“Judy Garland, possibly the screen’s best example of a baby Bernhardt who grew up to become one of its most winsome and talented people.” – Mildred Martin, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 1948
July 11, 1932: The first of a three-night engagement for “The Gumm Sisters” at the Fox West Coast Theater in Santa Ana, California. No information exists about what the sisters sang.
July 11, 1939: Rehearsals continued the “God’s Country” number for Babes in Arms. Time called: 9 a.m.; lunch: 12:20 – 1:20 p.m.; time dismissed: 5:20 p.m.
July 11, 1940: Two items: 1) Judy and Andy Hardy Meets Debutante were used in helping sell Studebaker cars in Wilmington, Deleware; 2) The film was held over for a second week in Cincinnati, Ohio.
July 11, 1941: Judy and Mickey Rooney continued music rehearsals of the “How About You” for Babes on Broadway. Time called: 10:00 a.m.; dismissed: 12:00 p.m.
July 1943: Judy was the cover girl for Photoplay magazine, the personification of the patriotic star tending to her victory garden and other duties.
JUDY – Victory Model
Judy Garland, Cover Girl, a first to beat the Hollywood band: First as a Crop Corp Volunteer – and first in the hearts of America
By Sidney Skolsky
The noted writer and newspaper columnist
Drawings by Walter Stewart
FRANCES ETHEL GUMM, renamed Garland by George Jessel after his drama-critic friend and screen-named Judy by herself after her favorite song, is five feet, two inches tall without her shoes, weighs 110 pounds, had dark brown eyes and red hair. She uses a touch of her favorite bath oil on each writes instead of perfume.
She claims she is the most “thrown together” actress when it comes to fashion. She loves to make over hats and dresses. She adores frilly white collars and cuffs.
As Photoplay’s cover star this month, Judy is the first girl to pose as a CropsCorps Volunteer, dramatizing America’s need for millions of women to harvest our country’s crops this summer.
It was while she was going to school at Lawlor’s, in Hollywood, that a freckled-faced boy was ushered into the classroom and given the seat next to her. The boy began tapping his foot and whistling softly. Then he took a comb from his pocket and proceeded to get his hair so tangled that he couldn’t remove the comb. She reached over and unknotted the mess. Giving her a big grin, he stuck out his hand and said, “Thanks, my name is Mickey.”
This was her first meeting with Mickey Rooney. She fell in love with him.
A few weeks later Mickey told her he was leaving school. He had just signed a contract at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and had to attend the studio school. She felt miserable that he was leaving. “I’ll call you tomorrow,” he said. He never did. She didn’t see him again until she was signed by the same studio.
She saw him while she was standing on the steps of the Metro schoolhouse. He grabbed both her hands in his, pulled her off the steps, said he was glad she was at the same studio, that they’d have plenty of fun together, and for her not to be upset because he knew she was going to be a success.
Then he gave her a kiss on the cheek and was on his way. That kiss has become sort of a symbol. She and Mickey never go into a first scene of a picture, or do a broadcast, or make a personal appearance without it.
She and Mickey, the “Babes,” have come a long way since. They both have been married and are now waiting for their divorces to be final. She married Dave Rose, the musical arranger, and conductor. It just wasn’t a “take.”
She now resides by herself in her favorite house in Beverly. The house is owned by Mary Martin and when Mary went to New York to do a show, she rented it immediately. The house is a one=story affair and there is a Victory Garden in the back of the house. She actually works in the garden herself.
She also likes to cook and help with the housework, the dusting and sweeping, when she is not working in a picture.
She is active in war work. Entertains at the Hollywood Canteen, does two or three radio transcriptions a week to be mailed overseas, and is one of the favorites with the servicemen on the program “Command Performance,” which is short-waved. She has also asked for permission to be sent across to entertain.
When she was in New York some months ago, she was walking along the streets with Vincent Minnelli and Roger Edens, who helped her in her first audition at Metro. Despite the dimout, the avenues were crowded, and there were many men in uniforms. It was late at night and she stopped on various street corners to sing songs for groups of soldiers and then continued on her way. She gave her last impromptu concert in Central Park and then started for the hotel where she was staying.
Outside the hotel, she, Edens and Minnelli noticed a lone soldier. She asked the soldier if he would like to come up to their suite, have some coffee and cake and kick around a couple of hours with some company. The lone soldier smiled and said, “Sure thing.”
After the coffee and cake and some chatter, Roger Edens went to the piano and she started to sing songs. The soldier sat there listening, enjoying it very much. This went on until almost four in the morning, when the soldier said, “I guess I’ll have to be going now. And thanks for the good time.”
