On This Day In Judy Garland’s Life And Career – June 27

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“Still, I must have some kind of toughness just to stay alive – a resilience.” – Judy Garland, 1967

June 27, 1937:  Two clippings (and a photo), the first reports on Allan Jones joining Judy for the film The Ugly Duckling which was (thankfully) renamed Everybody Sing.  The second is an “oops” in reporting that “Judy Garland, pictured here” was a guest on Frank Morgan’s limited series of 15-minute shows.  The picture definitely is NOT Judy Garland!

Judy was listed as being a part of the shows that aired on June 6th, 14th, 21st, 28th; July 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th; and August 2nd & 9th.  She’s not listed in the final three episodes on August 16, 23, & 30.  No recordings are known to exist of any of the shows nor is there any information as to what Judy sang.

For other Garland radio performance from this era and other eras, check out The Judy Room’s “Judy Sings! On the Radio” pages.

Also on June 27, 1937:  The Philadelphia Enquirer ran these great color photos of Judy.


June 27, 1939:  Babes in Arms filming continued, specifically portions of the title number, on the “Exterior Moran Backyard” and “Exterior Alley” sets, on MGM’s Lot #2 (what would become known as the “Andy Hardy Street”).

Judy also prerecorded the “Minstrel Show Sequence” (including “I’m Just Wild About Harry”) and the “Finale” sequence (including “God’s Country”).  Time called: 9 a.m.; lunch: 12:15-1:15 p.m.; dismissed: 6 p.m.

Later that evening, The Wizard Of Oz had another test screening, this time in San Luis Obispo, CA. Judy was not in attendance.

Check out The Judy Room’s Special Spotlight Section on The Wizard of Oz here.

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

June 27, 1940:  Nestled in this full-page ad for New Moon is an ad for Judy’s second appearance in an Andy Hardy film, Andy Hardy Meets Debutante.

June 27, 1940 La Conga

On this day at MGM, Judy, Mickey Rooney, the Six Hits and a Miss, and the MGM Studio Orchestra rehearsed and recorded the “La Conga” number for Strike Up The Band.  Time called: 11:00 a.m.; dismissed: 4:40 p.m.

Listen to “La Conga” here:

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

June 27, 1941:  This photo of Judy modeling “summer wear” was placed in the center of a photo collage of mostly war pics.  This might seem odd to us today, but it was just another instance of Judy being marketed as “the girl next door.”  The U.S. wasn’t in the war yet, but soon would be and Judy was a favorite pin-up and girl-next-door of servicemen everywhere.


June 27, 1942:  Filming continued on For Me And My Gal, specifically scenes shot on the “Interior Palace Theatre,” “Interior Hosptial,” “Interior Chicago Dressing Room,” and “Exterior Theatre” sets.  Time called: 10:00 a.m.; dismissed: 6:05 p.m.

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

June 27, 1943:  Two notices about Judy’s upcoming concert debut at the Robin Hood Dell in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 1st.  What’s interesting about the first article is that it provides Judy’s planned setlist which was unusual.  Judy is listed as a soprano and was scheduled to sing “Strike Up The Band”, “Porgy and Bess”, “You Made Me Love You”, “Our Love Affair”, “I’m Nobody’s Baby”, “For Me And My Gal”, “Over The Rainbow”, and “The Joint Is Really Jumping Down at Carnegie Hall.”

Judy Garland and Gene Kelly - "Be A Clown" from "The Pirate" 1948

June 25, 1947:  The fifth of six days of rehearsals of the “Be A Clown” number for The Pirate.  Time called: 2 p.m.; dismissed: 5 p.m.

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

June 27, 1948:  Although the official release date for Easter Parade is listed as July 16, 1948, the film was put into general release in late June.  Here are a few newspaper notices and ads.

Check out The Judy Room’s Spotlight on Easter Parade here.

Also on June 27, 1948:  The Pirate was still making the rounds of theaters across the nation.

