“But if Judy Garland is rolled on stage in a wheelchair and sings about rainbows and trolleys she’ll still be that pretty little girl from the movies.” – Martin Hogan, Jr., 1965
September 22, 1938: Judy filmed the “Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart” number for Listen, Darling.
The version as shown in the film is a shorter, edited version than what was recorded. Judy had recorded two versions, one ballad and one with a “swing” midsection. Those pre-recordings were originally released on the 1995 laserdisc double feature of “Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry/Listen, Darling.”
The complete ballad version was originally released on the 1995 6-CD set “That’s Entertainment! The Ultimate Anthology of M-G-M Musicals” and the 2006 re-release. It was most recently remastered and released on the wonderful 2017 release, “Soundtracks.”
The complete swing version was first released on the 1996 CD “Judy Garland – Collector’s Gems from the MGM Films.” It has since been re-released on various bootleg CDs.
The swing version was expertly remastered and released on the 2014 5-CD set “Judy Garland – The Garland Variations.”
After the filming, the cast posed for publicity photos as well as the two photos shown here of the cast on the set. It was quite a busy day!
The video featured above was created and shared by Mark Milano. Thanks, Mark!
September 22, 1938: Two versions of the same article. It’s interesting to note that while MGM made Judy feel homely and less than glamorous or even “pretty” by the studio’s standards, articles such as this used Judy as an example of teen loveliness and, in other articles, teen fashion.
September 22, 1938: Gale Sondergard posed for tests in her Witch’s costume for The Wizard of Oz. It wasn’t long after this that it was decided to forgo a glamorous witch and go with the more traditional Witch, as perfectly portrayed by Margaret Hamilton.
September 22, 1939: The Wizard of Oz was still a big hit in theaters and was showing more staying power than it would be given credit for decades later. This article mentions the “rainbow bridge” which was an idea in an early script that was never actually filmed. Clearly, this was copy created by the MGM publicity department that was sent out to newspapers but didn’t have the benefit of anyone checking the details against the finished film.
More details and images of all of Judy’s activities during that golden year of 1939 can be found on The Judy Room’s Garland Centennial 1939 Page.
The last image above is another ad for the Decca Records album of songs from the film.
September 22, 1940: Judy wanted more knowledge. This piece of fiction, more from those busy publicity folks at MGM, tells the story of Judy going to college, the MGM college. Judy’s referred to as red-haired and golden-voiced. The article noted that Judy’s love of music brought her a music library of 2,500 records, as well as the study of Irish history and customs since she had just completed work on the Irish-themed Little Nellie Kelly. Meanwhile, Strike Up The Band was in theaters as was (at least in Greenville, North Carolina) Babes In Arms.
September 22, 1941: Rehearsals for the “Finale” sequence of Babes On Broadway continued. Time called: 1 p.m.; dismissed: 5:50 p.m.
September 22, 1943: The “Hollywood Cavalcade” of stars arrived for their one-day event in San Antonio, Texas. The clippings here detail their previous stops.
September 22, 1943: Judy was romantically linked to Leonard Sues (misspelled Suess in the article). Sues had been a part of Judy’s social group beginning in the late 1930s. He’s seen in several MGM films, most notably the early Judy/Mickey “Let’s Put On A Show!” musicals.
September 22, 1944: The Clock filming continued with scenes on the “Interior Magazine Stand”; “Exterior Station”; and “Exterior Top of Bus” sets. Time called: 10 a.m.
The assistant director’s notes state: “Miss Garland phoned Al Shenberg early this morning that her tooth was troubling her, that she had an eleven o’clock appointment with the dentist and would not be able to come in until 1:30; company could not work without Miss Garland. [She] arrived on lot at 12:30; on stage 1:35; ready on set at 2:00 p.m.” Time dismissed: 6 p.m.
September 22, 1947: Preproduction work began on Easter Parade. At this point, Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse were Judy’s co-stars. This first day was spent in music rehearsals. Time called: 2 p.m., dismissed: 4 p.m.
Kelly broke his ankle on October 13th and Charisse tore a ligament in her knee. Kelly was replaced by Fred Astaire and Charisse was replaced by Ann Miller. Another one-of-a-kind MGM musical masterpiece was the result.
As early as February 1947, it was reported (see clippings) that Frank Sinatra, Red Skelton, and Kathryn Grayson were alleged to be Judy and Gene’s co-stars in the film. These early notices did not always reflect actual casting decisions but rather they were the studio’s way of getting star’s names in the press. The gossip columnists tried to drum up some rivalry between Judy and Ann Miller, and Judy and June Allyson, which was a total fabrication!
September 22, 1948: This ad promotes a radio broadcast “Salute to WMGM.” WMGM was MGM’s new radio station. It’s unknown what Judy’s contributions to the broadcast were, but it’s safe to assume the show consisted of mostly pre-recorded content, including tracks from the latest MGM Records soundtracks. This show was “conceived” by Louis K. Sidney who was the father of director George Sidney. The listing of Georgie Stoll and the note “& 128 pc M-G-M Orch. & M-G-M Chorus” is a hint that the songs and music were prerecordings. There’s no way the entire MGM Studio Orchestra & Chorus would have fit in a radio station studio.
Included is a photo, published in the September 18, 1948, edition of the trade magazine “Motion Picture Herald” that shows the recent christening of the radio station.
September 22, 1951: Judy had just returned to Los Angeles for a short stay before heading to New York. She was interviewed upon her arrival at the train station in Pasadena. She stated that she was through with the slimming diets, “I’m not going to attempt to retain one of those sleek Hollywood figures, I feel too good this way.”
September 22, 1954: Here’s an ad for, and traffic notice about, the upcoming premiere of A Star Is Born at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood. The premiere was THE event of the year and became one of the biggest premieres in Hollywood history.
September 22, 1955: A notice about Judy’s first LP release, “Miss Show Business,” from Capitol Records.
September 22, 1955: The Ford Motor Company naturally mentioned Judy’s upcoming TV debut on the “Ford Star Jubilee” show in their ads.
September 22, 1961: Another ad for the Capitol Records best-selling “Judy at Carnegie Hall.”
September 22, 1962: Herb Kelly’s column in the “Miami News” reported that Judy had been signed by Morris Lansburgh for a private show on January 24, 1963, at the Deauville Hotel in Miami, Florida. That show was canceled due to rehearsals in New York for Judy’s next TV special (“Jud Garland and Her Guests Phil Silvers and Robert Goulet”).
September 22, 1963: Judy and daughter Liza Minnelli were getting a lot of press what with the upcoming premiere of Judy’s new TV series, “The Judy Garland Show,” on which Liza was, naturally, one of Judy’s guests.
September 22, 1965: Here is another review, of sorts, of Judy’s recent appearance on “The Andy Williams Show” (aired on September 20, 1965).
Photo: Judy at her Brentwood home, 1965.
September 22, 1967: The idea of a TV special of Judy’s recent “Palace” show with kids Lorna and Joe Luft was a good one. It’s too bad it never happened.
September 22, 2020: The Warner Archive released the That’s Entertainment! series on Blu-ray.