On This Day In Judy Garland’s Life And Career – September 15

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“Her fans point out, with some justice, that the place to see Judy is in her element, on stage.  In that over-the-rainbow world, Judy remains ‘The Wizard.'” – Charlotte Flynn, The Chicago Tribune, 1958




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September 15, 1936:  Judy attended fellow MGM contract player (and child star) Jackie Cooper’s birthday party at his home.  MGM had linked the two as a puppy love couple but the reality was that they were just good friends.

Photo:  Judy and Jackie circa 1936.



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September 15, 1937:  Judy and Mickey Rooney are shown enjoying a wholesome, all-American lunch in this photo accompanying a story about Mickey’s dating habits.   The text is a little hard to read.  It’s best to click on the image and download it to ensure you get the full-sized version.



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September 15, 1938:  “It’s True!” – Maybe not so much.  This edition of the popular sketch series focused on the stars of Love Finds Andy Hardy and claimed that Judy was born on January 10th and wanted to be a lawyer.  The January 10 date was most likely taken from Judy’s contract, which incorrectly listed her birth date as January 10, 1923, apparently in an attempt to make her seem younger than she really was.

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Pages on Love Finds Andy Hardy here.



September 15, 1939:  More ads for The Wizard of Oz, which was still in theaters long after most films would have disappeared.  Included below is an ad for the Decca Records album of selections of songs from the film.  Note that these were studio versions of the songs and not from the soundtrack of the film.

Check out The Judy Room’s Spotlight on The Wizard of Oz here.



September 15, 1940:  Judy was in the middle of filming Little Nellie Kelly when these, and other, notices appeared in various papers which made note of the fact that Judy was not returning as a regular on Bob Hope’s radio show.  Her schedule at MGM was too busy to give her time to be a regular on any radio show from here throughout the end of her career at the studio.  Hope apparently had tried to get Gloria Jean to fill the spot vacated by Judy, but then decided on not having a regular singer.  Well, Judy WAS a tough act to follow!

Also on this day were notices about Judy appearing on an unnamed and unknown radio show later this night.  No information about the show exists.

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Pages on Little Nellie Kelly here.



September 15, 1940:  News clippings promoting Judy and Mickey in Strike Up The Band.



September 15, 1941:  Here’s a nice review of Little Nellie Kelly from Sydney, Australia.  The film was released in 1940 but didn’t make it “down under” until 1941.  The unnamed critic liked Judy’s performance and noted that she “makes [the dual roles of mother and daughter] distinctive and vibrant with feeling.  Few actresses on the screen so delightfully and so heartwarmingly symbolize the innocence and vivacity of girlhood.”

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Pages on Little Nellie Kelly here.

Australian poster of the film provided by Kim Lundgreen.  Thanks, Kim!



September 15, 1941:  Life Begins for Andy Hardy



September 15, 1942:  Here is an article telling a story alleged to be from the set of Judy’s latest film for MGM, currently in production, Presenting Lily Mars.

Check out The Judy Room’s Spotlight on Presenting Lily Mars here.



September 15, 1943:  The “Hollywood Cavalcade” arrived in Cincinnati, Ohio at the city’s Union Terminal, a half-hour later than scheduled.  After their arrival, they went to Nippert Stadium at the University of Cincinnati for a 3 pm free bond rally mass meeting.  They then went to the Albee Theater for the main show which started at 7 pm.

Cavalcade 4Judy was not a part of the daytime festivities due to having a cold, but she rallied for the 7 pm show:  “Judy Garland, suffering from a bad cold, was advised by her physician not to pun in an appearance at the reception, but she was on hand to do her important part in the big show last night.”

According to the article printed in the Cincinnati Enquirer the following day (September 16th), the Cavalcade “departed with an eight-city bond sales record of $769,000,000, $269,000,000 over its $500,000,000 quota, which was reached in the first four cities of its fourteen-city tour.”

Read the two articles for more details about the events.

Photos:  The first two are the September 15th article; the second two are the September 16th article.  Judy was not in the photo of the stars taken at the train station due to her cold.



September 15, 1945:  Judy, along with a slew of other stars, recorded the Christmas edition of the radio show “Command Performance.”  Discs of the show were shipped overseas for the Armed Forces Radio Network to play for the troops at Christmas.  It also aired in the U.S. on December 25, 1945.

Of note in this article is that Judy allegedly performed “Dixieland Band” and had some issues with the band.  The recording did not make the final cut of the show and is, to date, a lost recording. Judy’s songs that did make the cut were “Long Ago and Far Away”, “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear” and she engaged in a comedy sketch with Johnny Mercer and Bob Hope.

Bob Hope was the host. The following stars also appeared on the two-hour program: Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Dinah Shore, Herbert Marshall, Jimmy Durante, Ginny Simms, Johnny Mercer, the Pied Pipers, Frances Langford, Harry James, Kay Kyser, and Cass Daily.

Listen to the audio here:
Entire show:

“Long Ago, And Far Away”

“It Came Upon A Midnight Clear”

Comedy Sketch

Note that also on this day Judy was at MGM filming scenes for The Clock on the “Interior Penn Station” set.  Time called: 11 a.m.; time dismissed: 5:45 p.m.  This means that the radio pre-recording happened in the evening, which was not unusual at all.  Judy probably rushed from MGM to wherever the radio event was taking place.

Photos: Scan of the article and a scan of a page from the March 1945 edition of The Ladies Home Journal.  The latter was provided by Kim Lundgreen.  Thanks, Kim!

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Pages on The Clock here.



