“Despite her youth, the little girl with the big voice has the theatre in her blood and is as experienced a performer as many spotlighters twice her age.” – Uncredited column, 1938
October 18, 1936: Here is a short blurb noting that MGM recently signed Judy to her first contract with the studio, although the truth is that Judy signed with MGM over a year prior. And she was 14 at this time, not 13.
October 18, 1937: Kids on the lot. Judy is mentioned in this interesting article about MGM’s (now fabled) schoolhouse.
October 18, 1938: Here are a few clippings from this date in 1938, one that makes notes of the “midgets” cast in The Wizard of Oz. Note how Gale Sondergaard, W.C. Fields, and Buddy Ebsen are still listed as cast members. Only Ebsen made it to the filming stage, which was in its early weeks with Judy still the blonde “Lolita Gale of Kansas.”
October 18, 1939: Babes in Arms took the country by storm, not just on this day but through the weekend and beyond as it opened in theaters around the country. It was a hit with audiences and critics making MGM quite happy. The film was such a hit that MGM put into production a follow-up, which was Strike Up The Band (producer Arthur Freed wanted to remake Good News but studio boss Louis B. Mayer suggested Gershwin’s “Strike Up The Band” because it sounded so patriotic). The new sub-genre of musicals, “Hey kids, let’s put on a show!” had begun!
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.
October 18, 1939: In the curio department we have this article about Judy’s grandmother visiting one of her seven children in Wilmington, Delaware. “Milne” was Judy’s mom, Ethel’s, maiden name.
October 18, 1940: Still enjoying great business and box office, Strike Up The Band.
October 18, 1942: A few items. First, is an early mention of Meet Me In St. Louis as an upcoming MGM project although Judy’s name wasn’t yet attached. It was attached to Presenting Lily Mars. Also in the article is a report on the newcomer Gene Kelly and Judy’s debut as a dancer in the upcoming release of For Me And My Gal.
The second article is about For Me And My Gal and how it’s Judy’s first real grown-up role. The ultimately deleted “The Spell of the Waltz” as performed by Marta Eggert is also mentioned.
The last is Chicago’s “Voice Of The Movie Fan” column. A reader asks for a photo of Judy and her mailing address which will help a lady with rheumatic fever pass the time while convalescing.
October 18, 1944: Filming on The Clock continued with scenes shot on the “Interior Lobby Medical Building” set. Time called: 10 a.m.; dismissed: 5:50 p.m.
October 18, 1945: Judy had a wardrobe fitting for Till The Clouds Roll By from 1:45 to 2:40 p.m. She then had rehearsals on the “Who?” number from 2:40 to 3:35 p.m.
October 18, 1946: This photo of Judy with her new husband Vincente Minnelli appeared in various papers around the country. They’re seen at The Stork Club, which was a favorite of Judy’s as she was photographed at the club many times over the years.
October 18, 1948: Here is a full-page spread about the Fred Astaire dance studios, plus an article about Judy being his new dancing partner.
October 18, 1950: CBS Radio aired the episode of “The Bing Crosby Show” that Judy recorded while she was in San Francisco. She sang “Friendly Star” and duetted with Bing on “Tzena, Tzena, Tzena.” The songs were included on the 1990 CD “All The Clouds’ll Roll Away.”
Listen to “Friendly Star” here:
Listen to “Tzena, Tzena, Tzena” here:
October 18, 1954: The soundtrack to A Star Is Born was in stores. To date, the soundtrack has never been out of print (in one format or another).
October 18, 1957: Judy’s opening at The Dominion in London, England, the previous night was a huge success.
October 18, 1963: This costume sketch for “The Judy Garland Show” is dated this date.
October 18, 1963: The videotaping of both the dress rehearsal (from 5:30 to 7 p.m.) and the final performance (from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.) of “Episode Eleven” of “The Judy Garland Show” at CBS Television City, Stage 43, Hollywood.
Judy’s guests were Steve Allen and Mel Torme. Judy’s songs were: “This Could Be the Start of Something Big”; “Be My Guest” (with Allen and Torme); “Here’s That Rainy Day”; a “Sophie Tucker” medley (with Allen); “The Party’s Over” (with Torme); a “Songwriter” medley (with Allen and Torme); “Island In The West Indies”; “Through The Years”; and “Maybe I’ll Come Back.”
Judy also taped a “Tea For Two” segment with Allen’s wife, actress Jayne Meadows. The show was intended as the first to air in the New Year, being televised on January 5, 1964.
October 18, 1963: Columnist Dorothy Killgallen reported in her column that Jack Carter was going to replace Jerry Van Dyke as Judy’s sidekick on her TV series. That didn’t happen. Kilgallen noted that Judy shouldn’t need to be funny and that the show should let her concentrate on what she did best – sing. She also noted that the show was getting better each week.
October 18, 1967: The news hit the papers that Judy’s friend Donald O’Connor was suing her, Sid Luft, and their production company, Kingsrow Enterprises, Inc., for nonpayment of his appearance on Judy’s show in 1963.
October 18, 2019: The fantastic documentary Sid & Judy premiered on the Showtime network.