“Judy Garland, who can make you cry one minute and laugh the next, is delightful as the distraught lady of the soil who first considers the flock of thespians invading her farm more trouble than a squealing litter of pigs.” – Uncredited review of “Summer Stock,” 1950
September 25, 1935: This notice appeared in the Los Angeles Times. It lists “Judy Garland, vaudeville” as part of the acts in “Rhythm Madness.” Judy had just signed with MGM and was not a part of the show. The listing is a mistake, corrected the next day with the listing of “Judge Garland, vaudeville.” Whoever wrote the original notice must have known about Judy from her appearances in local shows. Judy had already become well known on the vaudeville circuit and most people who saw her assumed that she was going to be a big star.
September 25, 1939: This ad for Babes In Arms ran in the “Film Daily” trade magazine.
September 25, 1940: Judy’s new MGM contract was filed in the Superior Court of Los Angeles. Judy was still considered a minor until she turned 21 on June 10, 1943, so this contract was signed by her mother, Ethel.
The new contract called for an immediate raise from $600 to $2,000 per week, the workweek being Monday through Saturday, with options over seven years to bring her up to $3,000 per week. For seven years with at least forty weeks of work each year, MGM was willing to guarantee Judy a total salary of $680,000 for each of those years. This contract stayed in place until 1946 when a new one was drafted giving Judy even more money and (so it seemed) more control over her career and workload.
September 25, 1941: The first day of filming the “Finale” sequence for Babes on Broadway. Time called: 9 a.m.; lunch: 12:30-1:30 p.m.; dismissed: 7 p.m. The day was long and must have worn Judy out because she called in sick the following day.
September 25, 1943: The next to last stop on the “Hollywood War Bond Cavalcade” took place in San Francisco.
Judy (along with Mickey Rooney, Greer Garson, Lucille Ball, Fred Astaire, Betty Hutton, Kathryn Grayson, James Cagney, Paul Henreid, Jose Iturbi, Dick Powell, Harpo Marx, Kay Kyser and His Orchestra, Ruth Brady, Rosemary La Planche, and Dorothy Merrit) arrived at the Third and Townsend Street Station at 10:30 a.m., where they were met by Mayor Angelo J. Rossi, Charles R. Page, northern California chairman of the War Finance Committee, and George Mann, head of Fox West Coast, Inc.
120 military policemen escorted them through the crowds and to their assigned jeeps which paraded them through the city to the Fairmont Hotel where sixty-four guests gave up their rooms until midnight for members of the Bond Cavalcade. The actual bond selling show took place at the Civic Auditorium, where they performed and sold war bonds, the final tally being $150,400,000 raised, $68,000,000 short of the city’s quota.
September 25, 1943: Presenting Lily Mars was still opening in theaters around the country. It was a hit for Judy and MGM garnering glowing reviews, including this one printed in the “News Messenger” newspaper in Fremont, Ohio. The film also, along with For Me And My Gal in 1942, erased all doubt as to whether Judy Garland could make the transition to adult roles.
September 25, 1944: Filming on The Clock continued with scenes shot on the “Exterior Bus Stop” set. Time called: 10 a.m.; Judy arrived at 10:14 a.m.; dismissed: 6 p.m.
Photo: Publicity picture of Judy with co-star Robert Walker.
September 25, 1945: Columnist Erksine Johnson tried to create a “feud” between Judy and former co-star Deanna Durbin.
Photo: Suzy Foster, Jeannette MacDonald, Kathryn Grayson, Judy, and Deanna Durbin circa 1943.
September 25, 1947: Another day of music rehearsals for Judy and co-star Gene Kelly for Easter Parade. Time called: 1 p.m.; dismissed: 3:45 p.m.
September 25, 1949: Advertisement for In The Good Old Summertime which was another Garland hit.
September 25, 1950: While in San Francisco, California, Judy recorded her appearance on the CBS Radio show, “The Bing Crosby Show.” Crosby always taped his shows in advance of the broadcast date. This one was broadcast on October 18th. Judy sang “Friendly Star” to promote Summer Stock and duetted with Bing on “Tzena, Tzena, Tzena.”
Hedda Hopper made note of this show in her column (clipping below) in which she mentions Judy’s return to LA, two Crosby shows including this one, plus the fact that she was being considered to take over Mary Martin’s role on Broadway in “South Pacific.”
Listen to “Friendly Star” here:
Listen to the complete show here:
September 25, 1950: Songwriter, producer, and columnist Billy Rose (former husband of Fanny Brice), had published a now-famous open letter to Judy (see the September 1 post) in support of her after her troubles and suicide attempt became public. Here he follows-up with an update relaying the fact that he received “sacksful” of mail-in support of Judy, and a letter and phone call from Judy herself.
September 25, 1950: Here’s another review and advertisement for Summer Stock. In spite of the fact that the film was considered a minor musical at MGM, it was an extremely popular hit with fans and most critics. This review is just one example.
September 25, 1954: Louella Parsons reported on what Judy might wear to the premiere of A Star Is Born which was just four days away.
September 25, 1955: Judy’s television debut the previous night was getting good reviews.
September 25, 1964: Here’s a radio interview that Judy did for BBC Radio while in London, along with Lionel Bart, Mark Herron, and Shirley Bassey. It’s dated September 25, 1964, which is the same day that Judy returned home from a short two-day stay in the hospital recuperating from “an acute abdominal condition” she was suffering from which started two nights before (September 23) after the post-premiere party for Bart’s “Maggie May.”
Listen to the interview here:
Photo: Judy with Mark Herron, Lionel Bart, and actor Kenneth Haigh at the opening night party on September 23, 1964.
September 25, 1967: Judy’s on the comeback trail and due to bring her Palace Tour to St. Louis, Missouri, on September 27th. Here’s an interesting article by Glenna Syce in which she attempts to explain the Garland career and the adulation from her fans.
September 25, 2009: “Entertainment Weekly” reviewed the new Blu-ray/DVD boxed set of The Wizard of Oz.
The screenshot above right is from the online version of the article. I’m not sure why it has “2005” in the headline. That’s when the first DVD boxed set came out (pre-Blu-ray).