On This Day In Judy Garland’s Life And Career – October 19

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“She creates the magic which is what entertainment is all about and yet you can not pinpoint just exactly why it is that she manages to pull you in from the audience as a bee to honey, as puppets in her hand and she controls the strings.” – Barbara Cloud, 1961 

Mid-October 1935:  Judy’s father, Frank Gumm (above left), wrote to an old family friend, John Perkins of Lancaster, CA (where the family had lived), and mentioned Judy’s recent signing by MGM plus two proposed projects (see below).  The newspaper notice above was published on this date (October 19, 1935).

Babe got her seven-year contract with M.G.M. and it started October 1 at $150 per week and the last year she gets $1,000 a week as the salary advances every six months; a very attractive deal.  Of course, its all on six months’ options and she has to make good or they have the privilege of letting her go at the end of each six months’ period . . . She is set for the first six months though and her first picture will probably be ‘This time It’s Love’ in which Robert Montgomery and Jessie Matthews will be the stars and baby plays opposite Buddie Ebson (sic) a 6 foot 2 comedian that made a big hit with his sister in the new ‘Broadway Melody of 1936.’  The picture goes into production in January next to be released about next April. Babe, or ‘Judy’ as she is now called, will broadcast Saturday night, October 19 with Wallace Beery on the Shell Chateau hour from 6:30 to 7:30 P.M.

“This Time It’s Love” never happened but the radio appearance did – postponed by one week.

At this point, Judy had only been given one assignment by MGM, singing between halves at the University of South California Football Game at the Lost Angeles Coliseum the same week as Frank’s letter (probably on October 12th).  Judy sang “Fight on for Good Old USC.”  She was halfway through the song when the home team raced out on the field, drowning out her voice and forcing her to stop mid-song!  Other sources note that this took place on September 30th at USC, not the L.A. Coliseum however that probably isn’t correct as Judy’s first day of work was on October 1st, she wouldn’t have been allowed to work prior to the beginning of her contract.

Check out The Judy Room’s “Films That Got Away” pages for details about the various projects that Judy was allegedly considered for that never happened.

October 19, 1938:  Listen, Darling was opening in theaters around the country.

Meanwhile, filming on The Wizard of Oz continued on the Witch’s Castle set, specifically the scenes of Dorothy’s rescue.  This photo of Buddy Ebsen was taken on the set on this day.  Ebsen’s days as the Tin Man were numbered.  He soon developed a near-fatal allergic reaction to the aluminum dust used to create the tin color of the makeup.  He was replaced by Jack Haley.

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

October 19, 1938 Buddy Ebsen


October 19, 1938:  Judy and her dog, Sergei.


October 19, 1939:  Another photo of Judy with her dog, Sergei, this time part of a feature about stars and their dogs although this time his name is given as “Bill.”


October 19, 1939:  Here’s a look-alike contest out of Pottstown, Pennsylvania.


October 19, 1939:  “Judy Garland drinks plenty of water for health and beauty.”  


October 19, 1939:  Judy and Mickey Rooney were all over the papers due to MGM’s promotion of Babes In Arms, and deservedly so.  They were the hot new musical duo of the movies.

October 19, 1939:  More Babes in Arms ads and a review.  The film received raves from critics and audiences alike.

October 19, 1940:  Judy had two films in circulation, Andy Hardy Meets Debutante and Strike Up The Band.

October 19, 1940:  The trade magazine, “Motion Picture Herald,” features a little bit of Strike Up The Band in the magazine’s regular featuring of ads and local theater displays.


October 19, 1941:  Judy and Mickey Rooney appeared on the cover of the Swedish magazine “Vecko-Revyn.”  Below, Judy helps Mickey celebrate his birthday.

Photo provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim!

October 19, 1941:  Judy appeared in the second (and final) half of the play “Eternally Yours” as adapted for radio, on CBS Radio’s 30-minute show “Silver Theater.”  Judy had performed the first half of the play a week prior on October 12th.  Check out that day’s entry for audio from the show.

October 19, 1944:  The Clock filming continued with scenes shot on the “Interior Marriage License Bureau” set.  Time called: 10 a.m.; dismissed: 6 p.m.

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


October 19, 1945:  Another rehearsal of “Who?” for Till The Clouds Roll By.  The rehearsal was a short one, taking place from 1:50 to 2:30 p.m.

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


October 19, 1954:  This one-page article about A Star Is Born appeared in the “Billed Bladet” magazine.

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

Scan provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim!

Below, an ad from Rochester, New York, and an article from Muncie, Indiana.


October 19, 1956:  Judy at the Palace!

