On This Day In Judy Garland’s Life And Career – October 11

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“Judy sang like a fool ever since she was three.  At five, her voice was just about as it is now.” – Judy’s sister Susie, 1956

October 11, 1930:  “The Gumm Sisters” returned to the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles, California, as part of the “Big Brother Ken Show.”

October 11, 1938 If I Were Kind Of The Forest 1October 11, 1938 If I Were King Of The Forest 2October 11, 1938:  Recording session for The Wizard of Oz.  Judy, Ray Bolger, Buddy Ebsen, and Bert Lahr pre-recorded parts of “If I Were King Of The Forest”;  the new up-tempo version of “If I Only Had A Brain”; and new versions of “We’re Off To See The Wizard” (duo, trio, and quartet).  The latter had a lyric change from “we find he is a whiz of a Wiz” to “we HEAR he is a whiz of a Wiz.”

Listen to Takes 1 & 2 of #2020 “If I Were King Of The Forest” Part 1 here:
(Bert Lahr only)

Listen to Takes 8 of #2021 “If I Were King Of The Forest” Part 2 here:
(Bert Lahr only)

Listen to Takes 10, 11, 12, 13, & 14 of #2023 of “If I Were King Of The Forest” Part 4 here:
(note that Parts 3 & 4 were not recorded in sequence)

Listen to Takes 6, 7, 8, & 9 of #2022 “If I Were King Of The Forest” Part 3 here:
(Bert Lahr only)

Listen to Takes 2, 3, 4, & 5 of #2024 “If I Were King Of The Forest” Part 5 here:
(note that the first false start is misidentified as #2524)

Listen to Takes 3, 4, & 5 of #2024 “If I Only Had A Brain” here:
(with piano only, the orchestra was added later)
Note that this is the same scene number as “If I Were King Of The Forest” above.  These piano-only takes must have been a last-minute addition to the recording session after it was decided to up the tempo of the song a bit.

Listen to Takes 9, 10, 11, & 12 of #2025 “We’re Off To See The Wizard” (duo) here:

Listen to Takes 1, 2, & 3 of #2026 “We’re Off To See The Wizard” (trio) here:

Listen to Takes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7 of #2027 “We’re Off To See The Wizard” (quartet) here:

Listen to Take 1 of #2028 “If I Were King Of The Forest” Part 5 (orchestra only) here:
Note that this is misidentified by the technician as #2548

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

October 11, 1939:  Judy’s official arrival as a star in Hollywood the night before at Grauman’s Chinese Theater during the premiere of Babes In Arms was covered by papers around the country.  Different papers published different edits of the same article.

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 Filmography Page on Babes in Arms here.

October 11, 1939:  The Los Angeles Times devoted a lot of space to the previous night’s premiere of Babes in Arms at Grauman’s Chinese Theater at which time Judy placed her handprints, footprints, and autograph in cement in the theater’s forecourt. Featured were two articles and what’s now a very well-known photo.


‘Babes in Arms’ Turns Spotlight on Youth


The juvenile set go on the march musically in “Babes in Arms,” Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer revival of the tuneful films which have languished in recent days, and they practically succeed in restoring this type of entertainment to its once bright place in the cinema spotlight.  They are responsible for a lot of fun, lusty melody, and possibly even a heart tug or two.  And certainly they give their all with the fullest zest to the proceedings.

“Babes in Arms” received its gala first showing last night at Grauman’s Chinese Theater.  It was quite a victory all around for the younger folk, with Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, June Preisser, Betty Jaynes and others heading the procession of premiere-goers.  The event was put on with the maximum of bright lighting and exploitation.  It gave an excellent start to the new feature.


“Babes in Arms” wouldn’t be so much of a film – for the back stage story fundamentally is trite – were it not for the animated work of its stars, and the incidental doings.  Also one must add a varied assortment of effective musical numbers.

The title song, “Babe in Arms” and “Where or When,” which has a pleasing quality indeed, were written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, also responsible for the stage play original, while Nacho Herb Brown and Arthur Freed supplied “Good Morning” and Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg, “God’s Country,” final flag waving patriotic climax.

