“It is difficult to find any one person in show business today who can equal the word ‘star’ in the Garland tradition.” – Barbara Cloud, 1967
August 8, 1933: Here is the “Variety” notice about the Gumm (misspelled “Gum”) Family’s engagement at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Theater. This was the last night of the engagement that began on August 2nd. Whoever wrote the review wasn’t impressed with the act.
August 8, 1935: This photo was taken of Judy at the Los Angeles Superior Court. She was there with her mom, Ethel, and dad, Frank, for the final approval/signing of the contract making Al Rosen her agent. The Los Angeles Times reported on the event on August 9, 1935, and included the photo. Unfortunately, as the article states, the petition was denied:
The petition of Al Rosen for judicial approval of a contract for him to act as manager of 12-year-old Judy Garland in obtaining stage and motion-picture work for her was denied yesterday by Superior Judge McComb.
The court ruled it was without jurisdiction to approve a contract involving a minor whereby she would have a manager who was to receive a commission for obtaining work for her in the future.
The child actress was accompanied to court by her parents, Ethel and Frank Garland.
Just a little over a month later she would successfully audition with MGM resulting in her first contract with the studio.
August 8, 1936: Judy appeared on the Shell Chateau Hour with Margaret Sullivan, Joe Cook, and Buster Crabbe. No other info is known about this show and no recordings are known to exist.
August 8, 1937: This fun article appeared in the “Sunday Magazine” edition of most papers around the country, featuring Judy as “Red Hot Mama, No. 2.” Most of them were published in color as the first image above shows, but the bottom half is missing, shown in the black and white version next to it. The #1 “Red Hot Mama” spot was occupied by Sophie Tucker. It was all part of MGM’s promotion of Broadway Melody of 1938, Judy’s first feature film for MGM.
Several of the photos were provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim!
Also on August 8, 1937: Here’s an amusing notice about Judy receiving a pet turtle from a fan.
August 8, 1938: This photo was taken of Judy on the set of Listen Darling.
Photo provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim!
Also on August 8, 1938: Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry (released in 1937) was still playing in some theaters around the country.
August 8, 1939: Ziegfeld Girl, made in 1940/41 and released in 1941, was on the books as early as 1939 with both Hedy Lamarr and Lana Turner already attached. However, this article states that Mervyn LeRoy would produce and direct when it turned out that he did neither. The film was produced by Pandro S. Berman with Robert Z. Leonard directing (and musical numbers staged by Busby Berkeley).
Also on August 8, 1939: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s own Howard Hastedt was chosen to travel to Washington and meet Judy and Mickey Rooney. Washington was the first stop on their short tour of parts of the northeastern U.S. culminating with the New York Premiere of The Wizard of Oz on August 16th.
Also on August 8, 1939: Toto from The Wizard of Oz, soon to be the most famous dog in movie history, gets mentioned in this cute article about movie dogs.
Also from August 8, 1939: Another sampling of some promotions for The Wizard of Oz.
Finally from August 8, 1939: This photo of Judy was published as “recent” although it was actually part of a photo session from 1937.
August 8, 1940: More filming for Little Nellie Kelly on the “Exterior Cliff Top” and “Exterior Deck of Steamer” sets.
August 8, 1941: Babes on Broadway filming consisted of scenes shot on the “Interior Old Duchess – Backstage” set, including parts of the “Ghost Theater” sequence medley performed by Judy and co-star Mickey Rooney (Mary’s A Grand Old Name/She Is Ma Daisy/I’ve Got Rings On My Fingers/Bernhardt (La Marseillaise)/The Yankee Doodle Boy).
August 8, 1942: According to this news blurb, Judy’s first day of work on Presenting Lily Mars was quite busy: Judy made tests of five different hairdresses, 21 changes of wardrobe, rehearsed her song number off-stage, gave two interviews, sat in on story conference with producer Joe Pasternak, and over the phone arranged a dinner party at home in celebration of her first wedding anniversary. Studio records reflect that Judy was indeed working in pre-production of Presenting Lily Mars in mid to late July with wardrobe, hair, makeup tests, and dance/music rehearsals. The studio didn’t record whether she was on the phone making dinner arrangements.
August 8, 1943: Judy had grown into a box office champ!
Also on August 8, 1943: Here is an article and a couple of ads for Presenting Lily Mars currently in theaters.
