, the singer John Morrissey, when she took her own life.  The article above notes the initial cause of death as “chronic infection of the pancreas.”  Sadly, Sue had become an alcoholic and struggled with depression.  She had previously attempted suicide on December 3, 1963, by taking an overdose of sleeping pills.

Judy was not given the news for several days because, while in Hong Kong, she accidentally took an overdose of pills late at night on May 28th.  She was rushed to the hospital where her stomach was pumped (damaging her vocal cords) and she was in a coma for 15 hours.  See the May 28, 1964, entry for details.

May 26, 1965:  Judy was in Cincinnati, Ohio, for her upcoming concert on May 29th.  On this night she visited the local Playboy Club.  No photos were taken and it’s never been said what Judy thought about the club.  Undoubtedly, she got a kick out of it and probably made some great new jokes/stories!

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

May 26, 1967:  Sheilah Graham’s latest column commented on Judy’s current stay at the Cedars of Lebanon hospital, which was said to be a simple check-up but it’s safe to assume Judy also got some much-needed stress-free rest.


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