Judy Garland and Betty Jaynes also vie in a sort of hot and operatic competition, while Judy additionally characterizes “I Cried for You.”


Decidedly novel is Mickey Rooney’s caricaturing of Clark Gable and Lionel Barrymore.  He registers big as an impersonator of two actors who have surprisingly marked mannerisms.  In fact, you grow suddenly aware of how marked they really are while watching Rooney in action, especially in Gable’s case.  Rooney also provides cause of wild hilarity during his cigar smoking adventure.

Busby Berkeley directed “Babes in Arms” and there is glittering emphasis, therefore, on the ensemble, especially in the finale. Jack McGowan and Kay Van Riper wrote the screenplay.

At times the picture is full of bombast, gags and whoop-de-do almost to the point of embarrassment, but this fortunately shows up more in the earlier scenes than the later, and is consequently somewhat forgotten about.


The attitude of parents toward children and vice versa is on the phony side and in fact the whole production is rather a revel of hokum.  But because performing and direction manage by constant action and interest to overcome these things you are not so wholly aware of them, except on second thought.  Wherefore “Babes in Arms” will go far in diverting its audiences.

Mickey not only does impersonations and comedies in his usual broad style, but he also sings after a fashion and steps.  Miss Garland, naturally, is a first rate teammate, and her singing is in the style that has won her plaudits.  She gives a sincere performance.

Miss Preisser is particularly good as the spoiled movie starlet.  Gifts are evident in her instance.


The voices of Douglas McPhail and Miss Jaynes in solo and duet prove quite an asset to this picture.  They are exceptional young singers.

Charles Winninger has the main character role and plays a fine scene with Henry Hull.  Grace Hayes appears, while Rand Brooks, Leni Lynn, John Sheffield and Barnett Parker, who proves his buttling efficiency, are others.  Arthur Freed produced the picture, which was keenly applauded.



Judy Garland Honored at Gala Film Premiere


Hollywood’s Hall of Fame last night was augmented by a little star whose name is Judy Garland. The event was the opening of “Babes in Arms” at the Chinese Theater in Hollywood.

Plus all the usual lights and glamour, the motion picture studio again set up seats for about 4000 people, which number did not take into account those who stood on the sidelines.


In front of the Chinese and the 74th star to be so honored, Miss Garland, accompanied by Mickey Rooney, inscribe her name in the wet cement to leave a lasting autograph along with her hand and foot prints.

Such youngsters as June Preisser, Virginia Weidler, Gene Reynolds, Bobs Watson, Bonita Granville and Jackie Moran were standing in the foyer to witness the event.


Names and hand and foot prints already inscribed in the lobby included those of Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Norma Talmadge, Gloria Swanson, William S. Hart, Harold Lloyd, Pola Negri and Charlie Chaplin.

Clark Gable, with his wife, Carole Lombard, Lana Turner, Greg Bautzer, Jeanette MacDonald with Gene Raymond, Virginia Weidler, May Robson, Al Jolson, Greer Garson, Jackie Cooper, Sonja Henie, Alan Curtis, Betty Jaynes, Ray Bolger, Cary Grant, Lum and Abner, Carol Ann Beery with her father Wally and Mr. And Mrs. Sol Wurtzel were among those at the opening.

Guy Kibbee, Busby Berkeley, Ned Marin, Mr. And Mrs. Charles Rogers, Mr. And Mrs. Hal Roach, Mr. And Mrs. Lawrence Weingarten, Mr. And Mrs. David Loew, Mr. And Mrs. Ernst Lubitsch, Alfred Hitchcock, Mr. And Mrs. Robert Z. Leonard, Mr. And Mrs. Bernard Hyman, Mr. And Mrs. Sol Lesser, Harry Cohn, Bob Young and George Murphy were others seen in the audience.

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 Filmography Page on Babes in Arms here.

October 11, 1941:  Judy and Mickey Rooney filmed part of the “Ghost Theater Sequence” on the “Interior Ghost Theater” set for Babes on Broadway.  A studio photographer was on hand to take these photos of Judy and Mickey in costume.  Time called: 9 a.m.; lunch: 12:35-1:35 p.m.; dinner: 6:15-7:15 p.m.; time dismissed: 11:15 p.m.