August 8, 1944: Columnist Robbin Coons reports on Judy’s guest spot for Ziegfeld Follies, “Madame Cremitante [sic].” Judy had completed her work on the number in July 1944.
On this particular day Judy and co-star Robert Walker were filming scenes for The Clock on the “Exterior Top of Bus” and Exterior Pond” sets. Time called: 10 a.m. The assistant director’s notes state 9:55-10:40 – Waiting for Miss Garland – due 10:00; 10:40-10:45 – Miss Garland arrived on set – getting into wardrobe. Time dismissed: 5:50 p.m.
August 8, 1947: Here is a playback disc for “The Pirate Ballet” from The Pirate (1948). The disc is dated on this date, although the pre-recording was made the day before on August 7.
Also on this date, this ad was placed by MGM in the trade magazine, “The Showmen’s Trade Review.”
August 8, 1948: The Pirate was showing in quite a few theaters in Cincinnati, Ohio. Oddly enough, Easter Parade was only showing in one but this could be because it had just been released whereas The Pirate had already been in circulation for a while.
The second image advertises the soundtrack to Easter Parade at the New England Furniture Company in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Also featured were a couple of costumes from the film. There are no records about which costumes were featured.
August 8, 1954: Judy in the news. With A Star Is Born completed, Judy was already on her way to her European vacation. These articles and photos show Judy and husband Sid Luft on the town in Hollywood; Judy at New York’s Penn Station just before leaving for Europe; a funny (and totally fabricated) note about how Judy’s own home was used as a set in A Star Is Born; James Bacon’s article about how expensive the film was to make and how it might have been Judy’s last film. The article has been posted before but it’s reposted here as this version features a great promotion photo from A Star Is Born.
August 8, 1955: Here is an ad from Great Falls, Montana, promoting the appearance of the duo Frankie Ford & Gary Reynolds who had just completed their tour with Judy. The duo was part of Judy’s recent show “The Judy Garland Show” which at this point was still in a Vaudeville format.
August 8, 1956: This photo was taken on this day of Judy in concert at The New Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Judy was in the middle of an amazingly successful five-week engagement at the hotel/casino. It was Judy’s nightclub and Las Vegas debut.
August 8, 1958: Columnist Dorothy Kilgallen mentions Dr. Richard Winter as the doctor “who prescribes the pills for such show folk as Charles Laughton and Judy Garland.” Could this be the name of the infamous “Dr. Feelgood” who hooked quite a few stars and celebrities on various “medications”?
August 8, 1960: The fifth and final of Judy’s “London Sessions” at Capitol’s EMI Studios in London, England. On this day she recorded: “Judy At The Palace (medley)”; “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love”; “After You’ve Gone”; and “It’s A Great Day For The Irish.” Just a day shy of exactly 30 years earlier, on August 9, 1940, Judy pre-recorded “It’s A Great Day For The Irish” for her MGM musical Little Nellie Kelly.
The sessions, known now as “The London Sessions” were intended to result in a two-record set of new Garland recordings in stereo. 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 impede the Carnegie album’s sales.
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 “Judy At The Palace” here:
Listen to “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love” here:
Listen to “After You’ve Gone” here:
Listen to “It’s A Great Day For The Irish” here:
August 8, 1961: Judy’s second of two concerts at the Convention Hall Ballroom in Atlantic City, New Jersey. This button was made for the event.
August 8, 1961: According to Hedda Hopper, director Charles Walters wanted to make a film version of the 1954 Broadway musical “By The Beautiful Sea” with Judy as the star. Shirley Booth originated starring Judy. The show starred Shirley Booth in the lead role as a vaudevillian who ran a boarding house in Coney Island, filled with colorful characters. No film version of the show was ever made.
August 8, 1963: Judy signed this check to Cloretha B. Bland for $148.42.
August 8, 1964: Here’s an article about Judy’s recent legal issues with husband Sid Luft and the custody of their two children, Lorna and Joey Luft.
August 8, 1967: Judy was enjoying what became her last engagement at The Palace Theater in New York.
On this night, a fan taped her performance, which can be downloaded here (zip file):
Check out The Judy Room’s “Judy Sings! In Concert” page for more downloadable recordings of Judy in concert over the years.
Ticket image provided by Armand DiNucci. Thanks, Armand!