“That sophisticated New York crowd, jammed into the hallowed concert hall, was on its feet before Judy picked up the microphone.” – George Greiff, 1961
July 31, 1937: Judy was the breakout star of Broadway Melody of 1938.
July 31, 1938: Judy appeared on the 1 hour NBC Radio show “Hollywood Swing Concert” along with Chico Marx, Tommy Dorsey, and more. No information about the program is known as no recordings are known to exist. Love Finds Andy Hardy was in theaters getting great reviews, with Judy singled out as the highlight of the new characters introduced in this edition of the series. It’s safe to assume that Judy sang one of the songs that she sings in the film.
July 31, 1939: The advance buzz is that The Wizard of Oz is great!
July 31, 1940: Little Nellie Kelly filming continued with scenes shot on the ‘Interior Noonan’s Cottage” set. Time called: 9 a.m.; dismissed: 5:02 p.m.
Photo: Producer Arthur Freed, Douglas McPhail, Judy, and George Murphy on the set.
July 31, 1941: Babes On Broadway filming continued with scenes shot on the “Interior Stone’s Office.” Time called: 9 a.m.
The assistant director’s notes state: “9:00-9:15 – Wait of JG to get into wardrobe, in her dressing room on state – was ten minutes late in makeup department this morning – overslept; 10:35-10:45 – Dr. Jones on set looking at Judy Garland’s hand which she said she injured on a door in scene yesterday – She first complained of this when she arrived on stage today.” Lunch 12:20-1:20p.m.; time dismissed: 6:15 p.m.
July 31, 1942: Judy posed for these costume tests for Presenting Lily Mars.
Photos provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim!
July 31, 1943: The “Motion Picture Herald” featured the grosses (to this point) for Presenting Lily Mars.
July 31, 1943: Also from the “Motion Picture Herald,” the weekly “What the picture did for me” section featured comments about various films that were submitted by theater exhibitors. The following was written about the following films:
BABES ON BROADWAY:
This was a cracking fine picture. Pleased everybody. We did not do any better than average business but that was not the fault of the picture, which pleased everyone. Played Friday, Saturday, June 25, 26. – K. John, LLegion Theatre, Beienait, Sask. (Saskatchewan), Canada. Small town patronage.
FOR ME AND MY GAL:
Again MGM comes forward with excellent entertainment in this musical feature. My patrons had nothing but praise for this swell star. Her dancing and singing were outstanding. The only drawback was that we were washed out with terrific rains and muddy weather. Can certainly recommend this. Played Thursday, July 1. – A.L. Dove, Bengough Theatre, Bengough, Sask. (Saskatchewan), Canada. Rural and small town patronage.
PRESENTING LILY MARS:
This is an amusing little picture that should satisfy the average fan. Judy doesn’t sing too many popular favorites in this one, a fact that hurts. Most of the boys here said they were disappointed in it. Played Monday, Tuesday, July 12, 13. – Army Theatre, No. 2, Fort Bragg., N.C.
July 31, 1944: A busy day for Judy. From 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., she was at MGM working on The Clock, specifically on a “silent photographic test” according to the assistant director’s notes.
Later that evening, she was at the Decca Records Studios in Hollywood with Bing Crosby. The two recorded “You’ve Got Me Where You Want Me” and “Mine.” The session lasted from 7 to 10:15 p.m.
“You’ve Got Me Where You Want Me” was released on April 19, 1945, on the “B” side of Record #23410 with “Yah-Ta-Ta, Yah-Ta-Ta (Talk, Talk, Talk) (recorded on March 9, 1945, also a duet with Crosby) on the “A” side. The single peaked at #5 on the Billboard charts in late 1945.
Listen to “You’ve Got Me Where You Want Me” here:
Listen to “Mine” here:
Listen to the “C” take of “Mine” here:
The singles can be found on the comprehensive anthology CD set from JSP Records released in 2011, “Judy Garland – Smilin’ Through – The Singles Collection 1936 – 1947.”
Disc images from the Rick Smith Collection. Thanks, Rick!
Here is the rare, unreleased “C” take of “Mine.”
July 31, 1948: Two items from the trade magazine “Motion Picture Herald” including the current grosses for the recently released Easter Parade.
