“Miss Garland makes ‘Presenting Lily Mars’ agreeable entertainment with her singing.” – Uncredited 1943 review
June 18, 1926: Here is one of the earliest known ads promoting Judy Garland, live on stage. She and her family were on a “working vacation” across the country from Minnesota to Los Angeles. This ad appeared in the Whitefish, Montana local newspaper.
The entire family performed, with mom, Ethel, and dad, Frank, performing their “Jack and Virginia Lee” act that they had previously toured with prior to settling down to raise a family in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. The family performed in Whitefish on June 18 & 19, 1926.
Note how, even at this young age, Judy is singled out, as “Baby Frances”, and is noted as a “Charleston Stepper.” The “Charleston” was the biggest dance craze of the 1920s.
Photos: The ad as it appeared in the Whitefish newspaper; a snapshot of the Gumm family after their arrival in Los Angeles.
June 18, 1939: This article about MGM’s makeup guru Jack Dawn is an interesting read. It mentions his recent work on The Wizard of Oz as well as this bit about Judy. The way Dawn talks makes one think of the scene in A Star Is Born in which Vicki Lester’s imperfections are discussed by the makeup men in front of her and around her but not to her.
[Jack Dawn says] “Judy Garland had to lose some weight because everybody photographs heavier than they actually are. Her hair originally was quite dark brown; for Technicolor, a lighter, reddish shade is more becoming.”
“Her eyebrows dipped down too close to her nose, making her forehead too high and her nose too short for the rest of her face. After the brows were raised and there was more space between them, the features were in good proportion.”
Nothing more was needed for Miss Garland, Dawn said, particularly since she is playing a ‘teen age [sic] in “The Wizard of Oz.” But that is just the age when girls should be learning about makeup, and he wishes all schools had compulsory courses in cosmetic application.
June 18, 1939: Here’s another clipping focused on Judy’s recent birthday party. The caption claims it’s her 16th birthday when in fact it was her 17th. MGM was still making her out to be a year younger than she was.
June 18, 1940: Filming continued on Strike Up The Band with rehearsals of the “La Conga” number from 1:00 – 2:15 p.m. Judy’s co-star, Mickey Rooney, had a fever blister that had lasted since June 14th and so couldn’t be photographed. Filming was suspended until Rooney was able to be in front of the cameras again, hence this short rehearsal day.
June 18, 1942: Judy appeared on the radio show “Command Performance” #18, with William Powell hosting. Other stars appearing on the program include George Jessel and Gene Autry. Judy closed the show with “Minnie From Trinidad.”
Listen to the entire show here:
More Garland radio performances can be heard and downloaded on The Judy Room’s “Judy Sings! On The Radio” page.
June 18, 1943: This lovely colorized portrait of Judy was featured on the cover of the Allas Veckotidning magazine. The photo itself is from 1941.
Also on June 18, 1943: Columnist Jimmie Fidler was concerned that Judy was experiencing too much, too fast. Below are two reviews for Presenting Lily Mars. One reviewer did not like the film, although he/she liked Judy’s performance.
June 18, 1947: Judy was enjoying a rare nine consecutive days off from work at MGM. She was in the final month of initial production on The Pirate when Gene Kelly took ill which resulted in this short break.
Photo: Judy relaxing at home in a posed photo for the Ladies Home Companion in 1947.
June 18, 1948: Judy had another rehearsal for The Barkleys of Broadway. For the fourth day in a row, she was on time, making her 1:30 p.m. call. Dismissed: 4:30 p.m.
Photo: Judy with co-star Oscar Levant on the Barkleys set. The exact date is unknown.
June 18, 1949: Here is another ad for the re-release of The Wizard of Oz. Note that it promotes “6 Song Hits Available on MGM Records!” The record was not the soundtrack of the film, which wouldn’t be released on record until 1956.
June 18, 1950: Kaspar Monahan’s column gives some details about the journey of “Annie Get Your Gun” from stage to screen. His opinion was that Betty Hutton stepping in for Judy as “Annie” made the film better than it would have been if Judy completed the role. He said, “Betty has the fire and vitality needed for the role of Annie Oakley – and it’s doubtful Miss Garland could have supplied it.” Also noting that Judy was “never a robust girl.”
June 18, 1951: The first night of a five-night engagement at The Empire Theater in Liverpool, England. Judy followed this with a one-night appearance in Blackpool, England (June 24), and then returned to the London Palladium on June 25th.
Program scans from the Bobby Waters Collection. Thanks, Bobby!
June 18, 1954: Judy pre-recorded more of the “Born In A Trunk” number for A Star Is Born at the Warner Bros. Studios. On this day, she pre-recorded parts of the narration. Time started: 3:15 p.m.; finished: 4:30 p.m.
June 18, 1961: Here is a great article about “Wizard of Oz” author L. Frank Baum.
June 18, 1963: Judy had makeup, lighting, and camera tests at CBS Television City in Hollywood, California, for her upcoming series. Later that night, she attended Robert Goulet’s show at the Coconut Grove where these photos were taken of her with the Fondas.
June 18, 1967: The last night of Judy’s engagement at The Westbury Music Fair in Westbury, New York. This was Judy’s first time on stage in almost a year and the beginning of the last lengthy tour of her life.
The revolving stage, which was her second “in the round” appearance, prompted Judy to quip “I don’t know why they don’t let YOU revolve around ME!” The engagement grosses $70,000 from only six performances, at $6.50 for the top ticket price. Judy’s take was a straight $25,000 plus a percentage of another $23,000 for a total of $48,000 which was paid to her production company “Group Five” rather than to her directly.
You can listen to the audio of this night’s performance here:
Program scans from the Bobby Waters Collection. Thanks, Bobby!
June 18, 1969: Judy was picked up at 9 p.m. by her neighbors Gina Dangerfield and Richard Harris, and taken to Bromley, to their friend’s home (singer Jackie Trent and her husband, orchestra leader Tony Hatch’s home). Trent and Hatch had just opened a men’s apparel shop and previously it was assumed that Judy was at the grand opening that evening, but according to what Hatch told a fan in 2020, Judy didn’t make the grand opening event that evening. She didn’t even get to Bromley until later that night, long after the event had happened. So the assumption that she was at the event and it was her last “personal appearance” is false.
June 18, 2011: The “Debbie Reynolds the Auction” by Profiles in History. Reynolds’s immense collection was originally meant to be a Hollywood museum, but she was never able to make it happen permanently. Many amazing items from Judy’s films were auctioned, including the “Arabian Test Pair” of Ruby Slippers made for, but never used in,The Wizard of Oz.
The images here are from The Judy Room’s 2011 Year in Review. See the full PDF here for more details about all of the auctions in 2011. There were several featuring even more Garland treasures!