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

October 11, 1943:  Here’s a notice in the trade magazine, “Film Daily,” that mentions Judy and Mickey Rooney’s upcoming project, the film adaptation of “Jumbo.”  The title was one that was on producer Arthur Freed’s list of ideas for Judy and Mickey to star in.  The film wasn’t made by MGM until 1960, starring Doris Day and Stephen Boyd.


October 11, 1944:  Filming on The Clock continued with scenes shot on the “Interior Subway Platform at 42nd Street” set.  Time called: 10 a.m.; Judy arrived at 10:15 a.m.; dismissed: 5:40 p.m.

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

October 11, 1945:  This must have been a busy day for Judy.  She was filming her scenes as Marilyn Miller in Till The Clouds Roll By.  On this day she had a 10 am call, arrived at 10:18 am, and was dismissed at 6 pm.

The records state that scenes were shot on the “Interior Marilyn’s Dressing Room” set, but these photos dated on this date show that Judy posed for costume/hair/makeup tests as well as being present (and in costume) on set for the filming of “Look For The Silver Lining.”

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

Photos provided by Kim Lundgreen.  Thanks, Kim!


October 11, 1948:  Judy started rehearsals and pre-production work on her next film, In The Good Old Summertime.

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Pages on In The Good Old Summertime here.

October 11, 1950:  CBS Radio aired the season premiere of “The Bing Crosby Show” with Judy as Bing’s guest.  The show was pre-recorded on September 20, 1950, at the KNX Radio Studios in Hollywood, CA. Crosby always recorded his shows a few weeks ahead of the air dates.  The show was set to air a week earlier but was postponed due to the death of Bing’s father, Harry Lowe Crosby.

At this point, Judy had just been released from her MGM contract while Summer Stock was playing in theaters around the country bringing praise to Judy in spite of her recent troubles.

Judy sang “Get Happy”; “Sam’s Song” (with Crosby); and “Goodnight Irene” (Bob Hope joined in on this one).

Listen to “Get Happy” here:

Listen to “Goodnight Irene” here:

Listen to “Sam’s Song” here:

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


October 11, 1951:  Here’s an ad for the RKO Palace and Judy’s upcoming return to the U.S. stage.  Judy had arrived in New York the day before (October 10th).  Her arrival was covered in the October 11 papers, see below.

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

October 11, 1954:  The New York premiere of A Star Is Born was another big event for Warner Bros.  The film premiered at two theaters at the same time: the Victoria and the Paramount.  George Jessell was emcee again, as he had been for the world premiere in September.  Afterward, there was a dinner held at the Waldorf.

Jinx Falkenburg interviewed Judy at the premiere for her radio show “All the Best.”  Listen to all of the Garland sections of the show here:

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

October 11, 1954:  Bing Crosby sent this letter to Judy thanking her for her participation in the “Bing Crosby 20th Anniversary Tribute” on NBC Radio several Sundays prior (September 26th).  The show honored Crosby’s 20 years as a radio star.  Judy sang “Swinging On A Star.”

The audio of the show, or at least Judy’s solo, is said to exist yet it’s never been heard by or shared with, the public.

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

October 11, 1956:  The fourth of a five-part series about Judy, titled “Hollywood Problem Girl.”

How Star Is Born and Raised to Pht-t-t

Judy Garland Sang at 3, Was Exhausted at 19

Fourth of Series

Written for The Pittsburgh Press

In 1935, When Judy Garland was 13 years old, she enrolled at Hollywood High School.  A vice principal who was to be one of Judy’s teachers came over and said: “People like you shouldn’t be allowed to go to school with normal children.”

Judy had been going to professional children’s schools.  She had only recently started to become known as a child star.  The man’s words so upset her that she never returned to the public school.  Instead she studied with special tutors at MGM. The studio was not only school to her, it also became home.

