“I have been happier during these past few years than at any time during all of my career.” – Judy Garland, 1956
June 9, 1926: The Gumm family, as “Jack and Virginia Lee and Three Little Lees,” performed at the Grand Theater in Devil’s Lake, North Dakota. This engagement is notable as the first time Judy was on a stage outside of her hometown of Grand Rapids, Minnesota.
June 9, 1929: The first of a two-day engagement for “The Gumm Sisters” (Judy and her two sisters) at their father’s theater, the Valley Theater, in Lancaster, California.
June 9, 1935: Here is an article from the Nevada State Journal (out of Reno), which notes the Cal-Neva Lodge’s upcoming opening of their 1935 season. It lists the various acts, including “the three Garland sisters, who have been appearing in M-G-M pictures…” The sisters’ run at the lodge was quite successful. Judy’s sister Suzanne met musician Lee Kahn whom she would soon marry, breaking up the sister act.
Of note is that the date of the filming of La Fiesta de Santa Barbara (the MGM short in which the sisters appeared and the article apparently references) was allegedly August 12th, which is a full two months later. This means that either the sisters were already signed for the short but filming was delayed yet they still included it on their resume, or the short was filmed earlier than that August date.
June 9, 1941: The playback disc for Judy’s rendition of “Easy To Love” was created on this day. Judy pre-recorded the song on June 4, 1941, for inclusion in Life Begins For Andy Hardy. None of the songs that Judy pre-recorded were used in the film, making it technically Judy’s first non-singing role (although she does sing a bit of “Happy Birthday”).
Listen to “Easy To Love” here:
June 9, 1943: Judy’s last day of work on MGM’s production of the Gershwin musical Girl Crazy consisted of a pre-recording/scoring session. Judy hummed, while musical director Roger Edens whistled (standing in for Judy’s co-star Mickey Rooney). The humming and whistling were a part of the underscoring of the “Walking in the Garden” scene in the finished film.
Listen to “Walking In The Garden” here:
The final cost for Girl Crazy was $1,410,850.85 ($322,935.30 over budget); the gross was $3,771,000 making it the second most popular Mickey/Judy musical (Babes on Broadway grossed $3,859,000). The film was released on November 26, 1943, following a July 17, 1943 preview at the Academy Theater in Inglewood, California.
Girl Crazy was the last of the Mickey/Judy “Let’s put on a show!” musicals and arguably the best. Judy had clearly outgrown the role of a lovestruck sidekick to Rooney. The film is the only one in which Mickey’s character chases Judy’s character rather than the other way around. The duo appeared on screen for the last time when Judy guest-starred in Rooney’s Words and Music in 1948.
June 9, 1945: Here is a good example of how films were used to sell war bonds. In this case, the Dayton, Ohio, premiere of The Clock was the attraction. The notice above left is from the June 6th promotion of the upcoming premiere (June 9th). The notice at the right is from June 9th and explains that Dayton’s 29 other theaters were also premiering the film on this night.
June 9, 1946: Judy and her husband Vincente Minnelli attended the “Homecoming Show” at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
June 9, 1947: Filming on The Pirate continued with more scenes shot on the “Exterior Gallows” set. time called: 9:45 a.m; dismissed: 5:50 p.m.
June 9, 1948: The Pirate was currently playing at the Radio City Music Hall and opening in theaters around the county. In spite of the fact that the film is now considered to have been a flop, it played for a solid four weeks at Radio City, which was twice the usual run of films at the venue. In Pittsburgh, it was popular enough to move from the standard one-week engagement in one theater to another theater due to its popularity, rather than simply leaving. This is a reflection of what has been written that the film did better in cities than in the rural areas.
June 9, 1949: Here is a nice review of the MGM soundtrack album for their upcoming release, In The Good Old Summertime (released in July 1949). The album was unique at the time in that it was only two records (four songs) whereas the standard album of the time was four records (eight songs). The four songs included in the album are: “Put Your Arms Around Me Honey”, “Meet Me Tonight In Dreamland”, “Play That Barbershop Chord”, and “I Don’t Care.”
“Last Night When We Were Young” first appeared on the 1951 compilation “Judy Garland Sings” (without any explanation that it was an outtake record) and “Merry Christmas” first appeared on 1952’s compilation “Merry Christmas.” All of the songs would not appear together as a “complete” soundtrack until it was included as part of the series of reissued soundtracks from MGM Records titled “Those Glorious MGM Musicals” in 1974.
June 9, 1950: Judy was in rehearsals for Royal Wedding. Time called: 10:30 a.m.; arrived: 1:45 p.m. Dismissed: 4 p.m. The company celebrated Judy’s 28th birthday a day early, and these photos were taken by a studio photographer of Judy with her makeup guru Dottie Ponedel, husband Vincente Minnelli, Gene Kelly, producer Arthur Freed and one of the contract dancers.
Learn more about the other unfinished Garland films, and other projects that might have been, at The Judy Room’s “Films That Got Away” section here.
June 9, 1956: This article, allegedly written by Judy, appeared in the UK “Picturegoer” magazine. Scans provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim! (click on the images to read the article).
June 9, 1960: The second of three recording sessions at Capitol Records in Hollywood during which Judy recorded the following songs for the “Judy – That’s Entertainment!” album: “If I Love Again”; “Who Cares?”; “Puttin’ On The Ritz”; “Just You, Just Me”; and “Down With Love.”
Listen to “If I Love Again” here:
Listen to “Who Cares?” here:
Listen to “Puttin’ On The Ritz” here:
Listen to “Just You, Just Me” here:
Listen to “Down With Love” here:
Listen to the rare alternate take of “Down With Love” here:
The “Down With Love” alternate take premiered on the fantastic 2-CD set “Judy Garland – Lost Tracks 2 – 1936-1967” which was released in February of 2019:
June 9, 1962: This notice was sent out by the UPI (United Press International) London Bureau featuring a photo taken the previous day of the celebration of Judy’s birthday on the set of I Could Go On Singing (at that point it was still called The Lonely Stage.)
Scan and photo provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim!
June 9, 1984: Another ad for the Danish premiere of the restored version of A Star Is Born.
Scan provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim!