“The Judy adjectives have been used for years – But somehow, even they don’t convey the feeling that is in evidence throughout the audience when Judy Garland is on stage!” – Don Grube, 1961
September 21, 1928: This notice appeared in the Los Angeles Times and although it doesn’t list the Gumm Sisters (Judy and her sisters) specifically they were a part of the Meglin Kiddies group so it’s very likely that they were a part of this event. It’s been noted that Judy and her sisters performed at an after-theater party, held at the home of S.H. Savage presumably in Lancaster, California, on this same day.
September 21, 1933: “The Gumm Family” performed at the Acadia Club of Los Angeles Dinner, Lodge 437, Mason Temple Hall, Los Angeles, California. No other information about this engagement is known.
September 21, 1940: Strike Up The Band, which was the follow-up to Judy and Mickey Rooney’s Babes in Arms of the previous year, was opening in theaters around the country. The film had gone into general release around September 13.
September 21, 1940: This review of Strike Up The Band, published in the trade magazine “Motion Picture Herald” notes how, at the preview showing of the film at the Village Theatre in the Westwood district of Los Angeles applauded “individual performances and outstanding sequences from the opening footage.” MGM studio boss Louis B. Mayer was on hand and afterward “seemed pleased.” The review also notes that the film “gives Miss Garland greater opportunities for her maturing talent.”
September 21, 1942: According to columnist Ernest Foster, Judy suffered stage fright on one scene per picture. Allegedly she experienced it while filming the “Nobody” number in Strike Up The Band; the Sarah Bernhardt impersonation in Babes on Broadway; the YMCA segment of For Me And My Gal; and currently her take-off on Marta Eggerth in Presenting Lily Mars. On this day Judy was in the middle of filming on the latter.
September 21, 1943: The Hollywood Cavalcade Bond Tour had a hugely successful fundraising show in Dallas, Texas. The group had just had a successful engagement in New Orleans, Louisiana, the night before.
The afternoon show in Dallas took place at the Will Rogers Memorial Coliseum. Over a thousand schoolchildren were let out early to attend the event. The crowd was estimated at 13,500 people, raising $13,000,000 at the event bringing the total raised from the beginning of the tour two weeks prior to this engagement to $1,250,000,000.
The papers reported that many of the performers in the large group (106 performers in total) had become ill after eating a seafood dinner the night before in New Orleans. One article reported that the entire company suffered varying degrees of food poisoning from the seafood dinners. Betty Hutton was too sick to appear at all.
The bad seafood also affected Judy, as one article noted: “The audience didn’t know it, but scarcely 30 minutes before Judy Garland reached the stage she was in a faint and under a doctor’s care in her dressing room. No one would have guessed it, the way she sang ‘Blow, Gabriel Blow,’ and two Gershwin tunes, ‘Embraceable You,’ and ‘The Man I Love.’ Judy remained on stage to coax some boogie-woogie out of the talented pianist, Jose Iturbi, and when she came backstage she was in a state of collapse.” It was also reported that with Iturbi, “Judy Garland ‘gave out’ with some of the hottest boogie-woogie ever heard outside of Harlem.” Another article noted that Judy was a favorite of the younger set, “She got more whistles than the rest of the glamour gals put together.”
James Cagney (who performed his famous “Yankee Doodle Dandy”) and Kay Kyser were the emcees of the show. Kyser was reported as one of the sickest but “bounced around the stage like a rubber ball all afternoon.” Fred Astaire was reportedly nervous before his appearance, saying, “Last night at New Orleans I danced in a stadium so big that I couldn’t have seen part of the audience with binoculars. And I can’t do some of the steps I’m supposed to do on this kind of a stage.” Astaire’s fears were unfounded. “The crowd roared its approval, and Astaire went right ahead and did the very steps he had thought he couldn’t do.”
Greer Garson announced that the packed house was the largest crowd ever gathered in the coliseum and on a serious note she said, “I learned in Washington that during the last 24 hours of World War I about 26,000 men were killed. Your bond, even a $25 bond, can hasten the end of this war and might thereby save 1,000 lives.”
Other highlights of the show included songs by Dick Powell and Kathryn Grayson, Mickey Rooney providing “buck and wing” as well as imitations of Hollywood stars and Washington politicians, Harpo Marx performed more comedy including a skit with Lucille Ball, and Kay Kyser and his band provided their distinctive big band sound and more comedy.
Next stop: San Antonio, Texas.
September 21, 1944: Filming on The Clock continued with scenes shot on the “Interior Tony’s Repair Shop” and “Interior Magazine Stand” sets. Time called: 10 a.m.; dismissed: 6:05 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.
The first image shown here is a pic of the deleted scene showing Judy and Robert Walker’s “Alice” and “Joe” characters enjoying cake inside “Tony’s” which indicates that the scene was fairly extensive. The scene probably follows the “Repair Shop” scene showing the two having cake while waiting for Alice’s shoe to be repaired.
September 21, 1945: Here is another nice review of The Clock.
Lobby card scan provided by Aureo Brandão. Thanks, Aureo!
