“Judy Garland has never sung anything else as melodic or straight as [Over the Rainbow].” – Harold Arlen, 1947
November 2nd: Two curious newspaper blurbs were published on November 2, and in the days after in various papers. One from 1937 and the second from 1939. As you can see, the MGM publicity department sure came up with some fanciful stories to keep Judy’s name in the papers!
November 2, 1938: More reviews and ads for Listen, Darling. Eddie Cohen of The Miami News thought the film was “pleasant” but noted: Judy Garland is weighed down with a maudlin role and manages to shine only when she is delivering her songs, of which there are three. The rest of the time she is emotionally harassed and sniffs and whinnies her way through a script that is bogged down with fraudulent sentiment. Miss Garland’s forte is comedy, but in “Listen Darling” all of the comedy is dumped of Freddie and Scotty Beckett, a mite of a newcomer who appears over enthusiastic about being in the movies. As hard as we tried to despise him, we found we couldn’t. In time, we hope we will be able to forget him.
November 2, 1938: More spinning by Metro’s PR department. We know Judy wasn’t 14 at this time nor that anything in The Wizard of Oz was filmed on location. But, it makes for some good copy!
November 2, 1939: Judy received prominent placement in this radio ad published in the St. Louis Post Dispatch.
November 2, 1939: 20th Century Fox re-released Pigskin Parade in various theaters around the nation. By this time Judy had become a huge star with both The Wizard of Oz and Babes In Arms currently in theaters. Because of this fact, Judy’s billing moved up – way up!
Note that Fox got ahold of an MGM promotional photo of Judy in Babes In Arms to use in the ad artwork. I wonder if MGM gave them permission?
November 2, 1943: Decca Records recording session at their studios in Hollywood, CA. Judy recorded two songs for the Decca “cast album” of songs from Girl Crazy: “But Not For Me” and “I Got Rhythm.” The album was released on April 6, 1944.
Listen to “But Not For Me” here:
Listen to “I Got Rhythm” here:
Listen to the alternate take of “I Got Rhythm” here:
Label images from the Rick Smith Collection. Thanks, Rick!
November 2, 1944: Judy made the cover of Photoplay Magazine.
November 2, 1944: The Decca Records “cast album” of songs from Meet Me In St. Louis was released. The album peaked at #2 on the new album chart. “The Trolley Song” was the breakout hit from the score although over time “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” became the most covered song from the score and a holiday season standard.
November 2, 1944: The Clock filming consisted of scenes on the “Exterior Seal Pool” set. Time called: 10 a.m.; dismissed: 6:05 p.m. The assistant director’s notes state that: [At] 6:05 Company dismissed without getting shot as Miss Garland looked too tired; cameraman changed key light, etc., but this did not help and it was decided inadvisable to photograph her.
November 2, 1945: Filming on Till The Clouds Roll By continued with Judy’s ultimately deleted “D’Ya Love Me?” number, plus “Sunny,” on the “Interior Circus” set.
Photos provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim!
November 2, 1947: This nice article about Harold Arlen points out the fact that “Over the Rainbow” and Judy Garland are forever linked. Something we all know, of course!
November 2, 1948: Judy notified MGM Records of her change in representation via a letter dated this date.
November 2, 1948: Columnist Louella Parsons reported from the set of In The Good Old Summertime. Allegedly. She got part of the story correct. Judy’s daughter Liza Minnelli does play a toddler at the end of the film in the mentioned park scene. However, there was no plot point and another was filmed that featured another baby. Parsons probably added the fiction about Van Johnson’s daughter in the scene to add to the intended charm of the story of the two stars (Judy and Van) having their children make cameos.
November 2, 1949: Two articles, including another one from Louella Parsons. This time Louella reports about the records Judy was making for Summer Stock and how she’s told they’re “out of this world.” She also noted that Judy had returned to good health and that “Her little flurry of temperament is now yesterday’s news.”
In counterpoint to Parsons’ report, the second article is uncredited, but paints a more dire picture of Judy’s work on Summer Stock, noting that she was in jeopardy of being removed from the film if she didn’t at least eight pounds.
