On This Day In Judy Garland’s Life And Career – October 12

Posted by

“I don’t know what she has.  She hits you in the heart and the head at the same time.” – Jerry Wald, 1956

October 12, 1928:  “The Gumm Sisters” performed with “The Meglin Kiddies” at the Community Center in Montebello, California.

October 12, 1930:  “The Gumm Sisters” performed at an Antelope Valley Band Concert, part of “Pioneer Day” in San Bernadino, California.

October 12, 1937:  Judy appeared on the 30-minute NBC Radio show “Ben Bernie and All the Lads” broadcast out of Los Angeles over the WJZ Blue Network.  She sang “Got A Pair of New Shoes” to promote the upcoming release of Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry and “They Can’t Take That Away From Me.”

Listen to “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” here:

Also shown above is a fun note from columnist “B.B.” who was chided for not remembering Judy’s name.


October 12, 1938:  Another ad for “Judy Garland Bags.”

October 12, 1940:  Two items from the trade magazine “Motion Picture Herald.”  The first is a two-page ad from MGM and the second is the regular feature “In The Cutting Room” which was basically a “coming soon” list.  This time it included details about Little Nellie Kelly.

October 12, 1941:  Judy appeared on CBS Radio’s “Silver Theater” 30-minute adaptation of “Eternally Yours.”  This was Part 1.

Listen to “Jim” from this broadcast here:

Photos:  Two ads, plus a photo of Judy with producer Ted Sherdeman, and co-star Conrad Nagel.  Those photos are provided by Kim Lundgreen.   Thanks, Kim!

October 12, 1942:  Judy starred in the radio version of “Morning Glory” on the CBS Radio show “Lux Radio Theater.”  Although she sang “I’ll Remember April” the show was heavily promoted as a change of pace for Judy in which she’s able to show her dramatic skills.

Listen to “I’ll Remember April” here:

Listen to the entire show here:


October 12, 1944:  Judy was on standby for The Clock filming but was not called and did not work.

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

Clouds Window-Card

October 12, 1945:  Filming continued on Till The Clouds Roll By, with scenes shot on the “Interior Corridor and Stage” set.  Time called: 10:00 a.m.; Judy arrived at 10:12 a.m.; dismissed: 2:00 p.m.

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

October 12, 1950:  Judy attended the opening of Ethel Merman’s “Call Me Madam” in New York.  This photo of Judy at the opening was circulated the next day.

Judy was in New York on a much-needed vacation after having been released from her MGM contract the previous month.  That release was, of course, big news for weeks. Meanwhile, Judy’s last film for MGM, Summer Stock, was playing in theaters around the country to great reviews and even greater business.

Also shown here is Jimmy Fidler’s latest column which gave his opinions on Judy’s recent departure from MGM.

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

October 12, 1953:  Columbus Day in the U.S. and the first day of filming on A Star Is Born at the Warner Bros. studios in Burbank, California.  The event was photographed, of course, with Judy’s husband and producer Sid Luft, director George Cukor, cameraman Winton Hoch, color consultant Hoyinegen-Hueneand, and Warner Bros. studio boss Jack Warner in attendance.  Judy’s baby daughter Lorna Luft was also on hand.

Judy arrived at 7:30 a.m. to have her hair and makeup done; she reported to the set at 10:10 a.m.  The first scene to be shot was Esther Blodgett/Vicki Lester’s first day on the soundstage where she interrupts a take on a train set by allowing her face to enter the frame.  “We saw your face!”

The scene was rehearsed until 11:20 a.m. and shot at 11:25 a.m.  Five takes were needed as things kept happening during the first four.  The final take lasted forty-four seconds.   A minute and forty-nine seconds of film had been shot using nine separate camera setups, which covered one and a half pages of the script.  Approximately $25,000 had been spent.  The entire scene was completed by 5:20 p.m., and the company was dismissed.

Photos:  Judy and the company pose for photos on the first day of shooting.  The text on the back of the first photo reads: “Returning to the screen after an absence of several years, Judy Garland is congratulated by Jack L. Warner on the set of A STAR IS BORN, a Transcona Production for Warner Bros. Seen here, left to right are: producer Sid Luft, Miss Garland, Mr. Warner, Director George Cukor, Cameraman Winton Hoch, and color consultant Hoyinegen-Huene.”

