“Once they saw her they went absolutely wild. I think if Judy hadn’t sung there would have been a riot.” – A spokesman for The London Palladium, 1964
July 23, 1930: Judy (then still known by her birth name Frances) performed at a patio party held for her at the Fine Foods Cafe in Hollywood, California. No other information is known.
July 23, 1932: Here is an article about the acts playing on Sunday, July 24, at the Fox West Coast Theatre. Judy and her sisters, as The Gumm Sisters, played the venue the previous Sunday (July 17). It’s unclear if the sisters returned for a similar show on the 24th but since this article noted how popular that July 17 show was (with patrons turned away at the doors) it’s listed here as it’s a distinct possibility.
July 23, 1933: Another ad for the Meglin Kiddies act at the Warner Brothers Downtown Theater in Los Angeles. Judy and her sisters, The Gumm Sisters, were a part of this six-night engagement.
July 23, 1938: This notice appeared in “The Movie World” section of the Australian Women’s Weekly newspaper. It mentions Judy’s auto accident from May 24, 1938, when she suffered three broken ribs, a sprained back, and a punctured lung! At first, it was thought that Judy might have to be taken out of Love Finds Andy Hardy but her recuperative powers were such that she was able to return to work on the film on Jun 11th.
Also on July 23, 1938, this fun Australian article, “Judy – With A Punch.”
July 23, 1941: Pre-recording session at MGM. Judy recorded a second version of “The Rosary” for Life Begins for Andy Hardy. The song wasn’t used in the film and no footage was shot. Judy had previously recorded the song during a pre-recording session for the film on June 4, 1941. That session also included the pre-recording of “Abide with Me” and “Easy To Love.” The recordings made on this July 23rd session have not survived, so it’s unclear just why this extra session was needed.
Listen to the June 4, 1941, remastered version of “The Rosary” here:
July 23, 1943: Three notices about Judy’s recent live appearances. The first two are about Judy breaking Lily Pons’s attendance record at the Robin Hood Dell in Philadelphia on July 1st. The third is about her recent appearances (on July 21st & 22nd) at the Shenango Personnel Replacement Depot, which was part of her tour of Army camps in the Northeastern U.S.
Also on July 23, 1943, Presenting Lily Mars was still playing around the country, including Army camps as evidenced in the Shenango notice above.
July 23, 1947: Till The Clouds Roll By was still in general release. The film was previewed on July 2, 1946, and premiered in December of 1946. Judy’s guest spot as Marilyn Miller was one of the film’s highlights and she was singled out in the reviews of the film.
July 23, 1948: Here is another MGM ad placed in the “Film Daily” trade magazine.
July 23, 1955: This article reports that Judy played “Early Judy Garland” while performing the “Someone At Last” number in A Star Is Born.
The on-set photos of Judy with co-star James Mason and director George Cukor taken by Bob Willoughby were provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim!
July 23, 1955: Some more ads and articles about the current theatrical re-release of The Wizard of Oz.
July 23, 1958: Judy opened a two-week engagement at The Coconut Grove in Hollywood, CA. The engagement consisted of a sixty-minute show featuring just Judy, no opening or supporting acts. Judy performed one show a night, plus two shows nightly on the weekends.
The show is notable for featuring the debuts of the now-famous “Garland Overture” and the specially arranged “When You’re Smiling” which poked fun at Judy’s recent weight gain and her recent problems with the law in New York over back taxes. Judy’s songs also included: “Day In, Day Out”; “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love”; “Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart”; “Purple People Eater”; “Judy’s Olio”; “When The Sun Comes Out”; “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby”; Over The Rainbow”; “After You’ve Gone”; “Chicago”; “A Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow”; “Liza”; “Me And My Shadow”; and “Swanee.”
Here is some rare video footage of this night:
July 23, 1963: Videotaping of “Episode Four” of “The Judy Garland Show” at CBS Television City, Stage 43, Hollywood, California. Guests: Lena Horne and Terry Thomas and series regular Jerry Van Dyke.
Judy’s songs: “Day In, Day Out” (with Lena); “Judy Sing Lena; Lena Sings Judy Medley”; “Mad Dogs and Englishmen” with Lena, Terry, and Dancers; and in the “Born In A Trunk” closer: “The Man That Got Away” followed by “I Will Come Back.”
Judy also talked with Lena Horne during the intro to Terry Thomas’s comedy monologue, and Judy appeared with Thomas during a new “Tea For Two” segment, during which they chatted, poured tea, and Judy sang “A Foggy Day” for Thomas.
Judy also talked for the first time in the “Trunk” segment, telling about losing the Oscar for A Star Is Born which led to her singing “The Man That Got Away.”
The episode aired on October 13, 1963.
Also on this day, this letter was typed for Judy to sign (it’s assumed it was mailed on this day or perhaps the next), telling her managers, Fields & Begelman, to feel free to act on her behalf to protect their individual and collective interests.
July 23, 1964: Judy appeared at the “Night of 100 Stars” benefit at the London Palladium. She was scheduled to only take a bow but after three ovations and demands from the audience that she performs so she sang both “Over the Rainbow” and “Swanee.”
It was a triumph for Judy. She received the biggest reception of all the stars that night, included The Beatles. Beatle John Lennon designed the program cover (see above).
Listen Over the Rainbow” from this appearance here:
The first color photo was provided by David Alp. Thanks, David!
The second color photo was provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim!
Below are a few of the rave reviews Judy received for this comeback.