“It’s one of those rare films that is even better than expected.” – Georgia Gianakos, review of “A Star Is Born,” 1954
October 27, 1930: “The Gumm Family” performed for the Kiwanis Organization at their Kiwanis Inter-Club Relationship Meeting in the Beacon Tavern in Victorville, California. The sisters (Judy and her two sisters, Suzy and Jimmie) performed with the Kiwanis Quartet, and father Frank sang with the band. Mother Ethel, who usually played piano for the engagements, might have performed as well.
October 27, 1935: The Daily News Journal in Frank Gumm’s (Judy’s father) hometown of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, ran this story about Judy’s recent contract with MGM and her appearance on NBC Radio the previous night (October 26).
Also on this day, Judy sang at a party for Mr. and Mrs. Sam Katz’s wedding anniversary, given by MGM boss Louis B. Mayer, at the Cafe Trocadero in Los Angeles, California.
October 27, 1935: Here is another newspaper spread featuring the new “comer” in pictures, Judy Garland. She’s listed as being thirteen years old although she was already fourteen. In these early years of her time at the studio, MGM usually shaved a year off of Judy’s age to make her seem even more precocious than she already was. Judy’s first official film for the studio, the short Every Sunday, is mentioned.
October 27, 1937: Broadway Melody of 1938 (released in August 1937). The film was Judy’s first feature for MGM, featuring her first “identifier” song, “(Dear Mr. Gable) You Made Me Love You.”
October 27, 1940: Strike Up The Band was opening in theaters around the country to great reviews from the critics and audiences. Here’s a typical promotion carried by various papers.
Also in the papers was this amusing story about “red-haired, golden-voiced” Judy as a student at MGM’s “college” because, according to the article, she wanted “more of the fountain of knowledge.” She’s quoted as saying, “Even though my motion picture work keeps me from going to college, I’m going to try to make college come to me.” This article is a great example of the fiction generated by the Hollywood film studios to keep their stars’ names in the public consciousness, no matter how far-fetched they might be.
October 27, 1944: Judy was currently filming The Clock, but was out sick on this day.
October 27, 1945: Judy returned to MGM after being sick the previous day and continued filming the “Who?” number on the “Interior Stairs” set for Till The Clouds Roll By. Time called: 10 a.m.; Judy arrived at 10:52 a.m.; dismissed: 2:30 p.m.
October 27, 1947: More retakes for Judy for The Pirate. Judy was currently filming Easter Parade but for a while did double duty filming miscellaneous retakes for The Pirate. On this day she filmed new scenes on the “Interior Manuela’s Patio.” Time called: 10 a.m.; dismissed: 3:40 p.m.
Sheet music provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim!
October 27, 1949: Judy pre-recorded “Friendly Star” for Summer Stock.
Listen to “Friendly Star” here:
October 27, 1953: The first of three days of reshooting “The Man That Got Away” for A Star Is Born.
The original version shot on October 20 featured Judy in a pink blouse. For these three days of reshooting, she was filmed in a brown dress designed by Mary Ann Nyberg. Judy arrived on set on each of these three days at 10 a.m., finishing at 5:50 p.m. on October 27th; 4:45 on October 28th, and 6:15 p.m. on October 29th. The final film version, with the dark blue dress, was filmed in late February 1954.
A total of 27 takes were filmed over these three days. Each time the number was filmed in one long continuous take. According to assistant director Earl Bellamy, Judy would give her all, then rest for 15 minutes, then do it all over again. Every take was brilliant.
Photos provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim!
Here is the first printed take, followed by comparisons of the 4th & 5th takes and the 6th & 7th takes.
October 27, 1954: It’s difficult to understand why Warner Bros. bowed to the alleged pressure from theater owners about the length of A Star Is Born when it was doing such great business and was being held over for a second week in most of the cities due to its popularity.
October 27, 1954: The trade magazine “Motion Picture Herald” noted that Jackie Gleason’s stage show was going to follow the film engagement of A Star Is Born at the Paramount in New York City, the first stage show to accompany a film (whatever followed Star) at the theatre in over a year. Also noted is an article about the new “Perspecta” sound being used in theatres.
October 27, 1961: Judy was in concert at The Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Garden held 13,909 people. ticket prices ranged from $2.00 to $6.00. The concert grossed $52,000.00. Two of the clippings above appeared in advance of the concert.
October 27, 1963: “Episode Six” of “The Judy Garland Show” premiered on CBS-TV. The show was taped on September 13, 1963.
Judy’s guests were June Allyson and Steve Lawrence plus series regular Jerry Van Dyke. Judy sang: “Life Is Just A Bowl Of Cherries”; “Happiness Is A Thing Called Joe” “Be My Guest” (with Lawrence); “Just Imagine” (with Allyson); “MGM Medley” (with Allyson and Lawrence); and “San Francisco” for the “Trunk” spot.
Also on this date, the article above was published about the show and its struggles.
October 27, 1964: Judy and daughter Liza Minnelli greeted Peter Allen and his stage partner Chris at the airport as they arrived in London. Black and white silent newsreel footage still exists of this first meeting between Liza and her future husband, Peter.
