“Judy at The Palace is my dish.” – Dorothy Kilgallen, 1951
November 1, 1934: The first night of a week’s worth of appearances by “The Garland Sisters” at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood. The sisters appeared prior to the film The Count of Monte Cristo.
Frances (Judy) received her fourth “Variety” review in the trade paper’s November 6th issue (still listing the girls as “The Gumm Sisters”):
Hardly a new act, this trio of youngsters has been kicking around the coast for two years, but has just found itself. As a trio, it means nothing, but with the youngest, Frances, 13 [sic], featured, it hops into class entertainment; for if such a thing is possible, the girl is a combination of Helen Morgan and Fuzzy Knight. Possessing a voice that, without a p.a. system, is audible throughout a house as large as the Chinese, she handles ballads like a veteran, and gets every note and word over with a personality that hits audiences. For comedy, she effects a pan like Knight, and delivers her stuff in the same manner as the comic. Nothing slow about her on hot stuff, and to top it off, she hoofs. Other two sisters merely form a background. Kid, with or without her sisters, is ready for the east. Caught on several preview shows, including the 5,000 seat Shrine Auditorium here, she never failed to stop the show, her current engagement being no exception.
November 1, 1935: In his column, Wood Soanes notes the absurdity of MGM’s press release stating that Judy Garland “wandered” onto the MGM lot and auditioned.
November 1, 1937: Judy has a new beau, plus an article about perfume and skincare for young girls has nothing to do with Judy aside from using her photo to get people to read it.
November 1, 1938: Although Judy was already in the last days of makeup, hair, and costume tests for the new brunette Dorothy, MGM publicity was still circulating the story that Judy was a blonde for the first time.
November 1, 1941: Two items from the trade magazine “Motion Picture Herald.”
The first is from the magazine’s regular feature “Round Table in Pictures” which spotlights theatre displays and promotions, some are quite creative. In this issue, the display for Life Begins For Andy Hardy at the Loew’s Granata Theatre in Cleveland, Ohio, is included.
The second is another regular feature “What The Picture Did For Me.” The feature highlights feedback from various theatre owners/managers around the U.S. and Canada. In this issue, A.L. Dove of the Bengough Theatre in Bengough, Saskatchewan, Canada, said this about Little Nellie Kelly:
Just a natural for a small town. Plenty of comedy and the songs that please just plain folk. This class of picture makes show fans of my people. Can recommend this for any spot.
November 1, 1942: Here’s a nice review of For Me And My Gal published in New York’s Daily News newspaper. Written by Wanda Hale, the review is the source of the oft-quoted line, “Judy looks thin and frail throughout the picture, but she seems to have developed enormously as an actress and entertainer since her last screen assignment.”
November 1, 1943: Another wonderful Lux Soap advertisement.
November 1, 1944: Ziegfeld Follies had a sneak preview at the Westwood Village Theater in Los Angeles.
At this point, the running order of the “acts” that made up the revue-style film was:
“Ziegfeld Days” (the Bunin Puppets)
“Meet The Ladies” (Fred Astaire, Lucille Ball, Cyd Charisse)
“If Wing Goes, I Go Too” (Astaire)
“The Pied Piper” (Jimmy Durante)
“If Television Comes” (Red Skelton)
“A Cowboy’s Life” (James Melton)
“Liza” (Lena Horne, Avon Long)
“Baby Snooks” (Fanny Brice)
“This Heart Of Mine” (Astaire, Lucille Bremer)
“Death and Taxes” (Durante and Edward Arnold)
“Pay the Two Dollars” (Victor Moore, Arnold)
“Traviata” (Melton, Marion Bell)
“The Sweepstake Ticket” (Brice, Hume Cronyn, Willian Frawley)
“Limehouse Blues” (Astaire, Bremer)
“The Great Lady Has an Interview” (Judy Garland)
“The Babbitt and the Bromide” (Astaire, Gene Kelly)
“There’s Beauty Everywhere” (Astaire, Bremer, Melton, Charisse)
The film premiered on August 13, 1945, as Ziegfeld Follies of 1946. It then went into wide release on April 8, 1946. The delays were due to the revue format of the film allowing for many numbers to be filmed and then discarded.
Photo: Two-page spread from the November 1945 “Lion’s Roar” publication featuring what became the final line-up of acts featured in the film.
November 1, 1944: The Clock filming continued with scenes shot on the “Exterior Saint Faith Episcopal Church” set. Time called: 10 a.m.; dismissed: 5:15 p.m.
The scene was shot on MGM’s famous backlot, the “New York Streets” section. Check out The Judy Room’s “Judy Garland on the MGM Backlot” section for details about all of the scenes shot for Judy’s films on the backlots. Some of the locations might surprise you!
November 1, 1945: Decca Records released the “cast album” of songs from The Harvey Girls. As was the practice of the time, the album was not a soundtrack album but studio recreations of numbers performed in the film. This is the primary difference between “cast albums” and “soundtrack albums.” Actual soundtrack albums would not be on the market until 1947.
