“[Judy] had her audience in a state akin to the fever that hyped the Oklahoma land rush.” – 1959 review
July 1, 1938: This ad featuring several upcoming MGM films, including Broadway Melody of 1938, was published in the Film Daily trade paper.
July 1, 1939: According to the “Production Section – Studio Size-Ups” section of the “Independent Film Exhibitors Bulletin” magazine for 1939, Judy was to start a film called “Valedictory,” here’s the text:
July 1, 1939: An American “Mr. Chips” has been gathering dust on MGM’s story shelves in the form of a yarn called “Valedictory,” no being dusted as a vehicle for Lionel Barrymore, Judy Garland and Freddie Bartholomew
The “Production Section – Studio Size-Ups” section of the magazine listed alleged upcoming projects at the various studios. Judy’s name pops up a lot in mid-1939 then later, obviously the studio was getting her name out there. Her name was also listed for films that had been released and a few reviews. Here are some more that were listed as projects allegedly planned for her:
September 29, 1939: More about “Good News”:
Judy Garland is another young player to be optioned. Her next assignment will lie opposite Mickey Rooney in “Good News”, under the direction of Busby Berkeley thus reuniting the trio which scored in “Babes in Arms.”
June 12, 1939: Judy Garland in “Looking After Sandy.”
This is a title I’ve never heard of and it’s never been listed in any other documents.
July 29, 1939: “Good News” with Judy, Mickey Rooney, Douglas McPhail, Betty Jaynes, and June Preisser.
December 2, 1939: “Good News” was still news: Paul Whiteman and his band may appear in “Good News”, the next Mickey Rooney-Judy Garland starring vehicle.
Learn more about all of the film projects that Judy was allegedly in the running for and those she began but did not finish at The Judy Room’s “The Films That Got Away” pages here.
Also on July 1, 1939: Filming on Babes in Arms continued with the “Minstrel” number on the “Exterior Barn Theatre” set. Time called: 9 a.m.; lunch: 12:30-1:30 p.m.; dismissed: 5:45 p.m.
Also on July 1, 1939: Judy’s success was cemented by the fact that the famous New York landmark Reuben’s Delicatessen named a sandwich after her. Unfortunately, the restaurant closed in 2001.
July 1, 1940: Filming continued on Strike Up The Band, specifically more of the “La Conga” number on the “Interior Gym” set. Time called: 9:00 a.m.; dismissed: 11:00 p.m.
July 1, 1943: Judy’s very first time “in concert,” was at the Robin Hood Dell, in Philadelphia. 15,000 people packed the amphitheater well past its 6,500 regular capacity. Another 15,000 people sat on adjoining lawns, and in parking lots; another 5,000-10,000 people left when they could not get within listening distance.
Following Andre Kostelanetz conducting several songs to start the concert, Judy’s program (set for her by Roger Edens) was: Gershwin Medley (“Someone To Watch Over Me”/”Do, Do, Do”/”Embraceable You”/”The Man I Love”/”Strike Up The Band”/”Porgy and Bess”); Movie Medley (“Over The Rainbow”/”For Me And My Gal”/”You Made Me Love You”/”It’s A Great Day For The Irish”/”Our Love Affair”/”I’m Nobody’s Baby”); closing with “The Joint Is Really Jumpin’.” Judy encored with a reprise of “The Joint Is Really Jumpin'” and “But Not For Me.”
Judy’s appearance was a huge hit. Ironically Judy’s last U.S. concert was also in Philadelphia but at the JFK Stadium, on July 20, 1968.
July 1, 1943: Presenting Lily Mars is one of the films listed in this booking chart published in the trade magazine, “Motion Picture Daily.” In that same issue is an article that notes the film being extended for a second week in Indianapolis, Indiana.
July 1, 1943: More Presenting Lily Mars.
July 1, 1945: Columnist Sheilah Graham began the (incorrect) legend that in 1936 MGM studio boss Louis B. Mayer had given the edict to let Judy go and keep Deanna Durbin. The legend goes that Mayer was so angry over Durbin being let go and finding success at Universal that he “ordered a build-up and good pictures for Miss Garland.” Graham added, “In those days Judy was not only fat, but homely.”
July 1, 1947: Here is one of many news items that featured Judy and daughter Liza in photos taken on the Pirate set. The news claimed that Liza was making her film debut when in fact she didn’t debut until 1949’s In The Good Old Summertime.
July 1, 1948: Judy had wardrobe fittings for The Barkleys of Broadway. No photos exist as these were simple fittings and not costume tests. The session lasted from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
July 1, 1948: The Pirate.
July 1, 1952: Judy wrote this letter to a fan who apparently had tried to see her in her recent engagement in San Francisco, California, but missed her.
