On This Day In Judy Garland’s Life And Career – September 30

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“Well, Judy has something else, a personality that is half-clown half lost soul of tragedy, it’s an indefinable quality.  But it’s there.  Some may be immune to this magic; but, I, for one, respond to it.” – Ben Gross, 1963

September 30, 1929:  “The Three Gumm Sisters” performed at the Kiwanis Club in their hometown of Lancaster, California.  No other information about the engagement is known.

September 30, 1934:  Judy and her sisters, the newly named “Garland Sisters,” were singing their way back to California after their success at the Chicago World’s Fair.  They were currently enjoying a weeklong engagement at the Tower Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri, that began on September 28.  As a part of the “Shufflin’ South” stage revue they received several notices and this review.

At this point, Judy was singing “Bill” doing her Helen Morgan impersonation.  Unfortunately, the local reviewer for the Kansas City Star mixed up the girls’ names and thought that Judy was her older sister, Virginia.  According to the paper, Judy also sang “Little Man You’ve Had A Busy Day.”  Regardless, it was a positive review.

Judy recorded this version of “Bill” for Decca Records on March 29, 1935.  Her mom, Ethel Gumm, provided the piano accompaniment.  The recording was one of three test records made for the label that day.  The other two tests were a Judy solo of a medley of “On The Good Ship Lolipop”/”The Object of My Affection”/”Dinah”), and a recording of the three sisters singing “Moonglow.”  Although the tests did not result in a contract with the label, the recordings of “Bill” and the “Medley” have survived (“Moonglow” is still lost).   These are Judy Garland’s first studio recordings.  The discs are also the only recordings of Judy’s voice as it sounded before she signed with MGM and was immediately put under the tutelage of her future mentor Roger Edens.

Listen to “Bill” here:

Listen to the “Medley” here:

September 30, 1938:  The first day of prerecordings for The Wizard of Oz.  According to the Daily Music Report, Judy, Ray Bolger, Buddy Ebsen, and Bert Lahr, prerecorded “If I Only Had A Brain,” “If I Only Had A Heart,” “If I Only Had The Nerve,” “Wonderful Wizard of Oz” (“We’re Off To See The Wizard”) (the duo, trio, and quartet versions).

Only one of the printed takes of “If I Only Had A Brain” from this day has survived (see below).  This version is much slower than what was used in the final film, recorded on October 11.

Note that the bottom of the second page documents the recording session for the dance break (orchestra-only) of “If I Only Had A Brain” from October 1, 1938.

Check out The Judy Room’s Wizard of Oz Spotllight’s “Recording Sessions” Page for more details.

Listen to #2002, “If I Only Had A Brain”:

Listen to Takes 11, 13, 14, of #2003 “If I Only Had The Nerve” here (with some fun alternate lyrics):

Listen to Takes 1, 2, 3, of #2004 the first 8 bars of “If I Only Had The Nerve (Bert Lahr only):

Listen to Takes 1, 2, 3, 4, of #2005 “We’re Off To See The Wizard” (duo version):

Listen to Takes 5, 6, 7, of #2006 “We’re Off To See The Wizard” (duo version different underscoring at the end):

Listen to Takes 7, 8, 9, 10, of #2007 “We’re Off To See The Wizard” (trio version with false starts):

Listen to Take 3 of #2008 “We’re Off To See The Wizard” (trio version – alternate):

Listen to Takes 2, 3, 4, 5, of #2009 “We’re Off To See The Wizard” (quartet version):

Listen to Takes 7, 8, 9,  of #2011 “If I Only Had A Heart” (Buddy Ebsen & Adriana Castelotti):

Listen to Takes 1, 2, 3, of #2013 “If I Only Had A Heart” (orchestra-only dance break):

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

September 30, 1939:  No, they don’t mean that The Wizard of Oz is a Paramount film, just that it’s playing at the Paramount Theater in Burlington, NC.

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 Biogrpahy 1939 Page.

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


September 30, 1939:  The “Toronto Star Weekly.”  Scan provided by Kim Lundgreen.  Thanks, Kim!

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 Biography 1939 Page.

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


September 30, 1941:  Filming continued on the “Finale” sequence of Babes on Broadway.  Time called: 9 a.m.; lunch: 12:30-1:30 p.m.; time dismissed: 5 p.m.

September 30, 1944:  The Clock filming continued with scenes shot on the “Interior Small Restaurant” set. Judy’s musical mentor, Roger Edens, has a cameo as the restaurant’s piano player. Time called: 10 a.m.; time arrived: 10:14 a.m.; dismissed: 6:15 p.m.

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

September 30, 1945:  This wonderful review, photo, and an advertisement appeared in the Jackson, TN newspaper, The Jackson Sun.

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

September 30, 1945:  Judy’s Decca single of “On The Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe” with “If I Had You” (both with The Merry Macs) on the B side was a hit!

Listen to “On The Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe” here:

Listen to “If I Had You” here:

Listen to the alternate take of “If I Had You” here:

Both were recorded in New York on July 7, 1945, and released on September 9, 1945. Check out The Judy Garland Online Discography’s Decca Records section for more about Judy’s Decca recordings.

September 30, 1948:  Judy pre-recorded “Johnny One Note” for her encore number in Words and Music in which she guest-starred as herself.  The session took a short 30 minutes, lasting from 11 – 11:30 a.m.

