“Judy Garland, a pretty and talented singer, takes the role of [Stuart Erwin’s] sister and leads in several of the zestful songs. She has a fine sense for comedy, too.” – Uncredited review of “Pigskin Parade,” 1936
November 7, 1936: “Girl, 14, Made Up to Look 18” – here is an article, dated November 6 but published on November 7, which puts the focus on Judy and her feature film debut in Pigskin Parade. The article has a few errors, such as giving Judy’s age at 13 and her birth date as January 10th. Of note is how the article, even this early in her film career, mentions her weight and her worrying about it.
Below are to reviews of the film.
Week of November 7, 1938: Filming continued on The Wizard of Oz. First up were the final scenes (until retakes in the spring of 1939) on the “Cornfield” set with Judy and Ray Bolger. Next were the scenes with the talking trees and the meeting of Jack Haley’s “Tin Man.”
Filming went well until someone noticed that the “Tin Man’s” suit was shiny rather than rusted. At a cost of $60k+ the three days of shooting the shiny “Tin Man” were scrapped and eventually re-shot (but not until November 16th) after the suit had been appropriately “rusted.”
November 7, 1939: Judy made her weekly appearance on NBC Radio’s “The Pepsodent Show Starring Bob Hope.” She sang a wonderful rendition of “Goody, Goodbye” which survives and was recently remastered for the 2015 CD release “Judy Garland – The Best of LOST TRACKS 1929 – 1959.”
Listen to the track here:
November 7, 1940: In his review of Strike Up The Band for the Winnipeg Tribune, critic Ed Parker notes Judy’s “art of under-acting” and how she had grown as an actress.
from the BACK ROW
by ED PARKER
At least three gay shows in one is the impression received of Strike Up the Band, now at the Capitol. There is the Andy Hardy-like story of high school students with their love affairs and their extra-curricular ambitions. There are the swing orchestra sequences with these same kids giving accompaniment to Mickey Rooney’s spectacular drum beating and Judy Garland’s sweet singing. There is the musical-mellerdramah staged by the Rooney gang to raise money for their band. Rolled into one, they all spell fine entertainment.
Rooney impresses most with his extraordinary musical ability. He dances with zest and with numerous pantomime. He plays musical instruments with nonchalant abandon, and even his singing seems to capitalize on a mediocre voice to create novel renditions of a song. Whatever he does, Mickey Rooney’s strength is unflagging and he projects at all times right to the back row.
Judy Garland, however, steals scenes from Rooney by her newly-acquired art of under-acting. When the two are together, it seems Mickey works too hard while Judy is completely relaxed. This draws attention to her and every pout provokes a laugh. She is at her best in the title song number, flirting, cavorting – giving in the notes swing manner.
Best supporting character is William Tracy as Rooney’s lovesick sidekick. An able musical, he displays an extraordinary flair for comedy. His work as the villain in the benefit show is superb. He permits just a trace of his identity for humorous effect, otherwise he is completely unrecognizable.
Virginal Brissac as Mickey’s mother gives the play its only heavy note, throwing it slightly out of tune. Rooney is forced to break his musical comedy pace in the few scenes alone with her. The others in the cast are splendid. Paul Whitman and his band supply topnotch rhythm.
Dance arrangements are in the Busby Berkeley manner, each one greater than the last, with the last continuing far after the story has reached its natural climax. The songs included Our Love Affair, Strike Up The Band, Nobody, Heaven Will Protect a Working Girl, The Curse of an Aching Heart, Father Dear Father, She’s more To Be Pitied Than Censured, I Just Can’t Make My Eyes Behave, Ta Ra Ra Boom-De-Ay, When Day Is Done, My Wonderful One, Drummer Boy.
November 7, 1940, & November 7, 1951: Two articles eleven years apart in which Judys’ weight is a big topic.
The first is an “interview” with columnist Sheila Graham in which Judy’s weight and lack of glamor, plus her soup rationing at the MGM commissary, is the topic.
The second is an article about movie stars’ struggle with weight, Judy’s being the alleged reason for her split with MGM.
