On This Day In Judy Garland’s Life And Career – October 8

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“Troubles?  Yes, there are plenty of those.  But there’s so much fun, too.  Between fourteen and eighteen I think life is really exciting.  You discover something new every day.” – Judy Garland, 1939

October 8, 1934:  This article published in the trade magazine “Film Daily,” reported on the grosses of movie houses in Kansas City, Missouri in late September and early October.  Included were the grosses for the Tower theater along with a mention of the stage acts accompanying the film.  The newly named Garland Sisters rated inclusion, an indication of their popularity.  The sisters played the theater from September 28 through October 3.

October 8, 1938:  This fun photo with an accompanying article about Judy appeared in various papers around the world.

October 8, 1938:  Another example of “The Oz That Never Was.”  Here are more costume tests made on this day for The Wizard of Oz, featuring Bert Lahr, Ray Bolger, and original Tin Man, Buddy Ebsen.

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


October 8, 1938:  Judy Garland swing bags.

October 8, 1939:  Another printing of the “Fame is fun for Judy” article.  Some details about Judy’s life were obviously were fed by the MGM Publicity Department, as was the case at this time, with little regard for the facts.  Note that it claims Judy was dating Leonard Sues and that she obtained a screen test for him.  Sues appeared in several of the Freed Unit musicals and was part of Judy’s teen social circle at the time.  Whether they actually had a real romance is up for debate.  Included here is a photo of Judy and Sues on the Strike Up The Band set.

October 8, 1939:  Coming soon, Babes in Arms.

October 8, 1940:  Judy and Mickey Rooney appeared on the cover of “Look” magazine, promoting Strike Up The Band.

October 8, 1944:  Judy performed for the “Hollywood Democratic Committee dinner to honor Harold L. Ickes,” held at the Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles.  With Johnny Green at the piano, Judy sang a parody of “Over the Rainbow”; “Someone To Watch Over Me”; and the first known public performance of “The Trolley Song.”

Listen to Judy’s songs here:

“Someone To Watch Over Me”

“The Trolley Song”

“Over The Checkbook”

Download the entire show here (zip file) here.

Photos:  A Woodbury Powder ad that was published on this date and the color version published in the “Ladies Home Companion” that previous May.

October 8, 1944 Showboat CROP

October 8, 1944:  Hidden in the text of this entertainment column is a blurb that was no doubt the creation of the MGM publicity machine.  However, the pairing of Judy and Gene Kelly in Showboat is an intriguing idea!

Classic musical ‘Showboat’ will probably end up as the most filmed story of all time. Metro have a remake of it in prospect, starring Judy Garland, with Gene Kelly as the gambler Ravenal.

Learn more about the various projects Judy was allegedly a part of or in the running for, at The Judy Room’s “Films That Got Away” page.

October 8, 1945:  The first day of actual filming for Judy on Till The Clouds Roll By consisted of scenes shot on the “Interior Marilyn’s Dressing Room” set.  Time called: 10 a.m.; Judy arrived at 10:25 a.m.;  dismissed: 5:40 p.m.

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


October 8, 1947:  More Easter Parade music rehearsals for Judy and Gene Kelly.  Judy rehearsed her “Mr. Monotony” solo and she and Gene rehearsed “A Couple of Swells.”  Time called: 12 p.m.; Judy arrived at 12:15 p.m.; time dismissed: 3:30 p.m.

Check out The Judy Room’s Spotlight Section on Easter Parade here.

Photo:  October 1948 “Photoplay” magazine cover featuring one of the great photos taken of Judy by famed studio photographer Eric Carpenter in 1947.  Provided by Kim Lundgreen.  Thanks, Kim!


October 8, 1948:  Here’s a Decca Records holiday ad that included Judy’s two “holiday songs” that she recorded for the label on July 20, 1941.  These, along with “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” are the only holiday songs that Judy recorded for Decca.  Unfortunately, Judy never recorded a holiday album in her lifetime, but because performed her share of holiday-themed songs it’s possible to put together an album of Judy Garland holiday songs.

Listen to “The Birthday Of A King” here:

Listen to “The Star Of The East” here:

Check out The Judy Garland Online Discography’s Decca Records section for more information about all of Judy’s Decca recordings.

October 8, 1948:  Here is a great review of The Pirate plus an ad for Easter Parade.  Both films had been playing around the country since late Spring 1948.  Also included are two early news blurbs about Judy’s involvement in the screen adaptation of the Irving Berlin Broadway smash, “Annie Get Your Gun” including one that claims her leading man in the film would be Van Johnson.

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

Check out The Judy Room’s Spotlight on Easter Parade here.


October 8, 1953:  Sound, photographic, and wardrobe tests were made for A Star Is Born.  Judy started at 10:20 a.m. and finished at 5:15 p.m.

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

Photo:  An undated photo of Judy and husband Sid Luft on one of the A Star Is Born sets.

October 8, 1954:  Judy, husband Sid Luft, and daughter Liza Minnelli arrived in New York on the 20th Century Limited, a few days in advance of the New York premiere of A Star Is Born.  Also shown above are a few more newspaper ads for the film.

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


October 8, 1956:  The first of a 5 part series about Judy, calling her the “Hollywood Problem Girl.”  The first few paragraphs are 100% true about how passionate people are about Judy today.  She’s always stirred the emotions!

What Judy Garland Is Like in Real Life

She’s Relaxed At Home in Role Of Happy Mama

Hollywood’s problem girl is Judy Garland.

This short, soft-spoken entertainer for 30 of her 33 years had Meade – and lost – stardoms and tidy earnings out of singing the same old songs in the same old manner.

