“Judy Garland acclaimed as Miss Show Business” – 1952
June 29, 1934: The first night of a planned two-week engagement for “The Gumm Sisters” in Colorado, at the Blakeland Inn in Littleton, Colorado. The club had been raided by the police the previous night and even though it was closed, the owner, Ova Elijah Stephens, stayed open for himself and his friends and was so impressed by the girls that he paid them for the week and also got them a booking in Colorado Springs.
June 29, 1939: Judy’s first public performance, and first radio performance, of “Over The Rainbow” took place when she appeared on the NBC Radio show “Maxwell House Coffee Time – Good News.” The show, which was the last of the season, was devoted to The Wizard of Oz, promoting its upcoming August release. The show pretended to go behind the scenes of the making of the film. It’s the only time, that we know of, in which Judy actually flubbed the lyrics to “Over The Rainbow.”
Listen to the performance here:
In the first photo above: Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, publisher Harry Link, Meredith Willson, E.Y. Harburg, and Harold Arlen (sitting) pose with Judy prior to the broadcast. Judy is wearing a different outfit.
In the second photo above: Judy, along with Bert Lahr, Ray Bolger, MGM exec L.K. Sidney, E.Y. Harburg, Meredith Willson, publisher Harry Link and Harold Arlen (sitting with Judy), pose prior to performing on the “Maxwell House Coffee Time – Good News” program, June 29, 1939. Note that Judy is wearing a different outfit. In the previous photo, she’s in her casual clothes with her hair in a net and band, indicating it’s a photo taken during rehearsal. This second photo shows her in one of her favorite outfits, with her hair combed out. It was standard practice for the stars, especially the women, to dress up for the studio audiences.
Earlier in the day, Judy was at MGM filming the “Babes in Arms” number for Babes in Arms from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at which time she was released to do the radio program. She was back at the studio at 6:30 p.m. and resumed filming on MGM’s Backlot #2, the “Exterior School Yard” set until 10 p.m. Quite a busy day for her!
The “Good News” program has been released on LP and CD, most recently on the wonderful 2014 “Wizard of Oz 75th Anniversary Anthology.”
June 29, 1939: Here’s another article about some of Judy’s crazier fans, similar to the blurb about the two competing fans in yesterday’s post. If this had happened today, those locks of hair would have probably ended up on eBay.
June 29, 1940: Filming on Strike Up The Band continued with more of the “La Conga” number on the “interior Gym” set. Time called: 9 a.m.; dismissed: 5:59 p.m.
June 29, 1940: MGM placed this ad in the trade magazine “Motion Picture Herald.”
June 29, 1941: This great photo of Judy made the cover of the New York Sunday Mirror.
June 29, 1945: This fun little featurette appeared in the Australian Women’s Weekly.
Also on June 29, 1948: Judy’s best friend, and her closest female friend, Kay Thompson, was the subject of Earl Wilson’s “It Happened Last Night” column due to her recent successful nightclub act. Thompson spent time at MGM as a vocal arranger (among other tasks) where she had a huge impact on not just Judy’s style but the style of other MGM singers. Decades later Judy’s daughter, Liza (who was Kay’s goddaughter) paid tribute to Kay by recreating and paying homage to her famous nightclub act.
Photos: The article; Kay with the Williams Brothers (who backed her up in her act); Kay with Judy after Judy’s 1951 Palladium debut.
June 29, 1952: Judy was honored by The Friars Club at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. She was only the second woman in the Friar’s fifty-year history to be honored with a testimonial evening, Sophie Tucker was the first. Judy sang the “Judy At The Palace” medley and “Over The Rainbow” to end the festivities.
June 29, 1952: This rather random “Candied vs. Candid” blurb (?) appeared, for no apparent reason other than to show the difference between studio portraits and snapshots.
June 29, 1953: Columbia Records released “Go Home, Joe” and “Heartbroken.” These were the last two of four singles released by the label, the previous two were “Send My Baby Back To Me” and “Without A Memory” released on May 4, 1953.
On April 3, 1953, Judy recorded all four of the songs, with Paul Weston and His Orchestra) at the Columbia Records studios in Hollywood. This was her first studio recording session for a label (excepting the MGM soundtracks) in 5 1/2 years. Her last recording session was on November 15, 1947, for Decca Records.
Listen to, and download, the 1990s Robert Parker “surround sound” restorations of the recordings here:
“Send My Baby Back To Me”
“Go Home, Joe”
“Without A Memory”
Columbia Records also released the soundtrack album of A Star Is Born in 1954, which has never been out of print.
June 29, 1954: Work continued on the “Born In A Trunk” sequence for A Star Is Born. Judy had a dress rehearsal and light setting for the “Swanee” section, which would begin filming the next day. Time started: 12 p.m.; finished: 6:10 p.m.
June 29, 1955: The second theatrical re-release of The Wizard of Oz was going strong. A little over a year later it began its legendary run as an American TV institution.
June 29, 1957: Judy’s recent opening at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles (June 27th) made the society page, showing that Judy appealed to the upper crust of the social set in Los Angeles. It’s a fun read.
June 29, 1963: Judy’s recent reunion with Mickey Rooney on the set of her new TV series (June 24) made the papers including this entry in Bob Thomas’ syndicated column.
Also on June 29, 1963: Judy’s daughter, Liza, was beginning to make a name for herself in the entertainment world although she was, fair or not, constantly compared to her famous mom.
June 29, 1965: Judy had just completed her run at the Thunderbird Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, the previous night. On this day she flew back to Los Angeles, California.
June 29, 1969: Here are some more articles about Judy published after her untimely death on June 22, 1969. Click on the images to read the articles.
June 29, 2016: The first of three days of auctions by the “Profiles in History” auction house. Several Garland items were auctioned, as featured in these pages from The Judy Room’s “2016 Year in Review.”