“M-G-M’s technicolor musical ‘In The Good Old Summertime’ brought lovers of fine popcorn from six to sixty to the box office, panting to be separated from their loose change.” – Richard F. Smith, 1949
September 4, 1931: The “Ledger-Gazette” of Lancaster, California, announced France’s (Judy’s) contract signing with the Frank and Dunlap Talent agency. Lancaster was the town outside of Los Angeles where the Gumm family settled after moving to California from Minnesota. A couple of days later, Frances was billed as “Frances Gayne” instead o “Gumm” which was apparently an attempt by the new agency to give her a new identity, or “brand” as we would say now.
September 4, 1938: This article reported on the difficulty in creating the looks for the characters in The Wizard of Oz. However, the article doesn’t have all of the facts straight. It lists Ray Bolger as the Tin Man and Buddy Ebsen as the Scarecrow. The roles had been switched long before any makeup/costume tests were done. But then again, the uncredited author also gets Baum’s name wrong, as “Frank L. Baum” instead of “L. Frank Baum.”
September 4, 1939: Here’s another notice that Judy and Mickey Rooney would co-star in a film version of the Broadway hit “Good News” which had previously been filmed in 1930. Producer Arthur Freed had wanted to make a film version of the show for quite some time. He was finally able to produce it in 1947 starring June Allyson and Peter Lawford.
September 4, 1940: More filming of scenes for Little Nellie Kelly on MGM’s Backlot #2, on the “Exterior Brownstone Front” set which was part of the “New York Streets” section. Time called: 9 a.m.; dismissed: 6:05 p.m.
September 4, 1943: Judy and a host of other stars embarked on a multi-week, multi-city tour around the country, selling War Bonds, which started in Washington, DC. They were called the Hollywood Bond Cavalcade. The tour lasted through mid-October, at which time Judy went back to MGM to being early work on Meet Me In St. Louis.
This photo was taken on this day as the stars left Los Angeles for Washington. In the photo: Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Greer Garson, Dick Powell, Betty Hutton, Mickey Rooney, Kay Kyser, and Lucille Ball.
Meanwhile, Judy’s star turn in Presenting Lily Mars was also keeping her name in the papers.
September 4, 1947: Here’s an ad for Judy’s recent Decca single, “There Is No Breeze” with “Don’t Tell Me That Story” on the “B” side.
Listen to “There Is No Breeze” here:
Listen to “Don’t Tell Me That Story” here:
Listen to the alternate take of “Don’t Tell Me That Story” here:
Check out The Judy Garland Online Discography’s Decca Records Section for more about all of Judy’s Decca recordings and the various releases.
Label from The Rick Smith Collection. Thanks, Rick!
September 4, 1949: This review of the MGM Records soundtrack of In The Good Old Summertime by Richard F. Smith is a great review of the movie as well!
September 4, 1949: Judy had just returned from her stay at the Peter Brent Brigham Hospital in Boston when these photos were taken of her out on the town in Los Angeles with husband Vincente Minnelli and MGM Studio boss Louis B. Mayer. The two had reconciled for the time being.
September 4, 1950: Judy’s sister, Sue, was back in their home state of Minnesota and answered the question “What, exactly, is Judy’s trouble?” with “Sixteen years with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Isn’t that enough?”
September 4, 1953: Judy pre-recorded “The Man That Got Away” for A Star Is Born on the Warner Bros. recording stage. It’s the first official performance of this Garland standard.
The session lasted from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m., during which four takes were made to complete the number. One was an alternate, “sweet and low” version using a slightly lower key and quieter interpretation. The take is not known to exist, although Judy sang the song using the same approach on July 23, 1963, when she performed it for Episode 4 of her TV series.
Listen to the newly remastered version of the song here:
Photos of Judy pre-recording “The Man That Got Away.” Some provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim!
Photos of the playback discs from The Rick Smith Collection. Thanks, Rick!
September 4, 1954: The UK Picturegoer magazine featured this two-page spread “The Amazing Story Of The Making of A Star Is Born.”
Scans provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim!
September 4, 1954: “Judy Suffers for Her Art With A Good Slap in the Puss.” Here’s an article about how Judy was slapped in the face for A Star Is Born.
September 4, 1958: Judy performed at the Orchestra Hall in Chicago, Illinois. She had the largest advance sale in the hall’s history ($7.50 was the top ticket price). 17,500 people came to see her with another 6,000 being turned away.
Judy gave the same act she had during her engagement at the Coconut Grove in Los Angeles, adding Roger Edens’ arrangement of “Chicago” as her closing song. She encored with “How About Me?”; “Swanee”; and “After You’ve Gone.”
This concert was a benefit for the Chicago Home for Girls. Nelson Riddle conducted the 32-piece orchestra, Charles Walters did the staging and Roger Edens provided special material and arrangements. Comedian Alan King opened the first act.
Listen to Judy’s rendition of “Purple People Eater” from this show:
Download the entire show here (zip file):
Photo: Judy and conductor Nelson Riddle during the performance.
September 4, 1960: The Judy news of the day was that Judy would take up permanent residence in London, England. Judy was currently enjoying the success of her first two-act solo concert format which premiered at the London Palladium. Judy did not end up taking permanent residence in England although she always had great affection for the country and probably would have been quite happy to stay here if things had turned out differently.
September 4, 1967: It was Labor Day and Judy was in Boston having performed at the Boston Common just a few days before. She and son Joe visited Paragon Park, an amusement park in Nantasket Beach near Boston. These photos were taken of the two have fun in the park.
September 4, 1967: “Judy Garland Still Weaves a Spell” – Leroy F. Aarons of the Washington Post Service relayed his experience at Judy’s Palace show two nights before closing. See the full article in the September 12 blog post.
September 4, 1967: Judy’s engagement at Clowes Hall in Indianapolis, Indiana was a little less than a month away. Check out those ticket prices!
September 4, 1967: Judy’s next stop was the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbus, Maryland. She opened a two-night engagement there on September 8, 1967.