November 2, 1949: The first theatrical re-release of The Wizard of Oz, was still playing in theaters and was still a success for MGM.
November 2, 1950: Columnist Talbert Kelley took fellow columnist Sheilah Graham to task for her comments about Judy’s make-up.
Photos: Two photos of Judy in New York in September 1950.
November 2, 1953: Production on A Star Is Born continued, with scenes on the “Interior Tunnel Under Stage” set. Time started: 10 a.m.; finished: 5:50 p.m.
This was also Sid Luft’s (Judy’s husband and producer of the film) birthday, which was celebrated on set as seen here.
November 2, 1955: The second theatrical re-release of The Wizard of Oz, and the last before its first airing on TV the following year, was another success for MGM.
November 2, 1956: It’s tomorrow night! The long-awaited premiere of The Wizard of Oz on TV. The show was broadcast in color and as you can see in two of the ads, retailers promoted airing the film on the color TVs in their showrooms which was an excellent way to get people to buy new sets.
November 2, 1961: Columnist Dorothy Kilgallen reported that Judy and Gloria DeHaven were in the audience for the recording of the floor show “Too Good For The Average Man” as performed by The Camelots during their floor show. Kilgallen speculated that the “trilling laughter” of Judy and Gloria was probably captured on the recording. I haven’t been able to find a copy of this recording by The Camelots. If anyone out there has it, please share!
November 2, 1962: Judy’s “Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart” as featured on the Capitol Records “Judy In Love” album was included in the special “Go With The Greats” compilation album given out exclusively at Chrysler dealerships around the country.
Listen to the mono version of “Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart” here:
Listen to the stereo version of “Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart” here:
November 2, 1962: Judy was threatened with jail time! The newspapers were filled with these articles about how Judy’s estranged husband, Sid Luft, filed for a permanent restraining order forbidding Judy from filing for a Nevada divorce. He already had a temporary restraining order. Judy, through her lawyer, claimed that she would establish residency in Nevada and then file for divorce. However, Judge Edward R. Brand ruled that if she did she would be in contempt of court. He also postponed the restraining order hearing until November 16th.
The last article is of particular interest. It uses this case as an example against “government by decree.” It’s very fascinating.
In our humble opinion, Miss Garland should be free to seek a divorce in any state she desires and the only issue which should concert the California courts should be the legality of her decree. If the California courts do not want to recognize the validity of a Nevada divorce, that is their business; but to tell an American citizen he cannot avail himself of judicial process in another state is quite another thing.
November 2, 1968: Judy sang at the “Three” nightclub on 72nd Street and Second Avenue, New York City. The nightclub was run by singer/actress Mary McCarty, who had known Judy since they worked together in the Vitaphone film short Bubbles back in December of 1929.
Afterward, Judy, John Meyer, and McCarty sang around Stan Freeman’s player piano. Audio from this gathering was recorded by Meyer. Judy sings “Hello, Bluebird,” “For Once In My Life,” “I’ve Confessed To The Breeze,” as well as an impression of Marlene Dietrich singing “Falling In Love.”
Listen to that recording here:
Upon arriving home at Meyer’s apartment, they found a clipboard of notes that Marlene had left in the lobby (she was living in the same Park Avenue building as Meyer’s parents), and Judy made some funny comments on them, digging at Marlene.
Later in the day, Judy’s friend and former companion Tom Green dropped off an envelope summing up his personal and professional relationship with Judy from 1966-1968, along with plans that various people had come up with, for – a chain of “Judy Boutiques” to feature a line of Judy sportswear and cosmetics; a “Judy Coloring Songbook”; a Judy Nightclub; and a movie with a cameo part with the screenplay enclosed, with or without a song. There was also a total of Green’s expenses in support of Judy: $58,815.62 – which had increased $10,000 from his $48,756.74 estimate of April 5, 1968 – along with a copy of a legal summons, instituting suite by Green, against Judy, for the monies owed him. The suit was never filed.
Photo: Judy in concert in Boston the previous May.
November 2, 2009: This review of the new The Wizard of Oz Blu-ray set appeared in “Home Media Magazine.” One year later, on this same day in 2010, the “Emerald Edition” of the film was released (see the second photo).