July 31, 1950: Judy was on a vacation in Sun Valley, Idaho, resting after her recent suicide attempt. According to some reports, she was in Sun Valley on the advice of MGM head, Louis B. Mayer, “whose advice she is following closely nowadays.”
July 31, 1951: More from Judy’s time vacationing in the French Riviera. Here she’s seen with her good friend Noel Coward.
July 31, 1954: A few A Star Is Born items. The film had just completed its lengthy production thanks to the addition of, as noted above, “Judy’s life story set to music” (the “Born In A Trunk” sequence). According to that last article, Judy spent time studying “the car-hopping trade by eating lunches every day at drive-ins so she could watch the girls at work. Then she progressed to carrying her own tray from the kitchen and hooking it on her car.”
July 31, 1955: The re-release of The Wizard of Oz was enjoying big business in theaters around the country.
July 31, 1955: Two articles note that Judy was offered $300k for a TV appearance but turned it down. If true, this must have been a separate deal from the one she made with CBS-TV, for which she canceled her current tour of the west coast to begin rehearsals. The tour was originally scheduled to run into September but instead, Judy’s last show on the tour was her show in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on July 20th. At this time she also signed a five-year contract with Capitol Records, recording songs for her first album with the label in late August and early September. The CBS show (Judy’s first) premiered on September 24, 1955.
July 31, 1961: More for “Judy At Carnegie Hall.” The last item is from July 31, 1962. Earl Willson reports on Judy’s big earnings, still coming in a year later.
July 31, 1963: Judy and her TV series producer George Schlatter flew to Las Vegas for two days of relaxation before flying back to Los Angeles for rehearsals for the next episode; this trip also gave them the chance to scout acts for the show.
July 31, 1967: Judy opened at The Palace Theater in New York for the last time. It was her third run at the theater which was the site of the launchpad for her legendary concert years in 1951, then a return in 1956. This final engagement ran through August 26, 1967. Joining Judy were her two youngest children, Lorna and Joey Luft as well as dancer John Bubbles, comedian Jackie Vernon, and juggler Francis Brunn. The last three opened the show, followed by Judy and eventually Lorna and Joey.
Palace Theater photos provided by Jon Perdue. Thanks, Jon!
Part of the first night’s performance, Act One to be exact, was included on the ABC Records LP “At Home At The Palace” which was a compilation of Judy’s first three nights. Act One from this night is Side One of the LP. The album was the last legitimate release of a new Garland concert during her lifetime. Sadly, the master tapes of the complete three nights of recording are lost. Only the master tapes of the final album are known to exist. MCA currently holds the rights but has yet to release the album on CD.
Listen to the still unreleased (professionally, anyway) complete Act Two here:
Below: The Judy Room’s YouTube presentation of Judy’s lovely rendition of “He Loved Me” from Act Two:
July 31, 1968: Judy took a short trip to Los Angeles. On July 31s she called her friend John Carlyle who lived in Los Angeles and let him know she was coming in for a brief visit to see her son Joe, and to collect some music she needed. Carlyle picked her up at Los Angeles airport and was surprised to see she had only brought along one small suitcase, a Bloomingdale shopping bag with an extra dress, and her purse. That night she had dinner with Joe and John. The next day or so, she moved from John’s apartment to another on Norma Place – John’s friends, Tucker Fleming and Charles Williamson, who had a suite/guestroom designed with Judy in mind. During the day Judy swam in their pool and read in their library, where she found she was listed in the new Random House Dictionary!
On the night of Tuesday, August 6, along with Tuck and Chuck, Judy and Joe Luft went to the Factory discotheque, where mother and son danced for possibly the first, and certainly the final, time, in public. It would be the last time she would see her son. The next evening, Wednesday, August 7, 1968, at about 8:30 p.m. Judy suddenly decided that she was leaving on a 10:30 p.m. flight to go back to Boston, which she had chosen as her new “hometown.” It would be the last time she would ever be in Los Angeles. The next night she had been scheduled to take son Joe to see Tony Bennett open at the Coconut Grove. The rush to leave may have been a call to help “surprise” an old friend who was co-hosting a television show back east.