“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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Australian poster of the film provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim!
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.
Judy 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:
“Long Ago, And Far Away”
“It Came Upon A Midnight Clear”
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!
September 15, 1950: More ads for Summer Stock.
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.
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).
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.
September 15, 1963: Liza shares the spotlight with Mama.
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.