Photos provided by Kim Lundgreen.  Thanks, Kim!

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

October 12, 1954:  “Nat Kaplan’s Shooting Star for the Gay Night Way”!  Here’s an interesting tie-in to A Star Is Born featuring a reimagining of Judy as a high fashion model.  This was published in the Cincinnati Enquirer.  Note that it’s available in sizes 10 – 16.  These days, that’s considered “plus-size.”

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


October 10, 1956:  The final installment of a 5 part series about Judy, titled “Hollywood Problem Girl.”

Judy Broke, Must Work to Pay Back-Tax

Going to England for Stage Show and Movie; Has Contract for Four More TV spectaculars

Last of Series


Written for The Pittsburgh Press

Last September, while Judy Garland was rehearsing for her first television appearance, the director, Paul Harrison, called all technicians into a huddle.  He told them about Judy.

“She’s like a child,” he said.  If you mention that her nose is shiny she’s likely to walk off the set and not go on at all.  Be careful of everything you do and say around her.  But remember she’s one of the greatest talents any of you will ever work with.  Keep that in mind and love her.  If you do nothing else make her know you love her.”

Despite this pep talk, rehearsals for the show were not smooth.  Judy came late, keeping three color camera crews idle at $1200 an hour; it took six hours to film two 20-second promotion teasers for the show which normally should have been done in 15 minutes.  On the day of dress rehearsals Judy was 45 minutes late.

But the 90-minute Ford Stat Jubilee for CBS-TV had the largest audience ever to watch a spectacular.  For CBS themes justified the end.

Talent Law Unto Itself

The story is not without parallel in Judy’s life.  Ever since she was a child people have put up with her most remarkable behavior because they believe that talent is a law unto itself.  As long as Judy Garland continues as a great attraction she’ll be judged by a unique set of rules.

She completed a five-week run at the New Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas, where she made her night club debut.  She was paid $35,000 a week and the hotel said an additional $20,000 a week for the orchestra and other acts.  The previous high for an entire show has been $55,000 for Liberace.

Even with the high cost of production and the fact that Judy missed a few shows the hotel made money, a remarkable accomplishment in a town where big game shows are only used as a lure, Judy brought in enough crowds to make a “drop” – money crossing the gambling tables – large enough to give them their nightly operating margin of $10,000.

The hotel proprietors were distressed when she missed a show and irritated at some of her demands.  However, they made money and money talks.

I asked Judy why she wanted to go to Las Vegas.  Her answer was simple.  “I have to get money to pay off my back taxes,” she said.

Judy Garland is almost broke.  Although the Lufts live in a big home it is unfurnished; she has a remarkably small wardrobe; they have no money in the bank.  This means that Judy must work.  The one thing certain in her future is work.

She opened at New York’s Palace Sept. 28.  After an eight or ten week run there she will go to England to play the Palladium.  While there Judy and her husband, Sid Luft, plans to produce a movie, “Born in Wedlock” based on the novel by Margaret Echard.

Sometime early next year she will do another ninety minute spectacular for CBS.  Her contract calls for one a year over the next five years.

Busy Future

It would appear that Judy Garland has a busy future.  It should be noted that all of her plans are just that – her plans.

Hollywood has little use for Judy, although any producer would give his eye teeth to have her in a picture if she could be counted on to behave.  Even without that guarantee there are still some producers willing to take a chance on her.

Nunnally Johnson, producer-director of some of Hollywood’s biggest hits, including “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” was asked if he would use her in a picture.

He said he had just offered her a part in “Three Faces of Eve.”  “Some of my friends said I should have been committed to an institution,” he admitted.  “But she’s a great talent and it wasn’t an expensive picture so there was some room for shenanigans.  If it had been a three-and-a-half million dollar musical and I offered the part to Judy I would have really been crazy.

“But I was unable to fight the cobwebs that surround her so the whole thing collapsed. Getting to Judy was a little like trying to get through the Cleveland Browns’ line, I don’t think I’ll ever go through that again?

Odets’ Picture Next?

Mr. Johnson didn’t want to identify the “cobwebs” that hindered his reading Judy.  Sid Luft admitted that the producer had a hard time getting an interview to discuss the picture.