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

Judy Garland - A Star Is Born - 1954 "A Star Is Reborn"

June 27, 1954:  “A Star Is Reborn” – this wonderful two-page spread appeared in the Miami News.

Check out The Judy Room’s Extensive Spotlight Section on A Star Is Born here.

June 27, 1957:  Judy’s last stop on her nine-week tour took place at The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles.  It was her first concert appearance in her hometown in five years.  She broke all house records at the box office.

The LA Times published the photo at the top left above, with the caption:  June 27, 1957: Singer Judy Garland prepares for an engagement at the Greek Theater.  On a night of informality, Garland allowed photographers into her dressing room before her performance.

In conjunction with Judy’s appearance, the Barker Brothers store in downtown Los Angeles featured a display of Judy memorabilia from the collection of “Judy’s Number One Fan,” Wayne Martin.  The display was insured for $5,800.  This was the first known major public display of a fan’s collection of Garland memorabilia.  It certainly wasn’t the last!

Program scans fro the Bobby Waters Collection.  Thanks, Bobby!

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

June 27, 1962:  Judy’s phenomenal “Judy at Carnegie Hall” 2-LP set from Capitol Records was certified “Gold” by the RIAA on this day.  On September 18, 1962, Judy was presented with her gold record by Capitol representative Glenn Wallichs (photos above).

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

June 27, 1965:  Judy was in the middle of her successful engagement at the Thunderbird casino/hotel in Las Vegas when this photo was taken of her with Vegas entertainment manager/impresario Stan Irwin.

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

June 27, 1968:  Judy was enjoying success at the Garden State Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey.  The letter to the editor of the Indianapolis News shown here reflects that “haters” were around even then, only their reach was much smaller than today, as their only outlets were the “Letters to the Editor” (or Q&A columnists like Dear Abby) sections of newspapers and magazines.  Shull’s response here is perfect.

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

June 27, 1969:  Over 22,000 people descended on Campbell’s Funeral Home in New York City to pay their last respects to Judy Garland, who had passed away on June 22nd.  The crowds began to gather in the early morning of June 26, not long after Judy’s body arrived from London.  Campbell’s opened at either 11:30 a.m. or noon on the 26th, depending on which report you choose to believe.  The actual funeral services were on the 27th.   Judy’s A Star Is Born co-star, James Mason, gave the eulogy.

More information on The Judy Room’s “The Concert Years” pages.


June 27, 1969:  The third in a series of four articles reprinting parts of Judy’s own memoirs as published in the Ladies Home Journal in 1967, titled “The Plot Against Judy Garland.”

Judy’s Memoirs – The Man Who Came to Her House Party


I HADN’T SEEN Spencer Tracy for a long time when he died in June 1967, not since we made “Judgment at Nuremberg” in 1961.

But during that picture, he threatened to punch another actor in the nose if he didn’t read his lines correctly for me.  I’ll never forget Spencer saying to this man: “You S.O.B. if you continue to do this in front of me, to a woman I consider a famous actress, I’ll kill you.”

Bette Davis is a good friend, although we don’t see much of each other now.  She has a life of her own to lead.  The last time I met Bette was in New York.  She saw me with my fourth husband, Mark Herron, and immediately embarked on a tirade about how horrible men are.  Mark almost fainted.

When the income tax people were about to take my house away, I got help from another old friend, Senator George Murphy.  He’s a Republican and I’m a Democrat, but that didn’t matter.

George interceded with the Government on my behalf.  He told them it was unnecessary and humiliating to seize my home.  He found time to take care of me as a person.  The Government held off, and now my tax situation has been worked out satisfactorily.  I’ve since sold the house for $130,000.

JUST AS MY RECENT TROUBLES have taught me who my friends are, so, too, have I begun to discover my enemies.  Some of them were pretty close to home.  I seem to attract people who want to destroy me in order to stay alive.

If you’re a walking, living legend, some people just seem to want to hack away at it.

It’s never women who do it; just the mend.