Vincent Minnelli took the soldier to the elevator and while they were waiting said, “you know who that was singing for you?” “All I know,” answered the soldier, “is that she’s a lovely girl.”
“That was Judy Garland,” said Minnelli.
“My goodness!” exclaimed the soldier. “She’s my favorite actress.” Then, as he stepped into the elevator, he said, “And I didn’t even ask her for her autograph. Now when I tell the fellows at camp that I was with Judy Garland, they’ll never believe me!”
She seldom goes to beauty parlors. She washes and sets her hair. She has her own beauty treatment. She removes her mascara first with a damp washcloth, then sprinkles her face with cold water. She pats soap lather all over her face and leaves it on for about three minutes, then rinses it off with cold water, applying hand lotion. She does this every night and morning.
She loves tennis and swimming. She prefers to sit in the balcony at the movies. She is a great audience.
In fact, she is like a movie fan. She gets different favorites. At present, her favorite actress is Greer Garson. Her favorite actor is Ronald Colman. She was so thrilled with Mickey Rooney’s performance in “The Human Comedy” that she wrote him a fan letter, although she was working in “Girl Crazy” with him and could have told him on the set.
She likes to eat and her big meal is generally breakfast when she has pancakes, eggs, and bacon. She loathes mayonnaise as a salad dressing. Her special salad is lettuce sprinkled with crushed ice. She gets a big kick out of eating vegetables she grows in her garden.
She drinks plenty of milk and loves chocolate in any form, particularly penny chocolate kisses, which she usually eats at the movies.
She tells this story on herself: When the Government made a plea for discarded silk stockings she hounded friends, neighbors, and acquaintances for old hosiery. She made it a crusade. One afternoon a friend came to her house with a bundle of hosiery for her. Taking them, she said, “Now be sure, honey, to be on the lookout for more and more stockings.”
“Okay, Miss Garland,” was the meek reply, “but why don’t you turn in the ones you’re standing on?” Her rug was made of old silk stockings.
She rarely gets angry. If she does and flares up, it is soon over.
She hates to go to sleep and she hates to get up in the morning. No matter what time she goes to sleep if she gets too much sleep she feels terrible. If she doesn’t fall asleep within the first half-hour after she goes to bed, she can’t sleep the entire night. She doesn’t like blankets. She sleeps in a thin nightgown.
She is not a jitterbug. “I was a jitterbug for several weeks,” she says, “but I couldn’t stand the pace. I must be getting old.”
July 11, 1944: Judy appeared on the NBC radio show “Everything for the Boys.” Judy talked with servicemen stationed in Honolulu and sang “There’s A Tavern in the Town.” The show was pre-recorded during the day for broadcast later that evening. Judy had a night call at MGM for rehearsals on the “The Interview” number for Ziegfeld Follies, from 7 to 10 p.m.
Listen to “There’s A Tavern In The Town” here:
Listen to “Somebody Loves Me” here:
July 11, 1950: The trade magazine “Motion Picture Herald” gave an update on the release date for Summer Stock. It was moved up to August. Also noted was the cancellation of Betty Hutton’s three-film deal with MGM. In spite of the fact that Annie Get Your Gun was a big hit, the story from MGM was that there were “no properties ready for Miss Hutton at this time” but Hutton said that she took “the initial steps in terminating the agreement.” The magazine wisely noted that there was “more to the story.” The film was famously purchased for Judy to star in but after recording the score and filming several scenes, Judy was fired due to what the studio callously claimed was her erratic behavior.
July 11, 1955: Judy brought her concert, “The Judy Garland Show,” to the Municipal Auditorium in Long Beach, California. The proceeds of the show went to the Exceptional Children’s Foundation to benefit special needs children. The show was THE event of the season and anyone who was anyone in Hollywood went to Long Beach to see the show. Judy was, of course, a smash hit.
Judy sang: “Let’s Have A Party”; “The Man That Got Away”; “Carolina In The Morning”; “While We’re Young”; “A Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow”; “Judy’s Olio”; “Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart”; “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby”; “Aver You’ve Gone”; “A Couple Of Swells”; “Over The Rainbow”; “Liza”; and “Swanee.”
Judy was part of the original “Rat Pack” at the time, and a group of them, including Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Humphrey Bogart, all boarded a bus they had rented and rode down to see the show.
The article shown above was written by Tim Grobaty and printed in the Long Beach Press-Telegram on June 14, 2011.
THE GREATEST SHOW IN TOWN:
After more than three decades thinking that the best show to take place in the magnificent Long Beach Auditorium was the Quicksilver Messenger Service and Mark-Almond Band concert in 1973, a year before the building was razed, we realize now we were off by several measures of magnitude.