July 1, 1954: Filming on A Star Is Born continued on the “Swanee” section of the “Born In A Trunk” production number. Time started: 8:00 a.m.; finished: 5:25 p.m.
July 1, 1955: The Long Beach Independent continued its promotion of Judy’s upcoming show (on July 11th) in Long Beach. Advance buzz was that the audience would be peppered with a “who’s who” of Hollywood.
Also during this time, The Wizard of Oz was enjoying a second successful theatrical re-release. The film was leased to CBS the following year for its first television broadcast.
July 1, 1959: Judy opened a 10-day run at The San Francisco War Memorial Opera House, in San Francisco, California.
She added a new, Roger Edens-arranged version of the song “San Francisco” as her final encore, which stayed in her act for the rest of her life (she sang it during her very last concert).
While in San Francisco, a suit was filed against Judy’s show by a group of ASCAP writers and publishers, claiming they weren’t paid for the use of the songs “A Couple of Swells”; “A Wonderful Guy”; and “This Can’t Be Love.” They did this because the venue didn’t operate under a “blanket license” with ASCAP as did other theaters. Sid Luft stated he had paid for the performing rights.
One of the reviews of the show stated: “[Judy] had her audience in a state akin to the fever that hyped the Oklahoma land rush. If they had taken out their uppers, removed their toupees, and tossed same over the footlights, it wouldn’t have surprised me.”
July 1, 1961: Judy was in concert at the Forest Hills Stadium (Tennis Club) in Forest Hills (Queens), New York. A capacity audience of 14, 672 attended this performance. Judy stayed at the Forest Hills Inn, where there was a party held after the concert, which she attended from 12:45 – 3:45 a.m.
July 1, 1965: Judy and Mark Herron attended the premiere of The Great Race at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, California.
July 1, 1968: The news of Judy’s hospital stay and her recent collapse on stage was big news. On June 29th, during her final night’s performance at the Garden State Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey, Judy fell asleep on the stage. The story was that she collapsed from exhaustion but the truth is that she was suffering from too much medication. She was carried off stage (still clutching her microphone!) and rushed to the Monmouth Medical Center. She left and checked into the Peter Brent Brigham Hospital in Boston to go through a withdrawal program.
July 1, 1969: The eighth in a series of articles about Judy published immediately after her death.
The JUDY GARLAND Story
‘I’m Really Only Happy When in Front of an Audience’
By LEO GUILD
JUDY GARLAND has been locked out of the St. Moritz Hotel in New York City for not paying her bill. It was $1800 for one week. They were holding her bags and two kittens for security.
My editor asked me to talk to her. Eighteen hundred dollars sounded like a lot of money for a week at a hotel. I’ve been shocked when getting a $150 bill for a week.
She was staying in the home of a musician friend in New York when I talked to her.
She didn’t seem too upset. She said it would all be taken care of. It always was.
However, because her gowns were under lock and key she wouldn’t be able to open a concert engagement in Boston, and that would cost her money, too.
She was very thin and there were blotted black circles under her eyes. Her movements seemed disconnected as if she didn’t have complete control.
“I’D RATHER NOT TALK ABOUT MONEY,” she smiled. “It confuses me. I have a contract with Group V and they pay all my expenses. You’ll have to talk to them.”
She didn’t seem terribly aware of any details. Judy talked though. Not about money but about everything else.
Would you like something to eat?” she didn’t wait for an answer but instead dug through some opened suitcases on the bed. “Someone gave me some expensive imported cheese from Sweden.”
Her maid corrected her and said it was Scotland.
“Yes,” she said, “Scotland. I didn’t think they made cheese there. But I want you to taste it. The flavor is tart.”
She smeared some on a cracker for me.
“Cheese is good for you because it has what most foods don’t have – pleasure from feel in the mouth.”
She cocked her head on the side for my reaction.
I said I liked it, and she said, “Well, that’s what someone told me. Cheese feels good in the mouth.”
I thought how often she appeared like a child wanting approval. She sat down as if to get comfortable and then got up quickly again.
“WELL, GO AHEAD AND INTERVIEW ME,” she suggested. “I love New York. On this trip, I wasn’t treated very kindly. But cities are like people. Sometimes they are good to you and other times they aren’t.”
She talked about her children for a while.
“I’m so proud of them. I’m often so discombobulated but they, all of them, are so sweet and good.”
I thought for a moment there were tears in her eyes. But she quickly snapped out of it.
“You know,” she said, “I used to come to New York for the plays. But now I look around at the little theatres for those good art movies. Some of them are precious. Let’s see, what was that picture I saw Saturday? Well, I don’t remember anymore but it had a darling little boy in it that had large, round yes and he practically talked with them.”
I asked her about her future bookings.