They think of me just as a commodity and want to prove that they can control me.  If I get hurt in the process, that’s too bad.

A few years ago, for example, I was riding the crest of a Judy Garland boom.  I’d just done 42 concerts in 42 towns in 42 nights and was in the midst of taping my 26 television shows.

That tour must have grossed more than $1 million and paid off all the debts I had run up – with a little left for me.  In addition, the television show paid $150,000 per week.

Out of that, Kingsrow Production, my company, had to pay for everything – guests, costumes, sets, the crews and the people in the booth, makeup people and all the rest.

After I got through paying, there was no money left for me.  No income at all.

ACTUALLY, DURING THE TV TAPING I had begun to realize that too much money was being spent foolishly.  I don’t even know if I drew a regular salary.  

I checked the bank statement all the time, and it looked as if some of the accounts were gradually growing.

Then, suddenly, during a two-month period, I noticed a decline in the money I had accumulated.  I realize the funds had been attached for bills that had not been paid.

I was in trouble.

In May of 1965, to clear up some of my financial problems, I was sent off on a tour of Australia.  An entourage of 26 people went with me, some of them absolute strangers.

I made three appearances in Austraila – two in Sydney, one in Melbourne.

I didn’t know that Sydney and Melbourne are like Lost Angeles and San Francisco.  If you’re a success in Sydney, you’ve got to be killed in Melbourne.  And vice versa.

I just went and tried to sing.

Sydney was a tremendous success.  But the Melbourne crowds were brutish, and so was the press.

At my hotel in Melbourne, the press bored holes through the walls to spy on me.  They’d taken the suite next to my bathroom and bedroom.  So I went around with Q-Tips and stuck them through the holes.  I heard screams on the other end where I’d jab the peeper in the eye.

I think that is one of the reasons the reporters got mad at me.

AFTER THE AUSTRALIAN DISASTER, I went to Hong Kong for a rest.  Instead, I had a heart attack and a complete physical collapse from overwork.

So I took two months off and traveled around the world.  I needed the rest (although I did make one appearance – with my daughter, Liza Minelli [sic], at the London Palladium).

I still didn’t know I was in financial trouble, but I sensed that I would have to go back to work soon to put something into the kitty.

By spring of 1966, I realized how serious my financial difficulties were.  I was advised that I might have to file for bankruptcy.  But I refused to do it.  I couldn’t understand how I could have spent so much money.

MEANWHILE, MY LIFE had become even more complicated by a man.  On Nov. 14, 1965, after my divorce from my third husband, Sid Luft, became final, I married Mark Herron.

Mark had come into my house one Sunday night with a party of people.  And he just didn’t leave.  He came back the next weekend and the weekend after that.  Everybody else would leave, but he would still be around.

I said to myself, I guess he’s OK.

He just walked into my life like most other people have – as if I’m some kind of terminal.  Like Grand Central Station – people just walk in and out, or right straight through.  Some stay around till the building closes.

After I married Mark, I practically couldn’t find him.

He actually left right after the wedding ceremony.  He said he had to be back in Los Angeles to work with some little theater group.

It hadn’t been so bad to fight with Sid Luft.  He could fight back.

But I never knew where Mark was.  I used to hear from him once in a while.  I think he called from a phone booth on casters.

HOW COULD I LET ALL THIS happen to me?  Well, for one thing, I’m not very tough.

I’ve always dealt almost exclusively with men.

And if you’re completely feminine and you’re dealing with big businessmen, you can’t walk in and say: “Look, you’re nothing.  You don’t know anything.  You’re bums, no-talents.  I’m the star.  You sit down and listen to me.”

That sounds like Helen Lawson, the tough, musical-comedy star-on-the-skids I was supposed to play in “Valley of the Dolls.”

But it’s not Judy Garland.

I’m a lady; I can’t castrate men, so I let them maintain their egos while they robbed me of my vanity.

If you ruin a man’s ego, you rob him of his ability to do his job.  I don’t know how to fight like a man; I’m not supposed to know how.

