“Here is a tender, heart-warming picture, superbly acted and directed, which will score a hit with everyone who sees it. Truly, every second in it is a heartbeat.” – Uncredited review of “The Clock,” 1945
September 20, 1930: Frances (Judy) Gumm performed at her father’s theater, The Valley Theater in Lancaster, California. The notice read “Frances Bumm will appear in a group of popular song numbers, Sunday afternoon at 4, and in the evening at 9:30.”
September 20, 1937: MGM pre-recording session for Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry. Judy recorded “Got A Pair Of New Shoes,” her solo version. Takes 1 through 6 were “printed” meaning they were kept for use in mixing a final track for the film and the playback disc. The latter (take 6) was “from bar 21 to end” and not the complete song. Also recorded for the film was a take of “Horn Calls of varying style and length.”
Listen to Take 4 here:
Listen to Take 6 here:
September 20, 1941: The Babes on Broadway company continued rehearsals on the “Finale” section of the film. Time called: 10 a.m.; lunch: 12:30-1:30 p.m.; time dismissed: 5:50 p.m.
September 20, 1943: The Hollywood Cavalcade arrived in New Orleans, Louisiana, from their engagement in St. Louis, Missouri, the previous day. Greer Garson managed to sell a single million dollar bond. In the papers was also this story about a soldier who allegedly had Judy in his backyard “pin show” when he was seven years old in Grand Rapids. It’s a cute story and might even be true, except the part claiming it was Judy’s stage debut. Also in theaters, Judy was starring in Presenting Lily Mars.
The train the stars were riding on from St. Louis went through McComb, Mississippi, on the way to New Orleans. The two articles below relay the story of fans waiting for the train to see the stars but it was so late it simply slowed down through the station without stopping, at 4:30 a.m.!
Unfortunately, while in New Orleans, the group of performers almost all came down with food poisoning from the seafood dinners they were served. Most of the sick rallied for their next engagement the next night (September 21) in Dallas, Texas.
September 20, 1944: The Clock filming continued with scenes shot on the “Interior Penn station Gates,” “Exterior Penn Station,” and “Interior Tony’s Repair Shop” sets. Time called: 10 a.m.; Judy arrived at 10:25 a.m.; dismissed: 6:00 p.m.
The “Tony’s” and magazine stand scenes were deleted from the film prior to its release, as were any interior shots of the repair shop. All that’s seen in the film are Judy with co-star Robert Walker entering the shop after convincing the owner (played by an uncredited actor) to open it up.
September 20, 1945: Judy on the cover of “The Standard.” Scan provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim!
September 20, 1945: Here’s a great review of The Clock. The uncredited reviewer for Vidette, Indiana, called the film “one of the most entrancing motion pictures of this or any year” and said it’s a “must see picture for everyone.”
September 20, 1950: Two articles about the immense response from the public (and Judy’s peers) in support of Judy after the shock of her recent well-publicized suicide attempt. The fan mail MGM was receiving for her had increased by 50% to 1,500 per week with 90% of it supportive and sympathetic. MGM noted that the soundtrack album to Summer Stock, which was currently in theaters, was outselling the album for Annie Get Your Gun. MGM also stated that they were giving Judy “the greatest promotional campaign we have ever given any star.”
A spokesperson for the studio stated, “I’ve seen lots of stars in trouble – Mitchum, Flynn, Bergman – but I’ve never seen this kind of a favorable reaction. Rarely has a studio-backed a star to such an extent when she or he has gotten into a scrape. If the fans don’t turn away the studio usually does, or vice versa, or both.”
The alleged truth in the matter is that MGM was not supportive of Judy at all, not until after the public response was so positive and the reaction to Summer Stock was so great that they were caught off guard. Naturally, they went into damage control mode.
September 20, 1950: Judy appeared on”The Bing Crosby Show” which was pre-recorded on this date for CBS Radio at the KNX Radio Studios in Hollywood, California. Crosby always recorded his shows a few weeks ahead of the air dates. The show aired on October 11, 1950. It was set to air a week earlier but was postponed due to the death of Bing’s father, Harry Lowe Crosby.
At this point, Summer Stock was playing in theaters around the country bringing praise to Judy in spite of her recent troubles (see the articles above).
Judy sang “Get Happy”; “Sam’s Song” (with Crosby); and “Goodnight Irene” (Bob Hope joined in on this one).
Listen to “Get Happy” here:
Listen to “Goodnight Irene” here:
Listen to “Sam’s Song” here:
September 20, 1953: Judy was in the early weeks of pre-production on A Star Is Born which was covered in the papers. This notice reports that Judy had prerecorded “Gotta Have Me Go With You” (recorded August 23rd) and “Here’s What I’m Here For” (the exact recording date is unknown although it’s most likely August 27th).
September 20, 1955: Columnist Bob Thomas reports from behind the scenes of Judy’s upcoming TV debut.
September 20, 1956: The fifth and final installment of columnist Joe Hyman’s series about Judy.
September 20, 1961: Judy gave her “Carnegie Hall Concert” at the Coliseum in Denver, Colorado. A capacity crowd of 7,484 people attended for a gross of $36,922. Ticket prices ranged from $2.50 up to a maximum of $7.50. Meanwhile (below) Judy’s recent triumph at the Hollywood Bowl was still in the news. Columnist Hedda Hopper flatly stated, “Watching her you realized she’d completed the entire Hollywood gamut from the eager little fat girl whose studio kept food away from her and forced her to lose 10 to 15 pounds before each picture.”
September 20, 1963: Videotaping of both the dress rehearsal (5:30 – 7 p.m.) and the final performance (9:00 – 10:30 p.m.) of “Episode Seven” of “The Judy Garland Show” at CBS Television City, Stage 43, Hollywood, CA.
The episode was planned in advance to be the “premiere telecast” episode and featured Donald O’Connor as Judy’s guest, with series regular Jerry Van Dyke.
Judy sang: “Call Me Irresponsible”; “Keep Your Sunny Side Up”; “Be My Guest” (with O’Connor); “Songs We’re Famous For” (medley with O’Connor); “Fly Me To The Moon”; “The World Is Your Balloon” (with O’Connor and Van Dyke) (this number was actually videotaped in the afternoon, prior to the taping of the dress rehearsal); “Vaudeville” medley (with O’Connor); and “Chicago.”
Judy taped two “Tea For Two” segments: one with O’Connor and one with Henry Fonda. The segment with Fonda never aired.
The episode aired on Sunday, September 29, 1963, as the premiere of the series.
September 20, 1965: NBC-TV aired Judy’s guest appearance on “The Andy Williams Show,” taped on July 9, 1965.
Judy sang “On A Wonderful Day Like Today” (with Williams); “Get Happy” (a new pop/rock/jazz version with a male chorus); and a medley with Williams in which she sang “Why Don’t We Do This More Often” and “On The Atchison, Topeka, And The Santa Fe” plus a bit of “Over The Rainbow”; “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby”; “You Made Me Love You”; and “The Trolley Song.”
A special thanks to GetTV for the second video.