Later in the evening, Judy appeared on the NBC Radio show, “Kraft Music Hall” with Al Jolson and Oscar Levant.  She sang “Johnny One Note,” a partial rendition of “Over The Rainbow” and, with Al Jolson, “Pretty Baby.”  The audio from the show survives and is the only known recording of Judy and Jolson singing together.

Listen to Judy’s quick rendition of part of “Over The Rainbow” followed by “Johnny One Note” here:

Listen to the remastered version of Judy and Al’s duet of “Pretty Baby” here:

Listen to the entire show here:

Listen to the MGM version of “Johnny One Note” here:

These performances were originally released on the 1974 album “Judy Garland On Radio.”

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Page on Words and Music here.

Below, MGM’s latest trade ad, published in the “Film Daily” trade magazine.

September 30, 1951:  At 2 a.m., Judy’s soon-to-be husband Sid Luft was involved in a minor car accident.  Judy ran to the scene.  No one was seriously hurt.  Sid, who was drunk, ran a red light and hit a car being driven by Allan Gordon Thompson and he, in turn, hit the car driven by Charles T. Neale.  Sid was booked on a drunk driving charge and released on $100 bail.  The newspapers reported that both Judy and Sid “took one punch each” at the two men.  Sid punched the witness, Dr. Rubin Larson, who got out of his car to see what was happening.  Neale was arguing with Sid about whether he should stay at the scene and wait for the police to file a report.  Judy became agitated and punched him in the nose, breaking his glasses.

The photos featured here were probably taken after Judy left the scene and before the police showed up.  They show Sid, along with Officer James Kilbainm, Dr. Rubin Larson (witness), and the occupants of the other cars, Thompson and Neale.

Sid was charged with a 20k damage suit which was not resolved until March 1953.  He settled the case for only $1,750.  Luft got lucky.

Judy had a radio appearance later that day (the accident event happened at 2:00 a.m.) at the NBC studios in Los Angeles.  She sang “You’re Just In Love” with Bing Crosby for the “United Red Feather Campaign of America” which was part of the “United Community Chest Campaign.”  Others in the show were President Harry S. Truman who provided a special address, and Jimmy Durante, Mario Lanza, Dinah Shore, Tony Martin, Richard Warfield, and Don Wilson.

There is no extant recording of this broadcast, but here’s Judy and Bing’s “You’re Just In Love” from “The Bing Crosby Show” recorded approximately January 23, 1951, and broadcast on February 7, 1951.

September 30, 1953:  Judy posed for these costume tests for A Star Is Born.  Filming didn’t begin until October 12th.

Check out The Judy Room’s Spotlight on A Star Is Born here.

September 30, 1954:  The LA Times gave Judy the front page the morning after the premiere of A Star Is Born took place at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood the night before.

Check out The Judy Room’s Spotlight on A Star Is Born here.

September 30, 1954: “Judy Fans Hysterical”!!!

The reviews were coming in and all agreed that Judy was a hit in A Star Is Born and that the film was (and still is) a masterpiece.  The premiere took place at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood the night before.  Here are some clippings.  Clark Gable’s arrival with Kay Williams seems to have been a popular photo for papers to use, almost as popular as photos of Judy.  She had sure come a long way since “Dear Mr. Gable” in 1937!

Note that some of the articles are the same although edited while some are complete, they’re repeated here due to the photos that were attached to each particular article.

Check out The Judy Room’s Spotlight on A Star Is Born here.

September 30, 1963:  The reviews of the previous night’s premiere of “The Judy Garland Show” were in and they were favorable.


September 30, 1967:  Here’s a fun photo of Judy arriving in Indianapolis, Indiana, for her October 1 & 2 shows at Clowes Hall.

Check out The Judy Room’s “Judy Garland – The Concert Years” here.


  1. Great entry (but what else is new?). “A Star is Born”: I’m in the minority in that I find Judy looking her slimmest and most attractive (in hair) in the TAN version of ‘The Man That Got Away.’ I’m glad the number was shot a third time, as the lighting is much better, but I feel she looks STUFFED into that blue dress. I’m also not crazy about the “ponytail” hairdo. But what a performance! (physically and vocally). Good luck, Lady Gaga!

    The 1951 traffic brawl: This is, in my opinion, the single ugliest piece on Garland, and really reveals Luft at his worst. What an embarrassing piece of copy on her. Luft could’ve killed someone, and it’s mind-boggling he got away with just a 100 dollar fine!

    1. Thank you!

      I think they went with the right look for the final film version of “The Man That Got Away.” The brown version (as I call it) is too brown although Judy looks very good.

      The traffic brawl was indeed a bad episode for both Sid and Judy. If Judy punched one of the guys, she most likely had too much to drink. This incident rarely ever gets mentioned probably because it’s so negative. Some people only want to hear or read positive things, but I think that negative things should be acknowledged (but not sensationalized) because everyone’s human, and Judy was all too human. I’m sure she regretted her actions. She was, by all accounts, a good-natured person so an incident like this is definitely in the minority and shouldn’t affect someone’s opinion of her. We all make mistakes! 🙂

  2. Scott, are all these wonderful alternate takes available for downloading on the The Judy Room? I just love, love, love hearing them. I have to check, but are they on the 2 disc Rhino Records release of the film?

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