Still, I must have some kind of toughness just to stay alive – a resilience.

SATURDAY:  All I am is Judy Garland.

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


June 27, 1969:  The fifth in a series of articles about Judy published immediately after her death.

If They Get Around to Making Movie of Her Life Story


WHENEVER TALK CAME UP of doing Judy Garland’s life story in films, she cringed, “My God,” she said even recently, in that clipped, indignant voice of her, “I’m just starting.  Who knows, I may end up as I began – as an acrobat.  There’s time enough to do my biography after I’m dead.”

But there were several abortive attempts to put together a Judy Garland life story for both television and motion pictures.

And the girl most often named to play Judy was Barbra Streisand.  There were similarities.  Both were highly talented, free souls and ambitious.  Maybe someday now Barbra will play Judy.

AND SPEAKING OF LIFE STORIES, one of the major disappointments of Judy’s life came when she was unceremoniously eased out of the “Valley of the Dolls” movie.

Readers of the book, who find a book more dramatic and therefore more enjoyable if the characters are based on real people, had been gossiping for some time that the “Neeley O’Hara” character was based upon Judy.

She was a talented, desperate girl too full of pills and booze to make full use of her own abilities.  Readers said it sounded like Judy.

Author Jacqueline Susann, with her eye on the law books, scoffed.  The producer must have thought differently because he chose Judy to play Helen Lawson, an aging queen of the Broadway musicals.

When well-meaning friends told Judy that the character was too old for her, she said sensibly, “I have to eat so I have to work.  I’m grateful for the chance.”

She was grateful but apparently not grateful enough.  She reverted to the classical temperamental movie star, making it impossible to get film in the can.  She was fired and Susan Hayward was signed instead.

CHANCES ARE JUDY’S LIFE STORY will be made someday.  She led a full life and it could be a very long movie.  If it is made, these are some of the incidents I’d like to see in it:

When Judy was about 14 she did a couple of MGM two-reelers that impressed nobody.  But she was enjoying the glamor of the movie lot and the daily lessons.  She spent two hours every day rehearsing songs with Roger Edens, MGM singing coach.

One day with 20 minutes still left on her lunch hour, Mayer’s secretary, Ida Koverman, stepped into the rehearsal hall where Judy was.

On such slim quirks of schedule are careers made.

IDA TOLD IT THIS WAY, “There was a beauty and sadness to this little girl’s song.  It was as if she were begging to be loved.  I mean, personally.”

“Clark Gable was under contract to MGM and called the Kind in Hollywood.  We were preparing a big 36th birthday party for him on a soundstage.  Mr (Louis B) Mayer had been trying to find a gimmick for the party and, hearing Judy sing, I thought I had a gimmick.”

“I told the boss about Judy and having faith in me, he suggested I get a special song written that she could sing to him.  Roger Edens composted ‘Dear Mr. Gable’ to the tune of ‘You Made Me Love You.'”

“Judy half sang it, half talked it at the party.  She was wonderful.  Gable was entranced by her.  Mayer immediately asked producers to find a spot where she could do that song in a picture.”

“Someone came up with the ‘Broadway Melody of 1938.’  Judy repeated the song in that movie.  A critic said, ‘Judy Garland has a richly warm, pensive quality that could carry her far.’  In a big movie with lots of stars, she was singled out.  From then on Judy had everyone’s attention.”

I asked Judy about that once and she said, “It was so easy because I was madly in love with Clark Gable.  Years later, he said he loved me.”

THERE’S ANOTHER SIDE OF JUDY that should be shown in a movie about her.  Several times at parties I have seen her standing or sitting alone, sipping on her vodka martini and looking boredly out into space.

One evening at the California Racquet Club I got the nerve to ask her why she went to parties if she were so bored.

The question set her off into a long spate of words.  Yet they were sad words.  “I go to parties for the same reason everyone else does.  I want to meet people.  I want excitement, interest.  And I enjoy talking to people I know.”