FIRST, SHE LIT A CIGARET. Then she sipped of a martini and then she brushed her hair before she answered.
“Oh, all sorts of things. Pictures, concerts, albums. I don’t know. They tell me what to do and I do it.”
She didn’t say who “they” was.
“Mos of the script I see are doddering. I want a part with vitality. You know what else I like – old songs. I like to sing and make old songs popular again. It’s like giving birth to a child you love before it’s born.”
Judy seemed more at ease now.
The maid continued to clean up. I found out later she was a combination maid-secretary.
The phone rang and Judy answered it. She laughed hilariously. She put her hand over the phone and said, “It’s Freddie. He wanted to know who I’m destroying now.”
She laughed some and they had more chit-chat about St. Patrick’s Day.
“You damned idiot,” she laughed, “if you wear pink on St. Pat’s Day, they’ll paint you green.”
After a while, she hung up the phone and wiped her eyes of the tears made from laughing.
CHANGING THE SUBJECT, she said, “I have a magazine here I want you to look at. Now, where did I put it?”
She looked around, and then her maid handed it to her. “It’s a German magazine,” she explained. Do you read German?” I didn’t.
“Oh, what shame. Well, it tells of how I am the greatest living legend of the theatre. You know why I tell you this? Because here I am broke in a friend’s house, no clothes and last night I had dinner in my room because there was no one to have dinner with. Do you think that’s a proper reward for the greatest living legend of the theatre.”
She said it without dramatics, matter-of-factly. But she looked sad.
I told her she was deserving of better.
“Ha,” she smiled, “It’s all my own fault. I’m really only happy when I’m in front of an audience. I feel sorry for you newspapermen. You create fancy stories and then there’s no way of peeking in a window to see how it’s received. It’s as if I performed alone in the dark. You’ll never know the thrill of several thousand people applauding a trick turn of a phrase or a dramatic story.”
THE PHONE RAN AGAIN. It was her rent-a-car place that wanted their money for a car she had rented.
“But,” she said, “I don’t have anything to do with money. You have to call my manager. He knows what to do.”
When they persisted, she hung up. She made a gesture of what-is-a-girl-to-do?
“All right,” she said, “ask me questions. I’ll answer anything. Money, too, if you insist.”
I started to ask a question, but she interrupted.
“Have you heard any of my newer albums?” I had. “Don’t you think that my voice is better than it ever was?”
I honestly did think so. She beamed.
“Why shouldn’t a voice get better with maturity. I’m more of a person than I was once, so my voice has improved with me.”
SHE PLAYED ME A NOEL COWARD show tune she had recorded recently. Her voice was full and rich.
“You know,” she said, pensively, “everyone I’m acquainted with wants to create – write, sing, act, paint – and I can tell without seeing what they’ve done how well they’ll do it. You have to be a full person in order to create because what you create is an extension of you. Now someone else said that before me but I believe it – and why does everything you say have to be original? I’ve never seen a dope turn out a good canvas or a smart song.”
A messenger came to the door with flowers. She read the card out loud, With much love and devotion, Jim.”
She smelled them. “how beautiful! But I don’t know any Jim.”
She hollered to the maid, “Who’s Jim? He sent me flowers.”
The maid thought it might be a detective that she had met, but Judy didn’t think so.”
I MADE SOME NOTES and she came back and looked over my shoulder. “What’s ‘Judy intense’ mean?”
I told her it meant exactly what it said. “Let me explain,” she smiled, almost condescendingly. “Jack Benny says when he walks out on a stage, everyone laughs even before he says anything. They’re conditioned. That’s what an entertainer has going for him. You’d be surprised how audiences remember.”
“Now to get back to ‘Judy insense.’ – I’m really not intense anymore. But I have been [through] so much through the years you all think I still am.”
“I’m very relaxed,” she added. “Not intense at all.”
But she was.
Her maid said, “You should be getting ready because you’re meeting Randy for cocktails.”
JUDY MADE A FACE. “He wants me to do a play on Broadway. I’m not ready for that yet. Also, I don’t want to work that hard.”
Something occurred to her. “I don’t think you got a very good interview. Let’s see, you wanted to know about the St. Moritz and how they locked me out of my suite.”
“I don’t know how I can explain it. I didn’t have any money and they want to be paid. There’s no heart in business you know.”
“Would you believe I’ve carried around check in my purse amounting to $150,000 and didn’t even bother to deposit them because I had so much money laying around? But now my money seems to have disappeared.”
“But let me tell you something. I’ll have that kind of money again. And do you think I’ll be bitter about a hotel locking me out? Not at all. I’ll stay at the St. Moritz again if they’ll have me.” She grinned. “And I’ll pay in advance.”
WEDNESDAY: Judy’s throat “dried up” in Philadelphia – and there were bills to pay.