This was the third, and last, of Decca’s “cast albums” of Judy Garland films. MGM Records was formed the following year and put out its first soundtrack album in 1947 featuring soundtrack recordings from Till The Clouds Roll By. The format was the same as the Decca albums, four 78rpm records with one song per side usually running anywhere from two to four minutes long making for a total of just eight songs per album.
What makes this Decca album unique is the care the label took to emulate the performances in the film The Harvey Girls (1946). Most of the film’s cast was involved, including Kenny Baker and the wonderful Virginia O’Brien. The arrangements were near-identical to those used in the film. Decca brought in MGM’s musical director Lennie Hayton and vocal arranger Kay Thompson to repeat the work they had done for the soundtrack prerecordings. The results are fantastic and make for a fitting “end” to the successful run of cast albums of Judy Garland film musicals.
November 1, 1945: Filming on Till The Clouds Roll By was planned to continue, however, Judy went home sick at 11:30 a.m. Judy had a 10 a.m. call, she arrived on the set at 11:00 a.m., then was dismissed at 11:30. Nothing is noted as being filmed on this day.
November 1, 1948: Easter Parade was, and still is, a film for all ages. This ad marketed the film to local kids in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, along with Disney’s Bambi, which makes for an unusual double bill.
November 1, 1948: MGM placed this ad in the trade magazine “Showmen’s Trade Review.”
November 1, 1949: Judy is too fat! Here are examples of the news, which was in most papers, about Judy’s weight gain, with the famous (to Garland fans) headline “Excess Baggage Banned.” What’s interesting about this is that Judy was currently filming Summer Stock and producer Joe Pasternak wasn’t as concerned about her losing weight as these articles make it seem, although “the front office” of MGM certainly was. It’s no wonder Judy had a complex when her weight was fodder for the columnists and would continue to be throughout the rest of her life.
November 1, 1950: Judy was barely out of her contract with MGM when talk of her comeback began. Also shown here is a paragraph from Erksine Johnson’s column noting who would be taking over Judy’s roles at the studio.
November 1, 1951: Judy attended the opening night of “Top Banana” at the Winter Garden in New York City. The show starred Judy’s Summer Stock co-star Phil Silvers, along with Rose Marie and Jack Albertson. Silvers won the Tony for “Best Performance By A Featured Actor In A Musical.”
Photos: Judy is seen with Sid Luft, Jimmy Durante, Judy Lynn, Mike Sloane, Phil Silvers, and Robert Q. Lewis.
November 1, 1951: In her latest column Dorothy Kilgallen responds to a reader’s letter asking about Judy at the Palace. Kilgallen loved Judy, of course, but didn’t love the rest of the bill.
November 1, 1954: Judy and her husband Sid Luft were recently seen at LePavillon in Manhattan. A Star Is Born was still opening in theaters around the country. Note how one ad specifies that they’re showing the “full 3-hour version.” This indicates that although Warner Bros. had pulled the complete version from circulation and replaced it with the edited version, some theaters still played the complete version.
Included is an ad for the soundtrack LP and a listing in the trade magazine “Motion Picture Herald” that includes the film in the current “Booking Chart.”
November 1, 1955: Here is another ad for the second theatrical re-release of The Wizard of Oz.
November 1, 1956: The upcoming premiere of The Wizard of Oz on TV was making entertainment news.
November 1, 1960: It’s been one of the top, if not the top, roles that Garfans have wished Judy had played on film, “Mama Rose” in Gypsy. Here columnist Sheilah Graham notes that Judy, (who else?) should play the role in the film adaptation. Judy would have been phenomenal and probably would have been nominated for an Oscar. Sadly Judy didn’t get the part. It went to Rosalind Russell.
November 1, 1963: The videotaping of both the dress rehearsal (from 5 – 7:30 p.m.P and the final performance (9 – 10:30 p.m.) of Episode Twelve of “The Judy Garland Show” at CBS Television City, Stage 43, Hollywood aired on CBS-TV. Judy’s guests were Vic Damone and Zine Bethume. The show aired on November 3.
Judy’s songs included:
“From This Moment On” (the audio for this was pre-recorded on October 31st for Judy to lip-sync to – listen here:
“Be My Guest” (with Damone and Bethume)
“Getting To Know You” (with Bethume)
“Porgy and Bess” Medley (with Damone, also pre-recorded on October 31st – audio here:
“All-Purpose Holiday Song” (with Damone and Bethume)
“Rock-A-Bye Your Baby”
“Maybe I’ll Come Back”
The article above, about the ups and downs of the series, was published on this day.
November 1, 1966: Judy’s TV series was leased to the Los Angeles based KHJ (Channel 9) via the media company RKO General West Coast.
November 1, 1967: “The Judy Garland Carnegie Hall Fan Club” of Carnegie Melong Bank was lobbying to get Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, added as a stop on Judy’s “The Palace” tour.