“But what the public doesn’t know is that being a star is a lonely life.  It’s a cliche, but it’s true.  People think, ‘That’s the great Judy Garland.  I don’t dare talk to her.  She can’t be friends with just anyone.”

“That’s what happens at parties, too.  People are afraid of me because of what I am.  And it isn’t only me.  Joan Crawford once said that often she wanted to go to a movie at night but she had no one to take her.”

“When men do get up nerve enough to talk to me, it’s like I’m some kind of untouchable queen and they never break through that reserve.  So what am I to do?”

“I sit at a party hoping for the unthinkable – that someone will come up to me and talk to me as an average citizen.  But it will never happen.  Don’t you think all of life is a battle against loneliness and boredom?  It has been for me.”

It called for some comment.  I suppose I wasn’t up to it because I said the obvious, “You can’t count on life to be exciting every moment.”

She smiled sadly and said, “Well, how about half of the time?” and that’s the way the vignette ended.

THERE IS ANOTHER INCIDENT that has to be in a movie about Judy.  When Sid Luft first met Judy at a Jackie Gleason party, she asked him to call her.  But Freddie Finklehoff who was friendly with both of them suggested to Judy that she didn’t want to go out with Sid because he was too much of a swinger.

Freddie was a well-known producer and Judy followed instructions by telling her switchboard that she wasn’t into Sid.  But they met again and then made another date.

This time Judy forgot to change the instructions for the switchboard, and Sid got very upset about not getting through to her for the second time.  In that mood, he got into a scuffle with the maitre-d in front of a restaurant on Broadway and then found he had lost his wristwatch.

Judy eventually remembered she had forgotten to cancel her instructions to the switchboard and so, when Sid called again as he had all night, he got Judy.  It was three in the morning.  Nothing was open at that time so they took a walk down the empty streets.  They walked, mostly talking but also looking for Sid’s wristwatch which they never found.

Eventually, they ended up in Child’s for breakfast.  Judy had an enormous appetite and never stopped talking. Sid watched her in amazement.  This bubbling girl was still fascinated with life.  She had an intensity that couldn’t be denied.  She was a one-man show even at a table in Child’s 

All the while she was talking, Sid wondered why Judy had fallen on unhappy times.  He knew all about her life.  He resolved then to find out what had happened and if possible to help.

THAT WAS A HAPPY TIME, THE CONTRAST must be shown too.  Judy before Judy died, a re-run of an appearance she made with Johnny Carson was shown on NBC.  Her words were slurred.  Her manner was spastic.  She looked godawful.  And we might add that she felt the same.

When she showed up to do that guesting about a year ago, there was a lot of whispering in the dressing room area.  “She’ll never make it,” they told Johnny.  “She’s on something and she isn’t making any sense.”

Johnny was sympathetic but practical.  “We advertised her,” he said, “and we should keep the faith.  I’ll get her through it.  If it gets too bad we can cut.”

Everyone was dubious.  “Why don’t we make it another night?” someone asked.  Johnny was against it.  “It might hurt her feelings.  She was kind enough to get here – even like she is – so let’s do it.”

If you saw it, you could have felt only pity for Judy.  She was ill, on medication, and desperate.  But this was her life.  They wanted her on Johnny’s show and no matter what, she’d do it.

She talked disjointedly.  She sang cockeyed notes that rambled and jumped.  It was almost a satire of that wonderful entertainer of a few years before.  Yet with Johnny’s help, she got through it.  

The audience must have known her physical crisis because they cheered for her.

Backstage, aware of what had happened Judy said, “But I’m not ‘Dorothy’ anymore.  How can they still expect me to be ‘Dorothy?'”

Of course, that was the little girl in “The Wizard of Oz.”

Even the television columnists were kind.  No one can expect a girl emotionally destroyed to act normally.  They excused her appearance and her performance.  After all, she was a legend.

SATURDAY:  Judy’s family background.

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


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