Our friend and co-citizen Steve Harvey, who wrote a column for the L.A. times before it was cool, sent us this reminder of a show held in the Auditorium on July 11, 1955, featured Judy Garland and more stars than you’d see on Oscar night.
“Crazy, the stuff you find websurfing,” writes Harvey, who found YouTube audio of part of the show. “Not sure what was going on but it sounds like one of the greatest collections of talent on one state in Long Beach history.”
It surely was. Even if the entire cast of the star-packed “It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World,” which included a lot of footage in Long Beach, had hopped up on stage, it would’ve been blinded by the talent that joined Garland for that one show in ’55.
Garland, billed, with not a bit of hyperbole, as “America’s No. 1 Entertainer,” had just opened her touring stage act in San Diego and had expressed a desire to not perform any closer to the L.A.-Hollywood area, but she was lured here by a charity close to her heart: The Long Beach Exceptional Children’s Foundation.
And, if it had been her dream to not have any Hollywood big-shots in attendance at her show in Long Beach, she failed on an epic scale.
Garland, who was 33 that night, opened with “The Man That Got Away,” which was met with loud and long applause.
The evening went on in a revue-style, with Garland coming and going. She’d sing a number, like “We’re A Couple of Swells,” before turning the stage over to singer-comic Frank Fontaine (from “The Jackie Gleason Show”), the Hi-Lo’s singing group, her backing Jerry Gray & His Orchestra, and the Wiere Brothers, three screwball violinists who engaged in fencing with their bows while balancing their fiddles on their noses.
She sang “You Make Me Love You,” “For Me and My Gal” and others before she closed with – what else? – “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” which earned her a standing ovation that didn’t end until she returned to do several encores, including “Liza” and “Swanee.”
And then the crowd-pleasin’ began.
“Would you like to meet some of my friends?” she asked, still out of breath from her performance.
She brought up Frank Sinatra, who talked about the “bus full of my idiot friends,” which he and his pals chartered to attend the show. Sinatra called up Humphrey Bogart, a classier act than Sinatra. Bogart actually sang for a second, just the opening snippet of “My Melancholy Baby,” which Garland sang in “A Star Is Born.” (In the film, she sings the song in response to a drunk hollering the request fro the audience. The drunk was played by an extra, but, the story goes, Bogart supplied the voice.)
Bogart bantered a bit then called up his wife, Lauren Bacall. Then, Bogart and Sinatra decided to quit with the one-star-at-a-time bit and just started dragging all their “idiot friends” up onto the Auditorium stage, while a crowd of 4,300 kept up a constant cheer: Dean Martin, Van Johnson, Eddie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, Betty Hutton, Leslie Caron, Sammy Davis Jr., Dick Powell, June Allyson and Edgar Bergen.
They’d all come to Long Beach on the same bus, and it was swamped by fans outside the Auditorium before the show.
Inside, with all of the friends onstage together, you’d think they would have at least started singing something “She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain,” anything – but the greatest talent of the age stood around fidgeting, with no screenwriter to write them out of the scene.
Finally, Bogart, bless his heart, grabbed the microphone and said “Let’s he the hell off,” and so they did, bringing the curtain down on the greatest show in Long Beach.
As for Garland’s good cause, the concert brought in $15,000 for the Long Beach Exceptional Children’s Foundation – thanks in large part to the towering $10 a seat that the stars paid. Tickets farther back were $4 and $5.
July 11, 1963: The first of four days of rehearsals for “Episode Three” of “The Judy Garland Show.” Judy’s guests on the show were her daughter Liza Minnelli, the Brothers Castro, and Soupy Sales. Pre-recordings were done on the evening of July 14th. Judy almost always sang live on the show with just a few rare instances of some pre-recording being done. The photo of Judy and Liza is from the day of taping on July 16th (there are no known photos from the rehearsal period of July 11 through July 14th).
July 11, 1967: Three items: 1 & 2) An ad and a review for Judy’s current engagement at the Camden County Music Fair in Camden/Haddonfield, New Jersey. The engagement was from July 10 through July 15; 3) An early notice in Wilmington, Delaware, about Judy’s upcoming return to the Palace Theater in New York (opening July 31st).
July 11, 1975: Here’s a review of the new Gerold Frank biography on Judy. His biography was the first exhaustive biography about Judy Garland to be published and is still highly regarded today. Many people consider it to still be the best. Frank had access (unlike subsequent biographies) to Judy’s family for interviews which added an extra layer of depth.