Mr. Johnson spoke for half a dozen other producers who would like Judy to work for them but can’t take a cane on having her temperament boost budgets.  But for each producer in that camp there’s one like Jerry Wald who said he is now in the process of working with Clifford Odets on a picture for Judy.

“She’s one of those rare talents that comes along once in a producer’s life,” he said.  “I’m not afraid of her.  There are lots of personalities who come into the studio at 8 a.m., work twelve hours a day and nobody goes to see them.  She’s one of the greats, like Jolson, Crosby, or Kaye.

“I don’t know what she has.  She hits you in the heart and the head at the same time.  I’m one of her fans.  I respect talent and I don’t care how much trouble you have to go through to get it.  Talent’s always worth the price.”


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

October 12, 1957:  While in London, Judy recorded “It’s So Lovely To Be Back Again In London” for Capitol-EMI Records.  The song was written for her by Roger Edens and distributed as a single to her opening night audience at the Dominion Theatre on October 16th.

Listen to the song here:

Check out The Judy Garland Online Discography’s “Dominion” pages here.

October 12, 1958:  Lauren Bacall visited Judy backstage after her show at The Sands, Las Vegas.  With them is photographer Jack Entratter.  Judy opened at the Sands on October 1st, her final show was October 14.

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


October 12, 1961:  Here’s an ad for Judy’s upcoming concert at the Civic Auditorium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on October 19, 1961.  The top ticket price was $7.

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

October 12, 1961:  Judy was “still seeking happiness.”

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

October 12, 1962:  Judy’s current engagement at the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, was extended for two weeks.

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


October 12, 1962:  Here’s an ad for Judy’s upcoming concert at Chicago’s McCormick Place.  The top ticket price was $10.

At some point between this date and the date of the concert (November 7th), the venue was changed to the Arie Crown Theatre.  It was also Judy’s only real concert in 1962.  Her shows at The Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas (September 18 through October 29) were hour-long nightclub shows rather than her two-act concert.

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

October 12, 1968:  Judy’s recent return to the Palace Theater in New York, this time to see Joel Grey in the show “George M!”, made the papers.

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

October 12, 1999:  The latest edition of The Wizard Of Oz was released on VHS.  This new release featured the latest restoration of the film which was the 60th-anniversary edition of the film released in theaters.  That version premiered the newly remastered audio track in stereo.  It’s the same soundtrack that’s been included in every subsequent home media release to date.

Check out The Judy Room’s DVD Page about this 1999 release here.



  1. Hi Scott.
    We do have Judy singing the song ‘Jim’ and about 2 or 3 minutes of dialogue from the radio play ‘Eternally Yours’.
    Don’t know though if ‘Jim’ is from October 12 or October 19 though. Hopefully the entire broadcasts will surface some day.
    All the best, Kim.

  2. Conrad Nagel was the director and host of “Silver Theatre”, but Judy’s co-star on “Eternally Yours” was Elliott Lewis, who would eventually be involved with at least 1300 radio broadcasts. The “Listening In” column, in the Nov. 13, 1941 New York Daily News gives the first episode of “Eternally Yours” an excellent review, especially Judy’s performance, and says that Elliott played the hero, and “gave a swell performance” too.

    A few years later, he played the escaped psychopath who kidnaps Judy, on the “Suspense” episode “Drive In”. The way he played it, you actually feel kind of sorry for the character, and you can tell that Judy’s character feels that way too, especially in the rehearsal recording. Elliott appeared many times on “Suspense”, becoming its producer from 1950-1954.

  3. I found a synopsis of “Mr. Onion”, which was adapted into the “Silver Theatre” episode, “Eternally Yours”.


    (Scroll down to the bottom of the page, for the synopsis. )

    The story was a real tear-jerker, and crying is something that Judy and Elliott were particularly good at. It was promoted as Judy’s first “grown-up” role.

  4. Regarding the 1962 Chicago show – The Arie Crown theater was inside McCormick Place so it wasn’t technically a change of venue.

  5. I have several images I would like to contribute. It was difficult to find things you didn’t already have. There is one article from Film Companion in 1941 which shows Judy at a nightclub in 1941 holding her earrings in front of her eyes as if they were eyeballs. I bought these clippings at old paper shows in Toronto in the 1980s. I’m not very computer literate but I am used to sending pictures by email. Please let me know how to easily send them to you.
    Luanne Campbell Edwards

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.