On This Day In Judy Garland’s Life And Career – September 28

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“Judy the Legend was on – and exciting the toughest critics to say she’s not the Elvis Presley of today but the Al Jolson.” – Earl Wilson, 1956

September 28, 1928:  “The Gumm Sisters” performed at the Montebello Community Center in Montebello, California.  The sisters were part of the Meglin Kiddies act.  No other information about this engagement is known.

September 28, 1935:  The ink was barely dry on Judy’s first contract with MGM before the studio put her name in the papers as part of the cast for This Time It’s Love as this clipping from this date in 1935 proves.

The 1975 book “Young Judy” by David Dahl and Barry Kehoe features the contents of a letter from October 1935 in which Judy’s father, Frank Gumm, told their family friend John Perkins in Lancaster, California that Judy was to start production on This Time It’s Love in January 1936 with an April 1936 release date.  The film would star Robert Montgomery and Jessie Matthews, and “baby [as Judy was still called by her family] plays opposite Buddie [sic] Ebson [sic] a 6 foot 2 comedian that made a big hit with his sister in the new Broadway Melody of 1936.”

This Time It’s Love eventually became Born To Dance starring Eleanor Powell and was released in 1936.  On March 10, 1936, Cole Porter noted in his diary that to his “great joy” Born To Dance would include “Buddy Ebsen and Judy Garland.”  Porter was well aware of who Judy Garland was.  Judy’s part was written out before she began any work on the film.  Judy would appear with Ebsen in her MGM feature debut, Broadway Melody of 1938 (1937).

Learn more about the films that Judy almost made, or was in the running for, at The Judy Room’s Filmography Pages “Films That Got Away” section.

Photos:  1935 clipping; Judy and Buddy Ebsen rehearse their dance for Broadway Melody of 1938.


September 28, 1937:  A busy day for Judy. During the day she was at MGM, along with Mickey Rooney and Ronald Sinclair, filming this scene (see photo) for Thoroughbred’s Don’t Cry.  The film was Judy’s first with Rooney.September-28,-1937-Jack-Oakie-image

Later that evening she appeared on the “Jack Oakie’s College” radio show.  Judy had been a regular on the series since January 5, 1937, although the show had ended by this point in September at which time she would ten become a weekly regular on the “Good News of 1938” program. Judy sang “Smiles.”  She later performed the song in the 1942 film “For Me And My Gal”)

Listen to Judy’s segment of the show here:

Listen to the entire show here:

Photo provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim!


September 28, 1939:  Even the ponies that were seen in the Munchkinland sequence in The Wizard of Oz became celebrities of sorts.  According to this fun article published in the “Minneapolis Star” newspaper, their names were “Wizard” and “Oz.” Something tells me that they got those names after their work on the film… 🙂

Check out The Judy Room’s Extensive Spotlight on The Wizard of Oz here.

September 28, 1939:  Here are two very obviously studio-fed stories about Judy that MGM publicists sent out.  Fun fodder to keep Judy’s name in the papers!

The first story pertains to the “Judy Garland Flowers” shop that MGM had opened in her name.  Judy really didn’t have anything to do with the shop in spite of what this short blurb claims.

The is from May Mann’s syndicated column and is quite the story about how Judy likes to eat at the New York automats.  We all now know that MGM would never let her splurge on “pie, sandwiches, and etc.”

Also shown here are a few publicity photos of Judy, along with her sisters and a happy customer, “running” the show at the flower shop.

September 28, 1944:  Joan Leslie wanted to be Judy’s friend, according to Sidney Skolsky.  On this day Judy was on standby for filming on The Clock at MGM.  She was on the set all day until 6:05 p.m. but was not needed and did not film any scenes.

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Pages on The Clock here.


September 28, 1948:  A short day at MGM for Judy.  She rehearsed “Jonny One Note” for Words And Music, arrived at 10 a.m.; dismissed at 11:40 a.m.

September 28, 1956:  Columnist Earl Wilson covered Judy’s recent return to The Palace in New York.

September 28, 1960:  These photos were taken of Judy with Maurice Chevalier at his home in Paris, France.

Judy had just arrived in Paris after having premiered her first two-act solo concert (the first known two-act, solo, one-woman concert by a female pop vocalist) at the Palladium in London.


September 28, 1963:  The cover of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat newspaper insert promoting the upcoming premiere of Judy’s new weekly TV series, “The Judy Garland Show.”


September 28, 1967:  Swing with the Stars.  An upcoming series of articles titled “Fall Festival of Celebrities” to be published in the “Philadelphia Daily News.”   The articles published the following week were excerpts from the “Ladies Home Journal” article “The Plot Against Judy Garland.”

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