The following is the full 1940 article, followed by the Judy part of the 1951 article.
Judy Wants to Be Glamor Girl
By SHEILAH GRAHAM
Hollywood, Nov. 6 – “I am not a voluptuary,” says 16-year-old Judy Garland. Hesitates, then adds – “I think that is the right word?” I am not yet sure, but the conversation sounds promising. We are having lunch in the Metro commissary. When I say “we” I mean “I” – Judy’s lunch is a bowl of soup – or rather three spoonfuls of soup. She is delighted when I tell her she is looking slimmer.
She has to be told this at frequent intervals, or she won’t eat anything at all. “All my life,” says Judy, “I’ve wanted to be a glamor girl. Is there any hope for me?” She is doing all right today, with her hair in a front high hair-do and a net turban. “It makes you look older, “ I point to her head. “Really? Oh, swell!” Says Judy.
From this point, we gravitate naturally to the subject of the opposite sex. “I’m not interested in boys, really I’m not. I hate nicking, really I do,” says Judy – adding, as an afterthought – “boys are so strange sometimes. I mean they’re cruel.” Judy plans to remain a spinster until she is 23 – “A girl has nothing to offer a man, mentally I mean, before that,” says Judy.
She Loves Her Work.
Judy’s Maile acquaintances – apart from Mickey Rooney, whom she has known since she was 7 – are divided into two categories – “my dearest friend” and “I love him like a father.” The “my dearest friend” is Musician Oscar Levant. “We met in New York six weeks ago and he understood me right away. Oh, he’s a wonderful friend. I can tell him anything. He gives me such good advice. We take turns at telephoning each other. It was my turn last night.” Quite a friendship this, transcontinental telephone rates being what they are!
Under the “I love him like a father” category, comes Victor Fleming. I can see what she means. But, from my age standpoint, I’d omit the father angle.
Judy’s reason for her lack of interest in males of her own age – “I love my work so much more” – does not prevent the indulgence of ecstatic worship for some of our cinema idols. When I mentioned the name “Laurence Oliver” – I thought Judy was going to throw a fit or something. She dashed her hands to her ears, rolled her eyes heavenward and jabbered incoherently. When she was a little calmer, I wanted to know the why of her passion (I knew, but I didn’t want to make it too easy for her). “He’s so-so-“ and she was off again. After several takes, Judy stated solemnly – “I think I’m so crazy about him because he looks as though he’d knock you down if you didn’t behave.”
Stars Forced to Fight Fat to Keep Contracts
By BOB THOMAS
Associated Press Hollywood Writer
… Nearly every player reduces differently. Judy Garland, whose poundage was partly the cause of her severance with MGM, has tried several means of reducing. Nearly all have led to ill health, but now she claims to have a new method from a doctor recommended to her by Marlene Dietrich. Judy takes a formula which eliminates her appetite after the first bites of food.
November 7, 1940: Louella Parsons broke the news, allegedly told to her by Martha Raye, of the possibility of a Judy Garland/David Rose wedding. Raye was right. Judy married David Rose on July 28, 1941. He was the first of her five husbands.
Meanwhile, as Parsons noted, Strike Up The Band was playing in theaters around the country. It was a huge hit, grossing $3,472,059 on an investment of $851,577.78. Quite a lot in those days!
November 7, 1941: Retakes were done on Babes on Broadway finishing out the filming. Retakes were shot on the “Interior Corridor” “Penny’s Office” and “Interior Auditorium” sets. Time called: 9 a.m.; lunch: 12:35-1:35 p.m.; time dismissed: 3:25 p.m.
The film was released in December. It cost $955,300.37 and grossed $3,859,000. This was the third of the four “Mickey/Judy” musicals and one of the most popular. The song “How About You?” became a standard and was nominated for the Oscar for “Best Song.” It lost to “White Christmas” from Holiday Inn.
