“Without encouraging it – in fact, her behavior often seemed to discourage it – [Judy] became the darling of an enormous following, indeed of a cult.” – Norma Goldstein, “A Legend Remembered” 1969
July 5, 1931: The upcoming all kiddie revue, Maurice Kusell’s “Stars of Tomorrow,” was soon to open on July 10th. Here is one of the advance notices. Judy and her sisters, “The Gumm Sisters,” were a part of the show.
July 5, 1933: Judy and her sisters, “The Gumm Sisters,” performed for the Lancaster Rainbow for Girls Compliment for Mary Jane and Virginia Gumm (Judy’s two older sisters of which this event was for), in Lancaster, California, the Gumm’s current hometown.
July 5, 1939: Babes in Arms filming continued with more work on the “Minstrel” number on the “Exterior Barn Theatre” set. Time called: 9 a.m.; lunch: 12:20 – 1:30 p.m.; dismissed: 6 p.m.
July 5, 1940: A relatively short day for Judy at MGM. It was the first day of rehearsals on the “Finale” sequence for Strike Up The Band. time called: 1 p.m.; dismissed: 4:15 p.m. Meanwhile, Andy Hardy Meets Debutante was in theaters.
July 5, 1948: Here’s another trade ad that MGM placed in various movie trade magazines, in this case, the “Film Daily” trade paper. Although it promotes both A Date With Judy (starring Jane Powell and Elizabeth Taylor) and Judy’s Easter Parade, the ad could also be seen as promoting “A Date With Judy [Garland]” what with the additional mention of The Pirate. Both films were playing around the nation, giving Judy a very high profile.
July 5, 1956: Judy’s upcoming nightclub debut in Las Vegas was getting advance press. Judy opened at the New Frontier Hotel on July 16th.
July 5, 1961: This article published in the Newport Daily News mentions a possible return date of August 12. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. The article gives some details about what Judy wanted for the show: She demanded hot and cold running water and air conditioning in her trailer dressing room [this was an outdoor music festival]. She demanded a dozen and one other changes in lighting and even asked the Music at Newport 1961 banner on the stage be removed during her show. She wouldn’t permit cameramen to come close to the stage and when one did attempt to do so when her act started she wave him away. The producers wondered if all the fuss was going to be worth it . . . The audience answered the question for me, “Their response was terrific,” said [producer Sid] Bernstein.
She told friends later at Cliff Walk Manor, where she stayed overnight, that she wasn’t accustomed to performing on an open-air stage and to audiences like the one here. She was thrown off stride for a time because many in the audience were walking around while listening to her. In fact, she mentioned during her show that “I never saw so many people wandering around,” which may have been a hint for them to sit down. But she told her friends and the producers that once she accepted the atmosphere as that of Newport she moved right into it.
July 5, 1962: The press reported that Judy had recently (probably around July 1st) hit her head in the bathroom of the home that she was staying in while filming I Could Go On Singing. She recovered quickly enough. Filming was completed on the 13th.
July 5, 1963: The second day of rehearsals for “Episode Two” of “The Judy Garland Show” at CBS Television City in Hollywood yielded two performances that were taped and deemed so good they were used in the final cut of the show: The segment with guests Count Basie and Mel Torme in which Judy sings “I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm” and, with Torme, “April in Paris.”
Photo: Judy and Count Basie during rehearsals.
July 5, 1969: The new book “Judy: The Films and Career of Judy Garland” hit book stores. As noted, it was published right before her death, and original copies mentioned that Judy would “come back.” An update was added later. This was the first book about Judy to be published that focused on her career. In a short time, the “flurry of ‘biographies'” predicted by the author would soon appear. Later biographies and career overviews provided more details and corrections, but this book holds a special place in the hearts of the Garland fans of the day.
July 5, 1989: The summer of 1989 brought us the very first “special edition” of The Wizard of Oz in the home media format (released in August). The first that was marketed to the general public that is. The Criterion Collection had previously released a special collector’s edition laser disc of the film at a high cost of $100 marketed for collectors and not in the then-standard, popular VHS format.
This MGM/UA release was a milestone at the time, being the first time a film was presented on home media in a new remastered format with extras. It was released on both VHS and laserdisc, part of the big home media celebration of the 50th anniversary of Hollywood’s greatest year, 1939. Naturally, Oz was one of the most celebrated.