“Thunderous applause and cries of ‘Judy’ greeted the star as she appeared alone … When she forgot the words to her third number she asked ‘Isn’t this disastrous?’ But the audience didn’t think so. ‘This’ll give people something to write about,’ she said and a cheer went up.” – New York Times Service, 1964
Born on this day were two people who were the closest of friends (and colleagues) to Judy, the amazing Roger Edens and Kay Thompson.
Roger Edens (November 9, 1905 – July 13, 1970), was one of the few people who were a part of Judy’s life for decades. He played piano for her audition with MGM in 1935 and went on to be her musical mentor throughout her MGM career and afterward. He was always there to help her out long after she had departed the studio.
He devised the “Dear Mr. Gable” part for “You Made Me Love You” which was Judy’s first “identifier song” and helped catapult her to international fame. One can never underestimate his influence and taste. Judy brought the raw talent, he added some polish.
Note: Edens was co-winner of the Oscar for “Best Score” three years in a row (and was nominated an additional two other times for scoring as well as two nominations for “Best Song”):
1948: Easter Parade (with Johnny Green)
1949: On the Town (with Lennie Hayton)
1950: Annie Get Your Gun (with Adolph Deutsch)
Kay Thompson (November 9, 1909 – July 2, 1998). Kay was the closest female friend Judy ever had. She was instrumental in helping shape Judy’s late 1940s voice and style, and later concert style. She’s responsible for some of the best MGM vocal arrangements in their mid-to-late 1940s musicals. She was brilliant!
Kay was a great performer in her own right, most known for her nightclub act (introducing Andy Williams to the world); the 1957 film Funny Face; she was the author of the “Eloise” books. She was godmother to Judy’s daughter, Liza Minnelli, and a mentor to her, too. Kay lived her last years with Liza in Liza’s New York apartment.
November 9, 1934: The last engagement for Judy and her sisters as “The Gumm Sisters.” Going forward they would be billed as “The Garland Sisters.” On this day they opened a week-long engagement at the Strand Theater in Long Beach, California. The sisters were billed as “The Gumm Sisters direct from Grauman’s Chinese.” The is the same theater where a year before Judy had appeared as “Gracie Gumm.”
November 9, 1938: Judy, Ray Bolger, and Jack Haley continued filming the scenes for The Wizard of Oz on the “Apple Orchard” set. This set still was taken on this day.
The first two photos above were provided by Harper Collins Publishers. The Wizard of Oz: The Official 75th Anniversary Companion by William Stillman and Jay Scarfone. Published by Harper Design, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers; © 2013 by Author. Authors’ credit: Scarfone/Stillman Collection
November 9, 1939: MGM placed this two-page ad in the “Film Daily” trade magazine. Babes in Arms is one of the promoted films.
November 9, 1940: The trade magazine “Motion Picture Herald” had a regular feature showcasing various film promotions around the country, to give local theaters some press and to give others ideas for displays and promotions. In this issue, a local music store ran a promotion for Strike Up The Band that included cutouts of Judy, Mickey, and Paul Whiteman. Meanwhile, in Houston, Texas, the local Loew’s theater featured a display of MGM stars and their latest films.
November 9, 1941: Judy and Mickey Rooney recreated their Babes In Arms roles for the CBS Radio “Screen Guild Theater” adaptation of the film.
Listen to the entire show here:
November 9, 1942: Judy posed for these gorgeous promotional photos, shot by MGM’s now-legendary photographer Clarence Bull. These and several other shots of Judy in this costume were used for promoting Presenting Lily Mars.
The photos spotlight Judy in what became the costume she wore in the revised finale for the Presenting Lily Mars., pre-recorded and shot that following March 1943. On March 9, 1943, more studio portraits were taken of Judy in this costume, with a different hairdo (mirroring her hair as featured in the new finale), and a different backdrop.
November 9, 1943: This photo was taken of Judy in costume for Meet Me In St. Louis, part of several days of costume tests. Judy had recently begun early work on the film, including prerecording “Boys And Girls Like You And Me” on November 3rd.
November 9, 1944: Filming on The Clock continued with more scenes shot on the “Interior Lunch Room” and “Interior Milk Truck” sets. Judy arrived at 9 a.m and was on the set (from makeup) ready at 10:30 a.m., for a 10 a.m. call. