“Judy, as you can see, is extremely affectionate. She is also very sensitive and easily hurt. [She has] originality and artistic talent.” – Handwriting expert Muriel Stafford, 1939
August 14, 1929: The premiere of Judy’s film debut, The Big Revue, held at the Fox Belmont Theater in Hollywood, California. The film is an eighteen-minute two-reel short.
Check out The Judy Room’s “Gumm Sisters Shorts” page for more about this short and the other shorts Judy appeared in.
August 14, 1930: Judy and her sisters, as “The Hollywood Starlets Trio,” performed at the Million Dollar Theater in Los Angeles, California. The engagement was for six nights, the last night being August 20th. The sisters usually went by their birth name as “The Gumm Sisters” but at this time they were trying out this new name for some engagements, possibly suggested by Ethel Meglin of the Meglin Kiddies troupe of whom they were associated with.
August 14, 1932: Judy and her sisters, as “The Gumm Sisters,” performed at the Fox Palace Theater in Los Angeles, California. This was the first of a two-night engagement.
August 14, 1934: The final night of a three-week engagement (that started July 24th) for “The Gumm Sisters” at the Old Mexico Cafe on the fairgrounds of the Chicago World’s Fair. They were billed as “Blue Harmony.”
Upon arrival, they received their first week’s pay. It was the last they were paid for the engagement. The theater folded towards the end of their third week and they never received any more money. But it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The theater folding led them to an engagement at the Oriental Theater in downtown Chicago and the name change to “Garland” thanks to George Jessel.
Photos: The Old Mexico building at the fair, which housed the “Old Mexico Cafe”; a portrait taken of Judy in Chicago.
August 14, 1937: Here’s a notice for a showing of the 1936 MGM short Every Sunday starring Judy and Deanna Durbin. The short received this kind of attention because it was already famous not just for featuring two soon-to-be big stars but also because of the overwhelming talents of the two girls that are on display.
August 14, 1939: Judy and Mickey Rooney arrived at Grand Central Station in New York City where they were greeted by a crowd of over 10,000 people! From there they were taken to their hotel, The Waldorf, where they met their teen representatives from the area (chosen from an MGM promotional contest) and gave press interviews. The duo had been on a short tour of the eastern U.S. with the destination of New York and the Capitol Theater where The Wizard of Oz was set to have its NYC premiere on August 17.
August 14, 1939: While in Hartford (on August 10th), Judy met with handwriting expert Muriel Stafford who analyzed Judy’s writing. The results are no big surprise but still fun to read!
August 14, 1939: More Ozzy ads and photos.
August 14, 1941: The last day of filming the “How About You?” number for Babes on Broadway. Also filmed on this day were scenes on the “Interior Dressing room” set.
Judy was on the set at 3 p.m. and dismissed at 6:40 p.m. the assistant director’s notes state: “Judy was ill in the morning.”
Photos: A fun studio-issued cartoon of what was supposedly going on at MGM in the summer of 1941.
August 14, 1941: Life Begins For Andy Hardy was in theaters. It was Judy’s final appearance in the Andy Hardy series.
August 14, 1943: Three items, all from the trade magazine “Motion Picture Daily” which was published on this day in 1943. The first is a two-page MGM ad promoting their musicals, including For Me And My Gal (1942), Presenting Lily Mars (1943), and Girl Crazy (1943). The second is their “Revers Ads With Punch” page that features examples of print ads for various films, this time Presenting Lily Mars was included. The third is another of the magazine’s features, “What The Picture Did For Me” that featured feedback from movie exhibitors about how well various films were received in their communities:
FOR ME AND MY GAL: “One of the finest musicals ever made. Will please any audience. No exhibitor can go wrong on this one. Played Friday, Saturday, July 16, 17.” – W. R. Pyle, Dreamland Theatre, Rockglen, Sask., Canada. Rural and small town patronage.
PRESENTING LILY MARS: “I didn’t get to present her to as many people as I thought I would. Fair picture.” – F.R. Crist, Crist Theatre, Loveland, Ohio.
August 14, 1944: The Clock continued filming with scenes shot on the “Exterior Pond” set. Time called: 10 a.m.; dismissed: 6:30 p.m.
Also on this date: There are listings for Judy being on a radio show on this date, but all that’s listed is just Judy’s name from 10:00 to 10:30 Central Standard Time. No other details are given. This might be a re-broadcast of a show from an earlier date.