September 15, 1949:  Two news blurbs.  Lew Sheaffer noted that Judy was scheduled to star in a remake of “Roberta” which would co-star, Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, and Betty Garrett.  The latter three did star together in On The Town and Take Me Out To The Ballgame, both released in 1949.  This planned remake of “Roberta” never happened although the film was finally made by MGM in 1952 starring Howard Keel, Kathryn Grayson, Ann Miller, and Red Skelton.

Check out The Judy Room’s “Films That Got Away” page for more information about the many projects Judy was considered for.



September 15, 1950:  Here are a few news blurbs.  Jack Lait, writing for Walter Winchell, notes how leading DJs organized a “Judy Garland Week” to pay tribute to Judy and attempt to cheer her up after her recent personal struggles; Howard Keel sang Judy’s praises; Louella Parsons mentioned that Judy would not be in MGM’s adaptation of “Show Boat.”



September 15, 1950:  More ads, etc. for Summer Stock.

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Pages on Summer Stock here.



September 15, 1950:  The end of an era.  This article laments the loss of the studio schoolhouses and the training that young talent received.  The author, Virginia Macpherson, was correct.  The loss of that training was a huge loss to the entertainment world although television ended up providing similar training, though nothing like the training performers got in vaudeville and at the film studios.

Photo:  Posed photo from 1937 of Judy and Mickey Rooney at MGM’s “little red schoolhouse” (which wasn’t really red).  Note that Judy’s shown using her right hand when in fact she was left-handed.



September 15, 1951:  These photos were taken of Judy at Chicago’s Dearborn Station.  Judy was on her way to New York where she would begin her legendary Concert Years at The Palace on October 16, 1951.

Check out The Judy Room’s “Judy Garland – The Concert Years” here.



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September 15, 1958:  This article about Judy’s recent appearance at Chicago’s Orchestra Hall was published in the Binghamton, New York’s “Press and Sun-Bulletin” newspaper, and probably in papers around the country at this same time (most syndicated columns appeared over a span of several days depending on when they were picked up by the various papers).  Note how, once again, the press loved to comment on Judy’s weight.

Check out The Judy Room’s “Judy Garland – The Concert Years” here.



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September 15, 1961:  Here’s a nice article about Buddy Pepper.  He was Judy’s musical arranger and pianist for her stage debut at The London Palladium that previous April and May.  Buddy was a lifelong friend of Judy’s having first met her in the late 1930s at MGM.  It was Judy and her first husband David Rose who encouraged him to compose songs.  His biggest song hits were “Pillow Talk” (written with Inez James) from the Doris Day/Rock Hudson 1959 film of the same name, and “Vaya Con Dios” (written Inez James and Larry Russell).

Check out The Judy Room’s “Judy Garland – The Concert Years” here.



September 15, 1961:  Here is the “San Francisco Examiner’s” review of Judy’s recent concert at San Francisco’s Civic Auditorium, attended by 8,700 people.  The “San Francisco Chronicle” said the following:

A gay crowd of 8,700 jammed the Civic Auditorium Wednesday and greeted every sound from Judy Garland with tumultuous applause. Miss Garland, youthful in short skirts and elfin hairdo, sang 24 songs ranging the full spectrum of her repertoire from gallant tragedy to sheer ear-piercing volume. That she was not in good voice seemed not to bother anyone except the odd person interested in music. The Garland patrons were interested in something else, and the evening seemed to be more rewarding sociologically than musically. It must be admitted that her audience is devoted, and loved every moment of the show. They paid more than $45,000 for the privilege of hearing her scream out “San Francisco,” so loud the PA system buzzed. Hers is a faithful audience, and the applause for 24 numbers left them fagged out and limp. Is the audience hearing Judy Garland or merely worshipping an illusion?

Check out The Judy Room’s “Judy Garland – The Concert Years” here.



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September 15, 1963:  Liza shares the spotlight with Mama.

Check out The Judy Room’s “Judy Garland – The Concert Years” here.



September 15, 1965:  Here’s a wonderful piece of artwork that accompanied a review of Judy’s first night at The Greek Theater in Los Angeles.  That is followed by the articles about Judy’s second night (September 14th), with her hand in a cast and a skunk in attendance!  Also included is a photo of The Young Americans who accompanied Judy on the bull at the theater.  Unfortunately, due to Judy’s physical condition, the rest of the engagement was canceled.

Check out The Judy Room’s “Judy Garland – The Concert Years” here.



September 15, 1967:  Here is a ticket stub from Judy’s concert this night at Chicago’s Civic Opera House.  This was the second of the three-night engagement.

Stub image provided by Armand DiNucci.  Thanks, Armand!

Check out The Judy Room’s “Judy Garland – The Concert Years” here.




3 comments

  1. I wonder if the Community Chest show was the same as the one heard in Los Angeles in 1940.
    https://www.christies.com/lotfinder/Lot/judy-garland-327782-details.aspx
    This is dated 1938-39 but it could be the wrong date. The transcription record is for a 15 minutes slot which fits the radio listing. Spencer Tracy did one too-https://books.google.com/books?id=Jd68j_eRJiwC&pg=PA179&lpg=PA179&dq=%22spencer+tracy%22+%22community+chest%22&source=bl&ots=TLAwEZHNde&sig=1yt3KeWcuN-7NQ_2lhQ5gXokxw8&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwix-bzmmMDdAhUk6YMKHVUZDEoQ6AEwAHoECAgQAQ#v=onepage&q=%22spencer%20tracy%22%20%22community%20chest%22&f=false

    1. That’s possible. Thanks for sharing the links. I would be nice to know what recording is referenced in that document auctioned by Christie’s. Some things were rebroadcast if there was a recording. If it was this Community Chest it sounds, from that Christie’s description, that it used an existing Garland recording, perhaps a Decca track?

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