“I love my career. I want to say this because I’m always being painted a more tragic figure than I am, and I get awfully bored with myself as a tragic figure.” – Judy Garland, 1962
August 26, 1928: Judy and her sisters, “The Gumm Sisters,” had a two-night engagement at their father’s theater, the Valley Theater in Lancaster, California, which is where the family lived.
August 26, 1937: Judy pre-recorded “Swing Mr. Mendelssohn” for Everybody Sing. At the time, as this Daily Music Report shows, the title of the film was still The Ugly Duckling, which was the original title of the project. The film was renamed Swing Fever which is the title on all of the Daily Music Reports until that November when it was finally changed to Everybody Sing. Takes 1 through 9 were printed, as were several takes of various bars through the end of the song.
Listen to Take 6 here (complete song):
Listen to Take 8 (“from 3 bars before #4 to #13) here:
August 26, 1938: Love Finds Andy Hardy was proving to be a hit as the film made its way across the nation (it premiered on July 22, 1938). All of these ads and notices are a sampling from just three papers in Iowa and Arkansas that are examples of how the film was marketed and advertised.
August 26, 1939: The Wizard of Oz continued to open in theaters around the country in mid-to-late August 1939. Here are more ads, articles, and reviews.
August 26, 1940: Filming continued on Little Nellie Kelly with scenes shot on the “Interior Kelly Flat” set. Time called: 9 a.m.; dismissed: 5:57 p.m.
Photo: Judy and co-star George Murphy on the set (possibly on this day, possibly not, the exact date the photo was taken is unknown).
August 26, 1941: Judy was back rehearsing the “Hoe Down” number for Babes on Broadway. He had been out sick from the 23rd through the 25th. Time called: 10:45 a.m.; lunch: 12:25-1:25 p.m.; dismissed: 3:00 p.m.
August 26, 1941: Judy wasn’t in The Stars Look Down but she was one of the stars used to promote the film, which was made in England in 1940 and released by MGM in the U.S. in 1941. Judy’s given the same star status as Gable and Tracy which is another indication of her rising status at the studio.
August 26, 1943: Preparations were underway for the big “Third War Bond” drive featuring a truly glittering array of stars, including Judy, beginning that September.
August 26, 1944: Production resumed on The Clock although Judy was not needed on this day. The production has been on “layoff” for a few days during which time director Fred Zinnemann was replaced with Vincente Minnelli.
August 26, 1945: The Chicago Tribune reported on the famous “20th Century” train arriving at Chicago’s La Salle Street Station the day before. Judy and Vincente Minnelli were photographed stepping off the train for a bit. The couple was on their way back to Los Angeles from their honeymoon in New York.
On this same day, Ziegfeld Follies had its big Pennsylvania premiere in Pittsburgh. The film was in a limited, roadshow release in select cities. It was then taken out of release and re-edited before it’s actual general release on April 8, 1946, re-titled Ziegfeld Follies of 1946.
August 26, 1947: This is the day, according to Louella Parsons, that Judy returned to Los Angeles after “resting in the east.” Judy had been at the Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, after a stay at the Las Campanas sanitarium in LA. At that time she had just completed (more retakes were done later) The Pirate and had made a quiet, unpublicized suicide attempt. Needless to say, Judy was mentally and physically exhausted.
Meanwhile, Till The Clouds Roll By was still in theaters with Judy still receiving great reviews as one of the highlights of the film.
August 26, 1955: The Wizard of Oz was enjoying great success during this second re-release. The following year the film premiered on TV and the rest is history. At this time Judy was in rehearsals for her first TV special set to premiere on September 24, 1955, and she was recording songs for her first LP with Capitol Records.
August 26, 1959: During Judy’s appearance at the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House that previous July, a lawsuit was filed by songwriters Irving Berlin, Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein II, Chapelle & Co. Inc., and the New World Music Corp. against Judy and husband Sid Luft for using four songs in the show without their permission and without royalty payments. A U.S. District Court judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs resulting in Judy and Sid ordered to pay $1,000 in damages. The four songs in question were: “A Wonderful Guy,” “A Couple of Swells,” “Lady Be Good,” and “This Can’t Be Love.”
August 26, 1962: Judy penned this article for syndication by the Associated Press in which she addressed her reputation as a “tragic figure,” her career, and her children.
Judy was enjoying great success on her concert tour, buoyed by the massive success of the “Judy at Carnegie Hall” LP and the fact that she was at the top of her game. As this clipping shows, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin had signed on to star with Judy in her third TV special, which was taped in January 1962 and premiered in February of 1962.
August 26, 1963: Judy entered Cedars of Lebanon Hosptial in Los Angeles for her annual check-up. She was patient number 63-11859 and was in the hospital for a couple of days. The check-up was routine with no major issues or complications.
August 26, 1967: Judy’s final show at The Palace Theater in New York.
Judy had been in concert at the venue since July 31st and was a huge success. The album of songs from the first three nights of the run had already been in release and was also a hit.
Listen to, and download, the entire show, and selections, here:
“What Now My Love?
“Over The Rainbow”
Complete show (in two zip files):
Photos: Judy stands under her portrait at The Palace Theater, the poster that features the portrait, by Robert Gali.
August 26, 2013: This ad ran in the trade magazines promoting the upcoming 75th-anniversary edition of The Wizard of Oz on Blu-ray and DVD.
What’s interesting to note is the fact that WHV jumped the gun by one year (the 75th-anniversary was in 2014) in putting out this new boxed set just three years after the big 70th anniversary boxed set. The only difference between the two was the addition of the film in 3D and the physical tchotchkes. All of the other extras remained the same, including the digital file of the non-3D version of the film.