August 14, 1945: Here is a review for the recently premiered Ziegfeld Follies, written by Marjory Adams for the Boston Globe. The film premiered there the night before. Adams liked the film, but apparently did not like Judy’s “A Great Lady Has An Interview” segment writing: And then here’s Director Minnelli’s wife, Judy Garland, in a far from clever musical number, “A Great Lady Has An Interview,” which is more reasonable for its intricacies than for its entertainment.
Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Pages on Ziegfeld Follies of 1946 here.
August 14, 1950: Here’s another article, this time by columnist Harold Heffernan, about Summer Stock that again makes note of how the critics loved Judy in the film (see August 12 for the other), cheering her brilliant rendition of “Get Happy.”
Heffernan notes how Judy was MGM’s “greatest money-making star it has known since the days of Gilbert and Garbo” and “When she finished her top song number, ‘Get Happy,” in a manner that stamped her delivery as the Judy Garland of old, skeptical ladies and gentlemen of the press applauded so spontaneously that the start of the musical’s next offering was all but drowned out.”
August 14, 1950: The “Film Bulletin” trade magazine published this nice review of Summer Stock.
August 14, 1961: Judy attended the Broadway show “Mary, Mary” at the Helen Hayes Theatre in New York. The drama starred Barbara Bel Geddes (“Miss Ellie” on the TV show “Dallas”) and Barry Nelson. Judy was photographed backstage after the show with Nelson, Bel Geddes, and Michael Wilding.
August 14, 1962: The latest Judy Garland album from Capitol Records, “The Garland Touch,” had just been released and received this nice review.
The album features several Garland vocals from her 1958 album “Judy In Love,” as well as her recent 1961 45rpm “single” which contained “Comes Once In A Lifetime” and “Sweet Danger.” The rest of the songs were from the unreleased “London Sessions” recordings. Unfortunately, this was not noted on the album, and Garland fans were left wondering where these wonderful studio recordings had come from!
This was the last studio album released during Judy’s lifetime. Future releases would rely on recordings from her 1963-64 TV series; two concerts (the 1964 palladium concert with Liza and one from her 1967 Palace engagement); and a four-song British EP which was not released in the United States until the 2002 compilation “Classic Judy Garland – The Capitol Years: 1955 – 1965“. Although Judy was constantly rumored to be recording new studio albums up until Capitol fired her in 1966 (and even afterward), no new professional recordings were made other than the exceptions noted above.
August 14, 1964: In the Curio Department is this ad for singer Lillian Mars who was promoted as singing in the voice of Judy Garland. It’s amusing to note that a singer named “Lillian Mars” was singing as the voice of Judy Garland, and being promoted as such, when just 21 years earlier Judy herself starred in Presenting Lily Mars playing a character named “Lily Mars.” I wonder if Lillian Mars knew this fact and used “Lillian Mars” as a stage name for that reason?
August 14, 1965: Here’s another review of the recent release (July 25, 1965) of “Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli ‘Live’ At The London Palladium,”
The album has been a source of some controversy over the years due to the odd order of the songs (Judy never began a concert with “The Man That Got Away”); the quality of Judy’s voice on some of the tracks; and the two aborted attempts by the late Scott Schechter to release the complete concert on a 2-disc CD set.
The late Scott Schechter tried twice to get a complete (or as complete as possible at the time) CD set released with almost all of the recordings from both nights, including the tracks that Judy and Liza re-recorded in the Capitol studios months later, but he was unsuccessful. DRG Records released a slightly expanded version on CD in 2010.
Read Lawrence Schulman’s extensive history of the “plagued” recording published in the ARSC Journal in 2009. It’s a definite must-read for any fan. It’s fascinating!
http://www.thejudyroom.com/capitol/palladiumarticle.pdf (pdf document).
August 14, 1966: Judy and Tom Green flew to Mexico City for her next appearance, arriving at 4:40 p.m. They left the plane at 5 p.m. and headed for the Maria Isabel Hotel, where they occupied the Marco Polo suite. The evening was spent there with the impresarios who were presenting her. Judy dined on only a bacon-lettuce-and-tomato sandwich and retired after 11 p.m.
Just a couple of years later on August 14, 1968, it was reported that Judy had dropped her lawsuit against Green for pawning the diamond and jade ring and the diamond and cultured pearl ring that she had bought in Hong Kong for $1,000 back in March 1968 to pay for her March 18, 1968, hospital stay. Judy filed the report of the “stolen” rinds on April 3, 1968, apparently having forgotten that Green pawned them to pay for her hospital stay.
August 14, 1967: Only 13 more performances were left for Judy’s third and final engagement at The Palace Theater in New York.
August 14, 1989: A few more articles related to the 50th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz.