On This Day In Judy Garland’s Life And Career – November 8

Posted by

“Whenever Judy Garland takes over, this movie bubbles with verve and warmth.” – “C.E.C.” review of “Summer Stock,” 1950

November 8, 1929:  The Ledger-Gazette newspaper out of Lancaster, California (the Gumm family’s new home) announced that “The Gumm Sisters” were in Los Angeles, rehearsing with an organization known as “The Hollywood Starlets,” run by Flynn O’Malley.  The announcement also stated that Judy’s father, Frank, was installing RCA Photophone sound equipment in his Valley Theater.

November 8, 1937:  These photos were taken while Judy was filming the MGM Christmas Trailer, Silent Night.  The short was rehearsed, recorded, and filmed November 6 through 8, 1937.  Judy was backed by the Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church Choristers of Long Beach.  The Conductor William Ripley Dorr later stated that “she told me she had sung in a church choir since she was very small and loved church music.  Note that the photos have different backgrounds and the pew looks different.  What she’s wearing is slightly different as well, so it’s unclear if these were actually taken on the same day, or if the set was dressed differently for a more holiday look (the wreath, etc. in the second pic).

The short then went unseen (and pretty much unknown) until the late 1980s when the Turner Network (TNT) began airing it on cable TV during breaks in programming,  Turner had purchased the MGM library of films which became the cornerstone of their new channel, Turner Classic Movies (TCM), which premiered several years later in 1994.

The pre-recording of Judy singing “Silent Night” was used a few years later, on November 22, 1940, as the closing song for the “Leo Is On The Air” Holiday Broadcast which was broadcast live from Santa Claus Lane (Hollywood Boulevard).  Listen to that broadcast here:

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography “Shorts” page for more info about the short subjects that Judy appeared in.

November 8, 1937 Swing Low

November 8, 1937:  It was a busy day for Judy at MGM.  Aside from finishing up her work on the short Silent Night, she also had a recording session for Everybody Sing.  She prerecorded the song “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.”  Previously the date for the recording was thought to have been October 24, 1937, but as this surviving MGM Daily Music Report shows, it was actually recorded on November 8, 1937.

The surviving prerecording has never been released but here, for everyone to enjoy, is “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” without that dialog.  This version is a combination of the film soundtrack and a rare MGM promotional disc that was sent by the studio to radio stations as part of the film’s promotional campaign.  Many times these promotional records featured dialog and song clips that did not appear in the final edit of the films they were promoting.

Thanks to John Haley’s new remastering of the recording, we’re now able to appreciate this vocal by 15-year-old Judy Garland for what it is:  A charmer – and sounding better than ever!

November 8, 1938 If I Only Had A Heart Haley

November 8, 1938:  New Tin Man for The Wizard of Oz, Jack Haley, prerecorded “If I Only Had A Heart.”  Takes 21 & 22 are below.  Note that the vocal “Where for art thou, Romeo?,” as performed by Adriana Caselotti, was provided during the November 30 session when original Tin Man Buddy Ebsen recorded his vocals.  Caselotti’s vocal from that session was spliced into the final edit of this day’s recording.  Judy was not a part of this recording session but it’s included here due to the fact that it’s, well, The Wizard of Oz.

Take 21:

Take 22:

Check out The Judy Room’s Spotlight on The Wizard of Oz here.

November 8, 1939:  Babes in Arms.

More details and images of all of Judy’s activities during that golden year of 1939 can be found on The Judy Room’s Garland Biography 1939 Page.

November 8, 1939:  Hedda Hopper reported that after screenings of the Deanna Durbin film First Love (mistakenly called First Kiss by Hopper), the theater played Judy’s version of “Over the Rainbow” in the lobby, meaning that patrons left a Garland song in their ears, not a Durbin one.

More details and images of all of Judy’s activities during that golden year of 1939 can be found on The Judy Room’s Garland Biography 1939 Page.

November 8, 1944:  Judy’s Decca album of songs from Meet Me In St. Louis is delightful.

Check out The Judy Garland Online Discography’s page featuring the Decca album here.

November 8, 1944:  Filming on The Clock continued with scenes shot on the “Interior Lunch Room” set.  Time called: 10 a.m.; dismissed: 6:05 p.m.

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Pages on The Clock here.

Note:  The first 2:18 minutes of the video above are silent.  The dialog and background scoring would have been dubbed in later.

November 8, 1945:  Judy’s last day of filming/work on Till The Clouds Roll By consisted of the ultimately deleted “D’Ya Love Me?” number which was filmed on the “Interior Stage – Circus” set and was intended to be part of the sequence that features both “Sunny” and “Who?”  Time called: 10 a.m.; Judy arrived at 10:30 a.m.; dismissed at 6:40 p.m.