Judy had come into her own as an actress and wasn’t simply a foil for Mickey anymore. “Time” magazine noted: Miss Garland, now 19 and wise to her costar’s (Mickey’s) propensity for stealing scenes, nearly takes the picture away from him. Rooney cannot sing, but Judy Garland can, and proves it pleasantly with sure-fire numbers.
November 7, 1942: This ad and short blurb (with photos) were published in the “Showmen’s Trade Review” promoting For Me And My Gal. The blurb showcased the community sing-alongs that were put on by both the Y.M.C.A. and MGM. The text reads as follows:
‘FOR ME AND MY GAL’ SONG FESTIVAL A ‘NATURAL’ FOR YOUR COMMUNITY
War Song Festival held in Times Square on the night of October 21 (STR, Oct. 24, p. 21) proved not only a great boost for civilian morale but heightened interest in the opening of MGM’s “For Me And My Gal” at the Astor. Civilians and service men alike (see above) joined in singing the stirring songs of the last war which are included in the score of the Judy Garland musical. The “community sing” was sponsored by the Y.M.C.A., and also included numbers popularized in the current conflict. Both photos above show only section of the large crowd participating. Stunt is a “natural” for towns of every size.
November 7, 1944: Filming on The Clock continued with scenes on the “Interior Milk Truck” set. Judy was on the lot at 8:55 a.m., on the set at 10:25 a.m. from makeup, and ready at 10:40 a.m. for a 10 a.m. call. Dismissed: 6 p.m.
November 7, 1947: Judy had rehearsals of “A Fella With An Umbrella,” “A Couple of Swells,” and “Ragtime Violin” for Easter Parade. Time called: 2:00 p.m.; dismissed: 4:30 p.m. On this night the second preview of The Pirate was held in Inglewood, California.
The Decca ad above includes the 1946 album “Christmastime.” That album was a compilation that included the two Christmas themed songs Judy recorded for the label on July 20, 1941, “The Birthday Of A King” and “The Star Of The East.”
Listen to “The Birthday Of A King” here:
Listen to “The Star Of The East” here:
November 7, 1953: A Star Is Born continued filming with scenes shot on the “Exterior Cashier’s Window” (“Go to L”), “Exterior Walkway Between Buildings” and “Interior Esther’s Room” all on the Warner Bros. lot which was standing in as the fictional Oliver Niles Studios in the film.
The second photo is a publicity shot of “Esther” getting her new name, “Vicki Lester.” The third photo shows the promotional copy on the back which incorrectly states that she’s getting her first paycheck.
November 7, 1961: The lucky TV viewers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, were treated to a week-long (workdays only) Judy Garland festival every morning at 10:30 a.m. The image above is the only two ads placed. The schedule was:
Monday: Presenting Lily Mars
Tuesday: Babes On Broadway
Wednesday: Everybody Sing
Thursday: Babes In Arms
Friday: The Clock
I wonder how many fans called into work sick on certain days or all week? Those were the days long before cable and home video when the fans’ ability to see Judy’s films was at the mercy of the local station’s programmers.
November 7, 1962: Judy gave her only real “concert” in 1962 at the Arie Crown Theatre in Chicago. She suffered from laryngitis but still wowed the crowd.
The card that is shown here, dated November 8, is a card that shows Judy was staying at the McCormick Place Hotel in Chicago. On the 8th Judy flew from Chicago to New York to see her throat specialist, but he was in Las Vegas, so Judy flew back to Chicago for the premiere of Gay Purr-ee the next day (November 9th).
Some photos provided by Jon Perdue. Thanks, Jon!
November 7, 1965: If we were in a time machine we could go back and anticipate Judy’s upcoming hosting of the “Hollywood Palace” on ABC-TV.
November 7, 1968: Judy’s foot had not been healing properly from a prior injury, so John Meyer decided she had to go to the hospital. He took her to The Leroy at 40 East 61st Street, was the only one Judy felt comfortable in, and Dr. Harold E. Klinger checked Judy into room 1103.
Capitol Records’ latest series of compilations, titled “Deluxe,” was in stores. “The Judy Garland Deluxe Set” was a part of the series which featured three records in a nice box, just in time for holiday gift giving.