“People have tried to explain her mystique but it can only be reported that as the program closed old men and women and young people flocked to the stage to reach out and touch her hand. They shouted ‘More, more.'” – Barbara Carlson, 1967
October 21, 1933: Frances Judy) took part in a recital given by Lawlor’s Hollywood Professional School (of which she was a member) at the Hollywood Conservatory Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. Judy and her sister Jimmie had started school at Lawlor’s in the fall of 1933. This recital also featured Mickey Rooney, who as enrolled in the school as well making this the first time the two future megastars shared a stage.
October 21, 1936: This fantastic four-page ad was published in the various movie trades promoting the upcoming release of Judy’s very first feature-length film: Pigskin Parade.
The film was a big success and while Judy was fairly low on the list of stars, she deservedly garnered rave reviews and got to sing two solos (“The Texas Tornado” and “It’s Love I’m After”) as well as the bulk of a group song and dance, “The Balboa.” Another solo, “Hold That Bulldog” was pre-recorded but not used. That recording is not known to exist but we now have the rare January 5, 1937, radio performance to enjoy, which gives us an idea of how the number was in the film:
Stuart Erwin received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his role. This was Judy’s only “loan out” to another studio during her tenure at MGM. Also in the cast were future “Tin Man” Jack Haley and future Fox star Betty Grable. Grable became a lifelong fan of Judy’s after working with her on this film. Judy’s 1954 version of “A Star Is Born” was reportedly her favorite film and was allegedly the last film she screened before her passing.
October 21, 1937: A recording session for Everybody Sing, still called Swing Fever at this point in the production. The song was the “Bus Sequence”(“Down On Melody Farm”) number. Judy was joined by Allan Jones, Reginald Gardner, Lynne Carver, and “Bus Driver.” Also recorded on this day was “Sylvia’s Singing Lesson” with “Girl singer” providing the vocals, as well as a very short recording (music only), a combination of “The One I Love” and “Sylvia’s Singing Lesson.”
No pre-recording from this session has ever been released, if one exists at all. Here’s the song as edited and performed in the film:
October 21, 1938: Judy’s latest film, Listen, Darling, was another success for her and MGM. Interestingly, Sara Morrow of the Harrisburg (Pennsylvania) Telegraph gave Judy raves but also noted that “the numbers which she was given to sing did not rate high applause.” Perhaps she’s one of the few people who did not like the song “Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart.”
October 21, 1938: Here’s an amusing example of the type of “fluff” that the MGM publicity department was expert at generating for the papers. This one claims that Judy had her own “autograph auto.”
October 21, 1938: The Wizard of Oz filming continued with scenes on the “Entrance Hall” section of the “Witch’s Castle” set. This included the rescue of Dorothy and their running down the stairs.
Director Richard Thorpe had a different idea of the sequence of events should happen for this scene than what’s in the final film. He kept Dorothy’s companions in their Winkie Guard disguises for the rescue and trap, then apparently they got out of them at some point before they ran back up the stairs. That’s a bit confusing.
Later this night Buddy Ebsen was rushed to the hospital suffering complications from the aluminum makeup. He would be replaced by Jack Haley.
October 21, 1941: These wonderful photos of Judy were shot by Eric Carpenter.
October 21, 1942: For Me And My Gal had its world premiere in New York City. The film grossed $4,371,000 on an investment of $802,980.68 and to this day remains a classic.
Photos provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim!
October 21, 1944: Filming continued on The Clock with scenes shot on the “interior Room 387” and “Interior Marriage Chapel” sets. time called: 10 a.m.; dismissed: 6:25 p.m.
October 21, 1946: Released on this date, the recordings Judy made with Dick Haymes for Decca Records on September 11, 1946: “Aren’t You Kind Of Glad We Did?” and “For You, For Me, Forevermore” on Decca Single #23687 Judy’s solo of “Changing My Tune” was also released by itself on the A-side of Decca Sigle #23688.
Listen to “Aren’t You Kind Of Glad We Did?” here:
Listen to “For You, For Me, Forevermore” here:
Listen to “Changing My Tune” here:
Label images provided by Rick Smith. Thanks, Rick! The newspaper clipping is an ad published on September 11, 1947, a full year after these recordings were made.
October 21, 1949: Judy was ill and did not work on the film that was currently in production, Summer Stock.
Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Pages on Summer Stock here.
October 21, 1951: Legendary photographer Richard Avedon took these marvelous photos of Judy during her triumphant run at The Palace Theater in New York.
October 21, 1953: After viewing the two versions of “The Man That Got Away” at an 8:00 a.m. screening it was decided to start filming on A Star Is Born all over again in the CinemaScope process.
October 21, 1961: Judy was in concert at the New Deleware Valley Garden Arena in Haddonfield, New Jersey.
October 21, 1967: Walter Winchell reported on Judy’s recent appearance at an ASCAP event and her symbolic return of orchids to, it’s implied, Winchell.
October 21, 1967: The second of a two-night concert engagement for Judy at the Bushnell Auditorium in Hartford, Connecticut. On this date, this review of Judy’s opening night was published.
Note that the “Hines, Hines, and Dad” included a young Gregory Hines. Years later Hines spoke about how, during the bows, when Judy took his hand he felt a jolt of electricity from her, something he had never experience before or since from another performer.