This was Judy’s last work at MGM prior to going on maternity leave for the next year to give birth to daughter Liza Minnelli.  Judy’s songs/sequences for “Clouds” cost $467,305 which was 20% of the film’s total cost of $2,841,608.  It grossed over $6,724,000 on its initial release on January 3, 1947.

The Jerome Kern score was so popular that the newly formed MGM Records chose it as their first album to be released, and was the first “soundtrack album” (of songs as recorded for the film and not studio versions made later) ever released.  Previously RCA had released a few songs from Disney’s “Snow White” but that release was not an actual soundtrack album as it was a sampler.  This MGM Records release ushered in a new era in soundtrack albums.  The label released soundtrack albums for all of Judy’s subsequent MGM films.

Check out The Judy Room’s Spotlight on Till The Clouds Roll By here.

Check out The Judy Garland Online Discography’s Till The Clouds Roll By soundtrack pages here.

Ragtime Violin

November 8, 1947:  Judy had rehearsals of “A Couple of Swells,” and “Ragtime Violin” for Easter Parade.  Time called: 10:00 a.m.; dismissed: 3:00 p.m.

Check out The Judy Room’s Spotlight on Easter Parade here.

November 8, 1948:  Judy sat for an extensive session with photographer Virgil Apger at MGM’s famous portrait studio.  Gorgeous!

November 8, 1948:  This ad, promoting several MGM films including Words and Music, appeared in the trade publication “Film Daily.”


November 9, 1949:  This article appeared in some overseas papers (and probably in the U.S. as well).  It’s another example of the obsession of the press over Judy’s weight.

Judy must reduce

LOSE 8lb – or £75,000

NEW YORK, November 8 (Special)

Red-haired star, Judy Garland, has been given one more chance to lose 8lb in weight. The alternative is the loss of her salary, which last year topped £75,000.

A month ago, when she took wardrobe tests for her new Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film, “Summer Stock,” she was ordered to reduce or face suspension. A studio spokesman said this week: “She hasn’t taken off a pound.”

For similar reasons 25-year-old Judy, once frail and fawn-line, lost her role in M.G.M.’s “Annie Get Your Gun” last May in favour of slender Betty Hutton.

Said Louella Parsons, Hollywood’s dowager queen, sadly: “Surely she must know if she’s taken out of ‘Summer Stock’ it will be a long time before she is given another assignment.

November 8, 1950:  Summer Stock opened in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Pages on Summer Stock here.


November 8, 1956:  This photo was taken of Judy with Tony Curtis and Yul Brenner (and husband Sid Luft in the foreground) enjoying a night out at El Morocco in New York.  The restaurant was a favorite of the Lufts in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Check out The Judy Room’s “Judy Garland – The Concert Years” here.

November 8, 1959:  Judy attended the Friar’s Roast of Dean Martin in Los Angeles, California.  Apparently, Judy did not perform.

Check out The Judy Room’s “Judy Garland – The Concert Years” here.


November 8, 1959:  The “Downbeat” column of The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Capitol Records was “wagering two L.P.s” that Judy would visit Australia.  She did, but not for a few years.

Check out The Judy Garland Online Discography’s “Capitol Records” pages for details about all of Judy’s Capitol recordings.

Check out The Judy Room’s “Judy Garland – The Concert Years” here.


November 8, 1960:  Judy was in-between concerts in London, part of her big European tour that took her to Paris, Amsterdam, Wiesbaden (a “Koncert for Kennedy”), and all over England.

She was scheduled to appear at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester, England, that previous Saturday (the 5th) but canceled because daughter Lorna had to have her appendix removed plus Judy, husband Sid Luft, and “two house guests” came down with food poisoning.  On this day (November 8) she was probably resting, not having another concert until November 15th in Leister, England.

Check out The Judy Room’s “Judy Garland – The Concert Years” here.

November 8, 1962:  Chevrolet was aggressively advertising this compilation album created especially for their dealerships.  Check out The Judy Garland Online Discography’s “Go With The Greats” page here.

The record was produced by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, for the Chevrolet car company.  The tracks came from various labels, such as Columbia, Verve, Roulette, RCA Victor, Everest, Kapp, and Capitol.  Judy’s track is her May 19, 1958, Capitol recording of “Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart”, originally released on the “Judy In Love” album.

Listen to “Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart” here:

A special note is included just below the tracklisting on the backside of the album reads: “The above sequencing of selections has been established to provide the best possible pacing of this varied musical fare.”

Check out The Judy Room’s “Judy Garland – The Concert Years” here.

November 8, 1963:   Videotaping of both the dress rehearsal (from 5:30 to 7 p.m.), and the final performance (from 9 – 10:30 p.m.) of “Episode Thirteen” of “The Judy Garland Show” at CBS Television City, Stage 43, Hollywood, CA.

Judy’s guests were Peggy Lee and Jack Carter.  Judy’s songs: “It’s A Good Day” (the audio was recorded on November 7th for Judy to lip-synch to); “Never Will I Marry” (also prerecorded on the 7th); “I Love Bein’ Here With You” (with Peggy Lee; this incorporated quick bits of other songs); a “Broadway” medley with Jack Carter; “I Like Men” medley with Lee; “How About Me?” and “When You’re Smiling” followed by the closer “Maybe I’ll Come Back.”  Additionally, the final “Tea For Two” segment with Carl Reiner that was taped with “Episode Twelve” on November 1 was included in the broadcast.

The show was broadcast on December 1, 1963.

Check out The Judy Room’s “Judy Garland – The Concert Years” here.

November 8, 1964:  After a four-hour afternoon orchestra/rehearsal call, which had Judy singing from 2:30 to after 6 p.m., Judy and her daughter Liza Minnelli gave their first concert at the London Palladium, “Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli at the London Palladium.”

The show featured 50 songs, with 15 of those being Garland solos including: “Once In A Lifetime”; “Maggie May”; “As Long As He Needs Me”; “Just In Time”; “It’s Yourself”; “Smile”; “Never Will I Marry”; “What Now, My Love?”; “The Music That Makes Me Dance”; “Joey, Joey, Joey”; “Make Someone Happy”; “The Man That Got Away’; “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby”; “San Franciso”; and “Over The Rainbow.”  Judy and Liza had over 20 duets including two medleys from Judy’s recent TV series that she had performed with Barbra Streisand.

The concert was a smash hit and was recorded by Capitol Records as was the second concert on November 15th.  The following files represent as complete as we can get (thus far) of the recording, plus extras:

Act 1 (zip file)
Act 2 (zip file)
Extras (Includes rehearsals, radio interview, & new remasters) (zip file)

Here are The Judy Garland Online Discography’s Pages on “Judy and Liza at the Palladium” including a link to Lawrence Schulman’s excellent article about the 2-LP set, its reissues, and the drama surrounding efforts to get a complete version – or nearly complete – released publicly.

Check out The Judy Room’s “Judy Garland – The Concert Years” here.

November 8, 1965:  More articles about Princess Anne’s visit to the U.S. and meeting Judy among others.

Check out The Judy Room’s “Judy Garland – The Concert Years” here.

November 8, 1998:  An article about The Wizard of Oz which had just been re-released in theatres nationwide for the first time in decades.  Unfortunately, columnist Bob Thomas used the outdated book by Aljean Harmeatz and its many, many mistakes, as his source.  The result was the further perpetuation of the incorrect legends and half-truths about the film.

November 8, 2005:  Warner Home Video released the DVD boxed set of holiday films titled “Classic Holiday Collection.”  Included in the set is Judy’s 1937 short, Silent Night (noted in the 1937 entry above).  The set was repackaged and re-released with new cover art in 2008.


  1. Wow!! A great offering, as usual. So much to comment on. First, it is classy of you to include Haley’s pre-recordings, even though Judy isn’t part of it. Same thing with showing stills from Liza. We tend to forget how fresh, talented, and lovely she was, too, in her youth (great legs, and I’ve always liked that period when she had long hair. It was cute).

    Silent Night: To me, this is not a very effective piece of film or recording. Streisand’s “Silent Night” (from her ’67 Xmas album is one of the very, very few times she’s topped Garland. Just my opinion).

    Till the Clouds Roll By Soundtrack: I’m sure you’ve noticed that Garland’s album version is (mostly) a different take than the one used in the film. It is far superior vocally, although both are haunting.

    1948 portrait sitting: I agree, gorgeous! I loved Judy at this period, when shooting “Summertime.” She looked so healthy and lovely. I also adore her hair. These photos, really, mark the last time she was photographed in her “1940’s” glamour. By the following year’s “Annie” and “Summer Stock”, her ’50’s look (variable at best) took over. What a fascinating star!


    1. Thanks! Some days are more eventful than others.

      I’m glad you like the Haley recordings. They’re great not just because they’re Oz-related, but we also get to hear the two takes without the “Where for art thou, Romeo?” vocal, which I find interesting.

      I like her rendition of “Silent Night” but it’s so short it leaves me wanting more. Just another reason why we have always lamented that Judy never made a holiday album. Just think how it would have sounded with her 1960 voice!

      On the “Clouds” soundtrack, I assume you mean “Look For The Silver Lining” which is definitely a different take although she sings it almost identically. Only one pre-recording of that song survives which is not what’s used in the film. Both are lovely.


  2. The later MGM photo session always gives me pause. As she herself said – she’s smiling but the eyes are not.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.