This begins the story of how she got that way and why she probably will stay that way.

Written for The Pittsburgh Press

The most difficult actress in Hollywood to write about is Judy Garland.

Her supporters are violent in their enthusiasm. Her detractors are equally vehement. They cite incident after incident to show that she is little short of a witch-child riding a carpet sweeper.

There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground. There doesn’t seem to be any question of her talent, either. There is only one common denominator – no one is unemotional about Judy Garland. You can always get a lively discussion going at the mere mention of her name.

The subject of all this interest is a short, soft-spoken woman of 33 who – her detractors say – has made a tidy living in recent years out of singing the same old songs in the same old manner. Her boosters, on the other hand, claim they wouldn’t have Judy change a song in her act. At this writing it appears they all have their way.

Not Going to Change

Judy’s not going to change for any one. It’s not that she likes herself, it’s just that she is herself.

Make a date with Judy and she’ll break it at the last minute with a flimsy excuse about “being tired.” If you’re a fan you accept the excuse and apologize to your friends saying, “Judy’s tired and she needs a rest.” If you’re not a fan you burn. It’s a wasted emotion.

They say in Hollywood that during the pictures she made at MGM and the one she made for herself at Warner’s, Judy used to come in hours late. Sometimes she’d not show up at all while the crew stood by patiently because they all understood and loved Judy.

Sheer nonsense. Some “understood” but others seethed at the further spoiling of an already spoiled child. “Bad manners and unforgivable behavior,” they said. The fans called it “temperament.”

However, she is capable of getting the most out of any part, be it mother, wife, brat, or angel. Beneath the actress there’s a woman. But, as in the case of most actresses, it takes a lot of digging to unearth it.

One afternoon recently, Judy was in front of her home in Hollywood playing with her daughter Liza and baby Joseph with two dogs. A family of tourists crowded in an ancient station wagon drove by the house.

A little girl saw Judy, shouted “Hi,” out the car window, and waved.

Judy looked up, shouted back, “Hi, yourself” and waggled baby Joseph’s hand at the car, which squeaked to a stop.

The little girl and Judy became engaged in conversation. Finally, the youngster said, “My grandma is with me. Would you like to see her, too?”

Judy said, “Sure.” She brought her children over to say hello to the eldest member of the family.

When the interlude was over the visitors drove off, all smiles, and Judy went back to her children.

The same anecdote told about almost any other Hollywood star would have very little meaning. Told about Judy Garland, however, it is significant.

For most of her adult life Judy has been pictured as a high-strung woman headed for marital and emotional heartbreak with excursions into expensive temperamental tantrums and nervous breakdowns.

Happy Mother

Now, for the first time in many years, Judy seems to be on the road to health and happiness. As illustrated by the anecdote she appears to be a normal, happy mother who can play in the front yard of her home and exchange banter with curious strangers.

Also, she is functioning again as an artist, with her new-found maturity and security acting as a barrier against the tantrums and “Keep out” signs which have been the Garland trademark over the years. It’s not that Judy has become docile and people=broken, far from it. But, as she says:

“In the old days I was overworked and exhausted and had no idea of what I was punishing myself for. I had no place to go and nothing that mattered with no goal.”

Balanced Life

“Now, when I get through work I’m still exhausted but I go home at night to my family and forget about everything else. I have a full personal life besides a full professional life. One balances the other.”

The family which is so important to Judy is typical of many in Hollywood in which there are children who are the products of broken marriages. She has three children, Lorna Luft, aged four; Joseph Luft, age 17 months and Liza Minnelli, age ten. Also living in the house is John Luft, 8-year-old son of Sid Luft and Lynn Bari.

I found the children remarkably well adjusted to one another. They seem at ease with both parents and are all treated equally.

On one occasion, Liza interrupted a conversation to ask her mother a question. Judy very quietly told her we were talking and would she mind waiting a minute then she could tell us what she wanted to say.

A minute later, we finished our conversation and Judy turned t Liza, saying “Now darling, what was it you wanted to say to me?”

Relaxed at Home

Judy applies the same standard of patience and good manners to each child. When she is with her family Judy seems to shed the cloak of tension which she normally wears when working. She is completely relaxed and happy.

Because of the children the Lufts have a servant problem. During a recent interview Judy excused herself, saying she had to wash the dishes because it was the nurse’s day off and she had to get dinner ready. They had no other servants.

That week Judy was rehearsing twelve hours a day for her Las Vegas night club act, recording an album for Capitol Records and staying up all night with Joseph, who had a temperature of 104 1/2 for four days. At night she prepared meals for the family with the nurse rested.

It’s a pretty picture and it has as much substance as most paintings. It’s what the painter saw at a given moment. The scene would change radially within hours or days.

That’s another thing about Judy Garland every one agrees on: She not only. Has talent, she’s completely unpredictable!

NEXT – Miss Garland’s producer, manager, and husband, Sid Luft.

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

October 8, 1961:  According to Olga Curtis, Judy was still seeking that rainbow.

Chicago 1967

October 8, 1967:  Judy returned to New York (she had been touring in the midwest).  Around this time Judy wrote some notes to remind her to talk to Sid Luft about upcoming appearances and her finances, including her upcoming concert at Seton Hall in New Jersey.  On another note, Judy wrote some songs she wanted to sing, “Last Dance”; “At Last (or love has come along)”; “Last Night When We Were Young”; and “Through the Years.”  She finished the note by mentioning that she should make a request of Harold Arlen, although she doesn’t note what the request was to be.

Photo:  Judy in Chicago that previous September.

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

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