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

October 19, 1961:  Judy was in concert at Judy’s at Pittsburgh’s Civic Auditorium.  Here is a review of her show that was published the next day by the Pittsburgh Press.

October 20, 1961

Judy Has 12,219 Buzzing At Arena

Garland Magic Holds Crowd Under Spell In Moving Performance


How do you explain Judy Garland?

It is altogether possible that if she just walked around a stage and waved her arms and blew kisses to the audience she would have a following second to none.

She creates the magic which is what entertainment is all about and yet you can not pinpoint just exactly why it is that she manages to pull you in from the audience as a bee to honey, as puppets in her hand and she controls the strings.

At the Auditorium last night where she presented the concert which had Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl both bursting at the seams, she scored another triumph if attendance is any criterion.

There were 12,219 ticket holders who witnessed Miss Garland’s performance.  Many were fans, many were curious, many attended with a “show me” attitude.  What is it, Miss Garland, that makes sentimentalists of us all, makes us burst into applause when you simply move a finger, leave a stage for a drink of water, do a fancy little step or stop in the middle of a number to adjust some of the technical equipment?

But then, why question it?  It is there and it was obvious last night that the audience was in love with the singer who cavorted on stage, backed up, to be sure, by an impressive musical aggregation and Morton Lindsey, her conductor.

Miss Garland does cavort, you see.  It isn’t simply a matter of singing a song, which she does like no one else I can think of.  If everyone has as much fun watching her perform as she seems to have while doing it, then it is indeed a perfect palace of entertainment, a love match without a quarrel.

Maybe that in itself is the secret.  She obviously loves what she is doing and if this is not true then she deserves to be known as a great actress in addition to a great singer.

The rumor in the voice that would make you recognize Judy Garland without sight is still there, just as it was Shen she performed her magic tricks in a dozen or more films, “Wizard Of Oz” being particularly notable.

She was young Dorothy of that film most of last evening.  She was youthful and she made the audience feel the same way.  You could hear the familiar laugh when she came close to the microphone, the shy laugh of Andy Hardy’s Girl friend, and she wasn’t even trying.

Is she fat?  Who cares.  Certainly she couldn’t have looked more chic than she did in the black street-length dress and red satin jacket studded with sparkling stones that caught the light from the spots and danced all over the stage.

And the second half of the show found Miss Garland wearing black silk slacks and a multi-colored jacket of iridescence.

She moved about the stage in such a way that you felt the gaiety of the song she was presenting.  And the same feeling came when she took her stance in front of the microphone, feet spread apart as if to hold on to some gravity as she reached for, and found, that last note that would bring down the house.

Vitality . . . it might be that. Choice of songs, scubas the familiar “Bells Are Ringing” [reference to “For Me And My Gal”], “Stormy Weather,” “Man That Got Away,” “San Francisco,” “Come Rain or Come Shine” . . . it could be this that brings over 12,000 people to a performance.

The crowd applauded if they had the faintest hint from the musical introduction as to the song she was going to sing.  Many of those attending called to her by name . . . “We can’t hear you, Judy” . . . “Turn the lights on, Judy, we want to see you.”

And there is the whole story of Judy Garland.  She has to be seen to be believed. The audience wanted to be “in touch” with the star last night and that was the pity of it. Some could not hear as well as they wanted to and the stillness of the Auditorium proved they were giving her their full attention.

She sang “Over the Rainbow” as her last number . . . supposedly.  But the audience stood up and cheered and screamed for more and Miss Garland shook hands with a few of the people sitting close to the stage. This brought even more applause and more hands reaching out to shake hers.

She came back six times, four of those times she simply walked around the stage like a child and threw kisses to the audience, most of them already standing with coats in hand, realizing the show was over but reluctant to leave for fear of missing something.

She did sing two more numbers, “Swanee” and “Chicago,” and they did turn on the lights, which probably brought more applause than any song she sang all evening.

Now they could see her.

Now they could believe her.

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

October 19, 1963:  Judy appeared on the cover of the October 19-25 issue of “TV Guide.”  Inside are these great Rene Bouche sketches of Judy.  Judy made the cover due to the cover article about her upcoming TV series.

Also on this day, Judy took a week in New York for a meeting with CBS about the series as well as for interviews to promote the show.  She was back in California by October 28 to begin rehearsals on the show’s next episode.

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

October 19, 1963:  These photos were taken of Judy at New York’s Idlewood airport (soon to be renamed John F. Kennedy – JFK – airport) upon her arrival from Los Angeles.  Judy was in New York to meet with CBS executives about her TV series.

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

October 19, 1967:  This fun article about the recent ASCAP Tribute to Harold Arlen was published on the date.  The event took place on October 16, 1967.

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