September 21, 1948: Here’s an early notice about Judy’s upcoming role as Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun. The article states that Judy was set to begin work on the film on October 1, but that was actually the date of Judy’s final day of filming on Words and Music. Judy’s work on Annie Get Your Gun began on March 7, 1949.
September 21, 1949: Judy was Bing Crosby’s guest on the new season of his radio show, “The Bing Crosby Show,” on CBS Radio. It’s unclear what Judy performed because all that’s known is that she appeared on the October 5th broadcast which was recorded approximately mid-September. Crosby always recorded his radio shows ahead of time. But this September 21st broadcast is a puzzle. There are no known recordings of a September 21st broadcast unless the October 5th broadcast was actually a repeat of this broadcast.
September 21, 1949: Lew Sheaffer of “The Brooklyn Eagle” thoroughly enjoyed In The Good Old Summertime, stating that Judy had never been better and that she “displays proof that she continues to grow as a performer. She’s mighty, mighty pleasant to have around.”
September 21, 1950: Judy’s popularity was bigger than ever, even after her suicide attempt the previous June (referenced in this article), thanks to Summer Stock being an unexpected (for the studio anyway) hit, as well as a hit for the MGM Records soundtrack. According to a studio spokesman, the soundtrack outsold their previous best seller, the soundtrack to Annie Get Your Gun (which Judy famously did not complete and was replaced by Betty Hutton). MGM completely underestimated Judy’s popularity and the devotion of her fans.
From the article:
A Metro spokesman said the company, through recording publishing and radio affiliates, was currently giving Miss Garland “the greatest promotion campaign we have ever given any star.”
The campaign is hinged on her last picture, “Summer Stock.” The score has been published by two houses and put into an album by MGM records. Song pluggers are working for “all-out” plugs from disc jockey contacts and MGM’s New York radio station has “must” orders to program records from the album. Three thousand letters and records of one of the songs have been sent [to] disc jockeys all over the country.
A studio spokesman said: “We’re not only interested in sales. We want to give Judy the big buildup so she’ll know we have confidence in her and will regain confidence in herself. We all feel Judy came up the hard way and that she’s a good, clean girl. Hollywood killed her. It was too much for her. She deserves all the feeling we can give her. We’ve got to let the people know how we feel about her.”
September 21, 1955: More coverage of Judy’s upcoming TV debut on the “Ford Star Jubilee” show on September 24.
September 21, 1957: Judy played her last show at Loew’s Capitol Theatre in Washington, D.C. She had been scheduled to give her final show the following night (September 22) but that was canceled due to illness. Judy had the Asian Flu and a temperature of 103 degrees!
September 21, 1958: “Private Flop, Public Hit” – This rather ponderous article Charlotte Flynn was syndicated in papers around the country. While it makes note of Judy’s success at Orchestra Hall in Chicago on September 4th and her brilliance on stage, it paints an odd picture of Judy’s off stage.
September 21, 1961: Here is a great review of Judy’s recent appearance at The Hollywood Bowl (September 16) from columnist Don Grube. Also shown here is another ad for Capitol Records’ “Judy At Carnegie Hall” which was still a best seller.
September 21, 1962: “The Judy Garland Show” (aka “Judy, Frank, and Dean”) was rebroadcast on September 19 which prompted this carpet ad from McMahan’s Furniture Store in Reno, Nevada. Meanwhile, Judy’s current engagement in Las Vegas, Nevada, was getting raves.
September 21, 1963: Two blurbs about Judy’s new TV series, “The Judy Garland Show.” Included is a note about Barbra Streisand’s upcoming appearance.
September 21, 1965: Judy’s appearance on the Andy Williams Show (the night before) was reviewed.
September 21, 1966: This snapshot was taken of Judy at the Buddy Rich Orchestra’s opening. Judy attended along with Tony Bennett, Eddie Fisher, and Lainie Kazan.
Also on this day, this order form (below) was published promoting the Pickwick label’s reissue of some of Judy’s Capitol Recordings, “I Feel A Song Coming On.” This album is interesting in that it’s a studio album that does not include “Over The Rainbow.” It was subsequently released in 1967 only in Sears-Roebuck department stores as “By Myself ” with different artwork. Pickwick was Capitol’s budget label division and released Capitol recordings (as well as RCA’s) well into the 1990s. This album was also released in 1967 in Canada as “I Feel A Song Coming On” with different cover art.
September 21, 1967: Judy’s recent success at The Palace Theater and her current “Palace Tour” afforded her the ability to rent a posh townhouse in New York City. Since Judy was on the road so much she didn’t get the chance to spend much time at the apartment until early October.
September 21, 1974: That’s Entertainment! was still a big hit in theaters around the country.
September 21, 1989: The Wizard of Oz was one of the first 25 films inducted into the new National Film Registry. Since that time, the following Garland films have also been inducted: Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938), Meet Me In St. Louis (1944); and A Star Is Born (1954).
September 21, 2009: AGI Media touts their accomplishments in packaging the 70th anniversary edition of The Wizard of Oz (on Blu-ray for the first time) for Warner Home Video in the latest issue of “Home Media Magazine.”