“I understand that her performance on screen is worthy of an Oscar.” – Unnamed film producer, 1954
August 3, 1937: The trade paper “Film Daily” featured this full-page ad promoting the upcoming release of Broadway Melody of 1938.
August 3, 1939: A lot going on with Judy in the news. First, what a difference a few years make. Judy returned to the Cal-Neva lodge in Lake Tahoe. The lodge was where, in 1935, Frances Gumm (going by the stage name of France Garland) adopted the name “Judy” and where the agent Al Rosen heard her sing which led to her MGM audition a month later. This 1939 engagement was a short one. Judy and Mickey Rooney left for New York, and the premiere of The Wizard of Oz, just a few days later.
Above, two notices about Judy and Mickey’s upcoming personal appearances.
August 3, 1939: [above] The “Film Daily” trade magazine carried this notice about Judy and Mickey Rooney’s upcoming personal appearance (and daily shows) at the Capitol Theater in New York in conjunction with the premiere of The Wizard of Oz.
Along the Rialto with Phil M. Daly
… HUMAN interest stunt … with an appeal to thousands of youngsters of high school age throughout greater New York … originated by Loew’s home office pub dep’t … it serves as a four-way plug … 1. it plugs the personal appearance of Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland at the Capitol … 2. “The Wizard of Oz” at the Capitol … 3. “Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever” at the Loew theaters on the subsequent runs … 4. Mickey and Judy in “Babes in Arms” … and that’s a pretty good job for one stunt …
… THE plan is to offer to high school boys and girls the opportunity to serve on an Official Reception Committee to meet Judy and Mickey at the train .. to escort them to the Capitol … to have luncheon with the young stars at a leading hotel … quite a simple stunt … but one with tremendous appeal to the average kid … to dine with these two pop juvenile stars.
… SELECTION of the youngsters will be made on a city-wide basis … all 74 Loew theaters are distributing ballots on which the kids write their name, age, school, etc. … the ballots are being showered into special ballot boxes in every Loew lobby … it is expected that 200,000 kids will register … on the nite of Friday, Aug. 11, each theater will have a drawing on the stage and pick out the one boy and one girl who are to represent that neighborhood on the Reception Committee … to be eligible the boy and girl must be in the theater that nite … names will be drawn until the two youngsters are found … and that won’t hurt the B.O. that evening … the idea originated with Oscar Doob … with Ernie Emerling and Eddie Dowden and the rest of the Loew publicity staff lining it up … in the Long Island, Westchester and Jersey neighborhoods, local papers are sponsoring the Committee …
Also in that same issue was another full-page ad for the film (see photo above).
Below: A coloring contest in Oakland, California, and Ray Bolger in many papers.
More from August 3, 1939: As if Judy’s activities weren’t enough to keep her busy, this article amusingly claims that Judy and her Oz stand-in, Bobbie Koshay, went boating when Judy jumped overboard and swam a full mile. That Garland girl sure could do anything! 🙂
August 3, 1940: More ads for Andy Hardy Meets Debutante.
August 3, 1941: Newlyweds Mr. and Mrs. David Rose are popular subjects for the columnists and photographers (they weren’t called paparazzi yet).
August 3, 1944: Filming continued on The Clock on the “Interior Drugstore” and “Interior Tony’s Repair Shop” sets. Time called: 10:30 a.m.; Lunch: 12:05-1:05; Judy arrived on the set at 1:05; Judy was getting into wardrobe from 1:20 – 1:40; time dismissed: 5:10 p.m.
This photo was taken on this day, featuring a scene that was not in the final film. At this point, the director was still Fred Zinnemann, who would be replaced by Vincente Minnelli at the end of the month. It looks as though Robert Walker’s “Joe” brings cake to Judy’s “Alice” while they wait for “Tony” to repair her shoe.
August 3, 1945: According to Hedda Hopper, Judy was anxious to get back to Hollywood from her honeymoon in New York with husband Vincente Minnelli.
August 3, 1948: This block of ads gives us an idea of just how Loew’s Theaters dominated the moviegoing landscape which sadly only lasted a few more years.
August 3, 1950: Famed columnist Walter Winchell reported on attending a recent preview of Judy’s latest (and final) MGM film, Summer Stock. According to Winchell, some audience members actually booed Judy’s first appearance on screen but were quickly drowned out by the applause and standing ovation! The negative response by some was no doubt a reflection of her recent personal troubles and suicide attempt. Lucky for Judy the negative folks were in the minor as the greater percentage of the moviegoing public was rooting for her to succeed.
A “SNEAK” PREVIEW of “Summer Stock,” at Loew’s 72nd Street, revealed that the fans are pulling for Judy Garland. The audience was taken by surprise. When the talented, unfortunate girl first appeared, there were a few scattered boos. But these were quickly drowned in a spontaneous clamor of clapping, rising to an ovation. Judy shows up a bit plump. But she is the same charming singer and gifted actress.
August 3, 1954: The second preview of A Star Is Born was held at the Encino Theater on Ventura Blvd., in Encino which is a neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley region of Los Angeles, California. Warner Bros. chief, Jack Warner, sent a telegram to Moss Hart (who wrote the screenplay), that the response to the film was “tremendous.”
This photo of Warner, Sid Luft, Judy, George Cukor, and an unidentified man, was taken at this event. Also included above is an article printed on this date in which columnist Hubbard Keavy muses as to whether A Star Is Born would be Judy’s last film, due to the reported difficulties in filming. Luckily for us, Mr. Keavy was wrong!
August 3, 1960: The second of Judy’s five recording sessions at Capitol Records’ EMI Studios in London. On this day she recorded: “I Happen To Like New York”; “Swanee”; “You’ll Never Walk Alone”; and “Why Was I Born?”
The sessions, known now as “The London Sessions” were intended to result in a two-record set of new Garland recordings in stereo. Judy’s in amazing voice. Most of the recordings stayed in the vaults due to “Judy at Carnegie Hall” being such a huge success in 1961. The label didn’t think an album that contained most of the same songs (although they were studio versions and not live) would not sell well or it might impede on the sales of the Carnegie album.
Six tracks from these sessions appeared without explanation on the 1962 album, “The Garland Touch.”
All of the recordings were released in 1972 on a special set released by the Capitol Record Club to members only, titled “Judy in London” which was re-released in 1980 on a Capitol Records “Special Markets” release.
They have since been remastered again and released in 2011 on the 2-CD set “The London Studio Recordings 1957-1964.”
Listen to “I Happen To Like New York” here:
Listen to “Swanee” here:
Listen to “You’ll Never Walk Alone” here:
Listen to “Why Was I Born?” here:
Listen to the alternate take of “Why Was I Born?” here:
August 3, 1966: Mark Herron sued Judy for separate maintenance. He stated he had not filed for divorce because he hoped that a reconciliation was still possible.
August 3, 2009: This wonderful cover and inside promotional pages were published in “Home Media Magazine” promoting the upcoming premiere release of The Wizard of Oz on Blu-ray, in celebration of the film’s 70th anniversary. It has since been re-released again in a similar boxed set in 2013.