Later that evening, Judy attended the opening night of “Hay Fever” at the National Theater in London. There had also been, on this day, the second and final day of a court hearing where Sid Luft was granted increased visitation rights after he had brought out unflattering tales of Judy that were then made public. Though Judy told the press at the airport, “In spite of everything that was said back there, I am still a very good mother,” her unhappiness can be heard in existing tapes made at this time, in which she expresses her anger at Luft, and Mark Herron comes on at one point to defend her.
October 27, 1998: The Rhino single CD compilation”Judy Garland – Her Greatest Movie Hits” was released. It was the first CD to feature the “best of” Judy’s movie hits, most recently restored.
“I’ll Plant My Own Tree” from Valley Of The Dolls (1967) was originally slated to be the final track on the CD, but depending on who you talk to it was either that Fox would not release the recording to Rhino Records or the producers of the disc didn’t want to end the set on a less than brilliant number.
Now, we have the new “Judy at 100 – 26 Classics in Stereo” CD that features many soundtrack performances in stereo for the first time. What the engineers accomplished with today’s technology is nothing short of a miracle.
Below is the Rhino press release from August 19, 1998:
“C’MON, GET HAPPY”!
ESSENTIAL JUDY GARLAND SOUNDTRACK CD
DUE FROM TURNER/RHINO OCTOBER 27
Judy’s Best-Known Movie Songs
Spanning Her Career From 1936-1963
LOS ANGELES – On Tuesday, October 27, it’s showtime in Tinseltown as the Turner Classic Movies Music/Rhino Movie Music audio soundtrack partnership premieres its latest tour de force production – JUDY GARLAND IN HOLLYWOOD: HER GREATEST MOVIE HITS.
Packed with more than 78 minutes of music, the new CD is the first comprehensive single-disc collection of the legendary entertainer’s most famous film soundtrack performances – 23 tracks spanning all phases of her career, from 1936-1963 (see complete track list at the end of this release).
Turner/Rhino’s JUDY GARLAND IN HOLLYWOOD: HER GREATEST MOVIE HITS will be available at retail, via RhinoDirect at 1-800-432-0020, and via the Rhino Website at http://www.rhino.com/ordering/ordering_index.html(#75292), for a suggested list of $16.98.
As detailed in the excellent new liner notes by Grammy nominee Will Friedwald, Judy Garland was “born in a trunk” and already a veteran all-around entertainer in her early teens when offered an M-G-M deal. Her big break (at 16) was starring as Dorothy in 1939’s The Wizard Of Oz. From the “backyard musicals” with Mickey Rooney to the leading lady of Meet Me In St. Louis to the all-stops-out dramatics of A Star Is Born, Garland grew up on screen. Her always-formidable vocal talent paced her growth as an actress. Notwithstanding a troubled personal life, she was a true American icon by the time of her death in 1969 at age 47.
Now, three decades later, the Garland legend keeps growing as new generations discover her musical and cinematic legacy. She’s a mainstream pop artist whose catalog enjoys brisk sales. Garland’s profile has been boosted of late by daughter Lorna Luft’s best-selling autobiography and daughter Liza Minnelli’s return to the stage, and will increase in the next several months as a number of theatrical and TV movie projects now in development are released.
A new Judy Garland Featured Artist page will be posted by late October on the Rhino Website at: http://www.rhino.com/features/75292p.html. And more information about Turner Classic Movies and its program schedule can be found at <http://tcm.turner.com/HOME/>. Tie-ins are planned between the Rhino, TCM, and key Garland fan websites.
All original performances, not re-recordings or live re-creations, JUDY GARLAND IN HOLLYWOOD: HER GREATEST MOVIE HITS includes:
“The Texas Tornado” (Pigskin Parade, 1936)
“Dear Mr. Gable/You Made Me Love You (I Didn’t Want To Do It)” (Broadway Melody Of 1938, 1937)
“Over The Rainbow” (The Wizard Of Oz, 1939)
“I’m Nobody’s Baby” (Andy Hardy Meets Debutante, 1940)
“F.D.R. Jones” (Babes On Broadway, 1941)
“For Me And My Gal” (For Me And My Gal, 1942)
“The Trolley Song” and “The Boy Next Door” (Meet Me In St. Louis, 1944)
“On The Atchison, Topeka, And The Santa Fe” (The Harvey Girls, 1946)
“Look For The Silver Lining” (Till The Clouds Roll By, 1946)
“Mack, The Black” (The Pirate, 1948)
“Easter Parade” (Easter Parade, 1948)
“Johnny One Note” (Words And Music, 1948)
“Last Night When We Were Young” (outtake, In The Good Old Summertime, 1949)
“Happy Harvest,” “Friendly Star,” and “Get Happy” (Summer Stock, 1950)
“Gotta Have Me Go With You” and “The Man That Got Away” (A Star Is Born, 1954)
“Little Drops Of Rain” (Gay Purr-ee, 1962)
“Hello Bluebird,” “By Myself,” and “I Could Go On Singing” (I Could Go On Singing, 1963)