On This Day In Judy Garland’s Life And Career – October 4

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“Anyone will get full enjoyment from the lively music, dancing and notable acting of Judy and Mickey.” – Mae Saunders, 1940 review of “Strike Up The Band”

October 4, 1930:  Judy and her sisters, as “The Gumm Sisters,” returned to the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles, California, for another night of performing with the “Big Brother Ken Show.”

October 4, 1934:  The final night of a week-long engagement for Judy and her sisters, the “Garland Sisters,” at the Tower Theatre in Kansas City, Missouri.  The sisters were singing their way back to California after their success at the Chicago World’s Fair.  This engagement was very successful, with positive notices and a glowing review in the “Kansas City Star.”

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 the Decca test recording of “Bill” here:

Lisent to the Decca test recording of the “Medley” here:

October 4, 1937:  Judy spent the day in the MGM recording studio, prerecording “Down On Melody Farm” for Everybody Sing.  At this point, the film was titled Swing Fever which was one of the original names of the project.  The other was The Ugly Duckling (!).

Listen to
2009 Part 1 (unknown take number)

2010 Part 2 Take 4 (three takes given the same take number)

2011 Part 3 Takes 2 & 3

2012 Part 2A Take 2

The remastered version of the complete number:

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Page on Everybody Sing here.

October 4, 1939:  College is out, says Judy.

“I don’t see any sense in my trying to go to college.  If I did and worked in pictures, too, I wouldn’t have time to have any fun.  If I were planning a professional course as Mickey (Rooney) is it would be different, but as long as I plan to be an actress, I think I’ll just skip it.”

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.

October 4, 1940:  Strike Up The Band was getting great reviews.

October 4, 1940:  Judy was the “glorifier of teen glamour” but she was afraid of glamour according to this article.


October 4, 1940:  “The Family Circle” magazine featured this colorized photo of Judy.

Photo provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim!


October 4, 1941:  Production on Babes on Broadway was canceled for the day because Judy was out sick and they could not film around her.


October 4, 1944:  Filming on The Clock continued with scenes shot on the “Exterior Riverside Park” set.  Time called: 10:30 a.m.; Judy arrived at 10:25 a.m.; dismissed: 6:55 p.m.

Photo:  Judy on the set with director Vincente Minnelli, provided by Kim Lundgreen.  Thanks, Kim!

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


October 4, 1945:  Judy had wardrobe fittings for Till The Clouds Roll By.  Time called: 1 p.m.; Judy arrived at 2 p.m.; dismissed: 3:30 p.m.

Check out The Judy Room’s Spotlight on Till The Clouds Roll By here.

October 4, 1953:  This news item reported on the new makeup created for Judy for A Star Is Born.  During this time Judy was posing for wardrobe tests preparing for the first day of filming which was on October 12th.  On this day, Judy attended Johnnie Ray’s wedding to Marilyn Morrison.  She signed the guestbook.


October 4, 1956:  This notice appeared, promoting a new series of articles, written by Joe Hyman, that would tell Judy’s story.

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

October 4, 1956:  Here’s another notice (far left above), this time about the upcoming premiere broadcast of The Wizard of Oz on television, on November 3rd.  Little did anyone know at the time what a momentous broadcast it turned out to be and how it would affect the current and future generations of Garland and Oz fans.

The other two clippings are from November 3, 1956.

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

October 4, 1956:  Speaking of television, here’s an article published on this day that lists Judy as one of the major stars objecting to “the wholesale showing of their old films on TV.”  The concern wasn’t about loss of royalties (as classic film stars in the 1980s objected to, and sued over, films on VHS) but more about ruining the careers of “older” stars by hurting their current images.

Included above is Walter Winchell’s latest column which featured Judy.

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

October 4, 1957:  Judy, Sid, Lorna, and Joe sailed on the United States ship, from New York to London, for Judy’s next engagement at the Dominion Theater.  She opened there on October 16th.

Also on this date, and just prior to sailing, Judy signed a contract to perform at a large nightclub in Brooklyn, as a date still to be determined, in 1958, and received a $15,000 advance.  The contract was through Luft’s latest corporation, “Gamma” Productions (for Garland and the role Judy was proudest of – “mama.”)  Judy was president of the production company, and Sid was vice president.

Photos: Sid and Judy with an unidentified guest having dinner on the SS United States.  The notice about refunds for Judy’s recently canceled two final shows (a matinee and evening show) scheduled for the Mastbaum Theatre in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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

October 4, 1963:  Videotaping of both the dress rehearsal (5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.) and the final performance (9:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.) of “Episode Nine” of “The Judy Garland Show” at CBS Television City, Stage 43 Hollywood.

Judy’s guests were Barbra Streisand and the Smothers Brothers, with regular Jerry Van Dyke.  Judy’s songs included: “Comes Once In A Lifetime”; “Be My Guest” (with Streisand, Smothers Brothers, and Van Dyke); “Just In Time”; “Get Happy/Happy Days Are Here Again” (with Streisand); “Happy Harvest”; and a “Hooray For Love” medley with Streisand.  For her “Born in a Trunk” spot, Judy sang her medley of “You Made Me Love You/For Me And My Gal/The Trolley Song.”  The “Tea For Two” segment featured the now-famous belting of “There’s No Business Like Show Business” with Judy, Barbra, and a “party crashing” Ethel Merman.

The show was so successful that it was rushed through post-production to air that following Sunday, October 6th.

October 4, 1964:  Judy’s sister, Virginia, is the subject of this extensive article published in the “Oakland Tribune” out of Oakland, California.  The article isn’t especially kind towards Judy, remarking that Judy’s boyfriend, Mark Herron, was “an apprentice actor who wears tight trousers and in all probability will never be offered the role of Tarzan in any film.”  Ouch!  Virginia gives the basic story about Judy and her sisters’ act and how they weren’t the best judges of men.  Although the article paints Virginia as a Dallas housewife, she was still dabbling in show business.  In 1965 she wrote performed in a revue show at the Playboy Club in Chicago.

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

October 4, 1967:  The third installment of the four-part series reprint of the “Ladies Home Journal” article “The Plot Against Judy Garland” was published in papers around the country.

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

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