“No matter what you may think of the histrionic attributes of Mickey and Judy they represent the teeming ‘teens and all the longings thereof. They are the symbols of the generation of swing.” – Damon Runyon, 1939
August 23, 1937: Judy made a quick trip up to the Bay Area (San Francisco) to make a personal appearance at the Fox Theater in Oakland, which was showing Broadway Melody of 1938. Judy appeared on stage for the matinee only on August 24th. It’s unclear why MGM sent Judy up to Oakland from Los Angeles although Judy had the time being between films. She started work on Everybody Sing just two days later on August 26, 1937.
The Fox Theater has been restored to its original glory and is now a historic landmark, and quite gorgeous both inside and out.
Judy Garland Due in Person at Fox-Oakland
Judy Garland, featured player in “Broadway Melody of 1938” will be at the Fox Oakland in person tomorrow.
Dormant since “Pigskin parade,” she comes into her own vocalizing “Everybody Sing,” “Dear Mr. Gable,” and comedy dancing with Buddy Ebsen.
August 23, 1939: More Judy Garland dresses, just in time for “back to school” shopping.
August 23, 1939: Famed author Damon Runyon gave this glowing review of The Wizard of Oz. He was surprised to enjoy Judy and Mickey on stage noting that most personal appearances by movie celebrities “are generally most inadequate … but we sound up enjoying [Judy and Mickey]” and noting that Judy had “a great pair of pipes and “Mickey is all rhythm.” He was most taken with Bert Lahr’s performance in the film but also had accolades for the “several great performances” including Judy, of course.
August 23, 1939: Judy and Mickey Rooney took time out from their shows at the Capitol in New York to pose for a photo session for the “Daily News” color magazine cover.
August 23, 1939: More ads for The Wizard of Oz.
August 23, 1940: Filming continued on Little Nellie Kelly with more scenes shot on MGM’s Back Lot #2, the New York Street, specifically the St. Patrick’s Day Parade scenes (including “It’s A Great Day For The Irish”).
August 23, 1941: Judy appeared on the cover of “Home Notes” magazine. On this day Judy was out sick from filming on Babes on Broadway and would be out sick for the next two days, returning on August 26th.
Photo provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim!
August 23, 1944: Filming on The Clock continued with scenes shot on the “Exterior Street – Bus” and “Interior Egyptian Room and Crusaders Tomb” sets. Time called: 10 .m.; Judy arrived at the studio at 8:30 a.m., from 10:15-10:26 she finished getting into wardrobe and fixing her hair (etc.). Time dismissed: 5:40 p.m.
This was the last day of shooting on the film by director Fred Zinnemann. He was replaced by Vincente Minnelli. During the changed in directors the production was on “layoff” until August 26th at which time Judy had “no call” and was not needed for work on the film. Judy returned to work on the film on August 28th.
August 23, 1950: Summer Stock was proving to be another hit for Judy in spite of the recent negative press she had been getting. Garland fans were, and still are, a loyal bunch.
The Wizard of Oz had been successfully re-released for the first time in 1949 and was still playing in some theaters, at least in Canada as this ad from the Ottawa Citizen shows.
August 23, 1953: Judy’s second recording session for A Star Is Born. She pre-recorded “Gotta Have Me Go With You” which, thankfully, was not cut from the film.
Above is a fun video of a complete stereo version of the number created by our video expert friend Brian.
Below is the remastered soundtrack LP version in complete stereo for the first time, as premiered on the wonderful 2017 2-CD set “Soundtracks.”
Here is the orchestra-only track for the film version. There are a few audio effects in the middle (where the audience is chattering in a confused manner responding to what’s happening on the stage).
August 23, 1960: Columnist Sheilah Graham reported that Judy wanted to take up permanent residence in England. Judy was in London preparing for her very first two-act solo concert at the London Palladium on August 28th.
August 23, 1964: The 40th anniversary of MGM was being celebrated and of course Judy was always mentioned along with the other legends from the studio.
August 23, 1967: Judy’s concert at New York’s Palace Theater was recorded from the audience by Garland fan Steve Gruber.
Although the audio is poor due to Gruber’s position in the theater far from the stage, it’s still of interest to fans. The tracks in this zip file were taken from a CD given to me by Gruber and are not the poorly “remastered/restored” versions floating around out there.
Download the zip file here (zip file):
Photo: Judy at the Palace, also shared by Mr. Gruber. Thanks, Steve!
August 23, 1967: Judy was scheduled to take her Palace act to The Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland. Judy fulfilled the engagement which was for two night, September 8th & 9th, 1967.
August 23, 1967: The Pickwick label was a new label created by Capitol Records to sell compilations at budget prices. Oddly enough, although MGM Records and Decca Records had been releasing compilations, this was the first to feature the title “Over the Rainbow.” It certainly wasn’t the last! No credits were given on the sleeve, so we don’t know who the artist was for this very colorful Garland artwork.
August 23, 1968: Was Judy poised for another comeback?
August 23, 2011: Warner Home Video released a brand new direct-to-video cartoon Tom & Jerry and The Wizard of Oz which turned out to be a thoroughly delightful retelling of the film’s plot through the eyes of Tom & Jerry.