In those days Judy was round as a ball and with just as much bounce. She was not especially pretty, but she had large brown eyes, a farm-fresh complexion and a puppy dog personality.  And she wanted to be liked.

Started to Sing at 3

She had been singing since she was 3 years old.  Her grandmother had pushed her on stage one Christmas Eve and made her perform.  Judy sang “Jingle Bells” and couldn’t be stopped. She sang, she says, “Fifteen choruses and I was dragged off yelling.”

For the next two years she was a member of the Gumm Family act.  The mother, Ethel Marian Milne, played the piano and the father, Frank Event Gumm, sang while the kids Susan, Virginia and Judy sang and danced.

Susan, who is married to Frank Cathcart, Judy’s orchestra leader, recalls that Judy was always spotlighted.  This was not only because she was the youngest but because she had a tremendous voice.

Born an ‘Old Pro’

“She’s always sounded like she has been singing for fifteen years,” Susan said.  “Judy sang like a fool ever since she was three.  At five, her voice was just about as it is now.”

Judy was still a kindergartener when the family moved to Lancaster, Calif.  Frank Gumm managed a movie theater there.  Mrs. Gumm took her three girls to Los Angeles on week ends and put them on stage for a little as 50 cents per girl per performance.

Dorothy Gray, a child star in those days and Judy’s best friend, remembers her as one of the gang.  “We did all the things little girls like to do, from making fudge to roller skating.  But whenever we went to the movies we had to leave our names at the box office in case we got a studio call.  There were a lot of things we couldn’t do like take a regular vacation or go swimming, because we might catch cold and miss a day’s work.

‘I’ll Tell Studio’

“We theatrical kids used to be embarrassed when our pictures were in the paper because the other – normal – kids we knew would tease us.  In a way we were robbed of childhood.  Only two or three of the whole group we grew up with and worked with haven’t turned out to be drunks or neurotics.”

Judy grew up with MGM has her father and the whole world as her audience.  Her mother often used the studio as a disciplinary threat and used to tell Judy to behave or she’d tell the studio on her.

Judy talks about her childhood now with a thin smile.  If one incident can be cited as a stimulus which might make a delightful child into a neurotic, here it is.

Judy made 12 pictures during her teens.  She had to dance and act before the cameras in addition to singing. She also had to sandwich in at least six hours of school in every day.

Gorged at Every Meal

The only thing Judy could do that she liked to do was to eat.  She stuffed herself with food at every meal.  She sneaked in double malts between scenes, nibbled on chocolate bars at school and grew unphotogenically fat.  An MGM executive sent for her.

“You look like a hunchback,” he told her. “We love you.  But you look like a monster.”

After this incident, a humiliating directive was sent down from the front office.  No matter what Judy ordered for lunch she was to be given only a small bowl of chicken soup.

Judy’s comment today is brief.  “The soup was well salted with my tears.”

Exhausted at 19

By the time she was 19 she was exhausted, physically and emotionally.  She had become a work horse.  She threw herself into every production with her whole heart.  As a result she was burned out after every picture.  Between pictures she rested by reading scripts.

Everyone in Hollywood has a theory about why Judy married David Rose, the composer and orchestra leader, in July, 1941.  Most people think it was rebellion against work. Some say she thought orchestra life would be Bohemian.  Judy says, “David was good to me.”

The marriage lasted only four years.  As compensation for her unhappiness Judy again turned to food.  MGM insisted she lose weight, so Judy took to starvation diets which, coupled with work, exhausted her even more.  The answer: sleeping pills.

$150,000 a Picture

Meanwhile, Judy was earning $5000 a week.  This was later raised to $150,000 a picture. She was miserable. Her mother, who was managing her affairs, saved nothing.

A week after her divorce from David Rose she married director Vincente Minnelli.  This marriage lasted for nearly six years.

Judy walked out on Minnelli and on MGM in that order in May 1949.  Her story from then until she opened at the Palace two years ago has been one of declining stardom.

One thing is apparent about Judy Garland’s life.  It’s far more complicated and tragic than any of the pictures she has starred in.

NEXT – Judy Garland’s professional and personal future.

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

October 11, 1963:  Videotaping of both the dress rehearsal (from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.) and the final performance (from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.) of “Episode Ten” of “The Judy Garland Show” at CBS Television City, Stage 43, Hollywood, CA.

Judy’s guests were Ray Bolger and Jane Powell, and series regular Jerry Van Dyke; this was his final show – he was fired from the series.  Judy’s songs included: “A Lot Of Livin’ To Do”; “Be My Guest” (with Bolger, Powell, and Van Dyke); “That’s All”; “One For My Baby” (comedy version with Van Dyke and company); “Romantic Duets Medley” with Powel and Van Dyke – Judy sang: “Romantic Duets” with Powell; lip-synched “I Remember It Well” and “Will You Remember? (Sweetheart)” with Van Dyke; then the three ended the medley by singing “All Aboard For Movieland”); “On The Sunny Side Of The Street” (with Bolger dancing); “If I Only Had A Brain” and “We’re Off To See The Wizard” with Bolger during the “Tea For Two” segment; and “The Jitterbug” (with Bolger, Powell, and dancers). For the “Born In A Trunk” spot, Judy sang “When Your Lover Has Gone,” “Some People,” and, the closer, “Maybe I’ll Come Back.”

NOTE:  This performance of “If I Only Had A Brain” and “We’re Off To See The Wizard” was performed by Judy and Ray exactly 25 years to the day that they prerecorded the songs for The Wizard of Oz.

Judy also taped a new opening song for the first episode of the series (with Mickey Rooney as her guest), “I Feel A Song Coming On.”

“That’s All” and “One For My Baby” from this taping was cut from this episode and inserted into “Episode Five” (with Tony Bennett as her guest, taped July 30 – to replace the “Tea For Two” segment with Steve Allen).

This episode was not premiered until Sunday, March 1, 1964.

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

October 11, 1966:  Judy joined forces with ex-husband Sid Luft in a $3 million dollar suit against CMA (Creative Management Associates), Freddie Fields, and DavidBegelman, filed on this date, charging that they “deliberately and systematically misused their position of trust so as to cheat, embezzle, extort, defraud, and withhold” monies from her.  The suit also alleged that they “did not honestly or fully account to her for all monies received on her behalf and did not pay to her the amounts to which she was entitled.”  Judy stated it was the intention of the defendants to “take advantage” of her, “well-knowing” that she “was a star of major standing in the entertainment world and not knowledgeable about financial or money matters and that she was relying wholly upon them and their integrity.”

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


October 11, 1967:  Judy took a flight to London, for a brief vacation, but as soon as she arrived, she turned around and came right back to New York, due to a disagreement with the wife of Raymond Filiberti, the owner of the production company she was working for, “Group Five.”  According to the papers, Judy was playing gin rummy with Filiberti and his wife when Judy made a sarcastic remark at Filiberti’s wife who proceeded to throw a drink in Judy’s face.  An argument ensued.

The round trip took 19 hours, 15 of them spent in the air.  Judy arrived back in New York’s Kennedy airport, at 2:45 p.m. on October 11.  She told the waiting press “I’ll see him, he’s my boss.  But I’ll be darned if I’ll see her.  She’s about nine feet tall, and I wouldn’t dare.”

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



  1. Thank you again for your wonderful post. Just great fun to read all this stuff. Again, I’m fascinated by Judy’s hands/footprints press (I grew up/live in L.A., so I’ve seen her block many times). I’m stunned by how many stars were present, although I’m sure MGM “assigned” people like Gable and Jeanette MacDonald to attend. The “A Star is Born” photos from New York are also fascinating! Speaking of “Star”, I saw a brand new interview with Lorna on Youtube (she has a book out about the film), and she says she’s now convinced a complete, uncut version “does not exist.” So if screenings did take place “underground” of an uncut version, even she has been deprived of it! You have convinced me that at least one, uncut version does exist. God, I hope I live to see it someday. Again, thank you for all this!

    1. I’m sure a lot of the stars were told to be there.

      Lorna’s not the be-all, end-all authority on ASIB. I take whatever she says with a huge grain of salt.

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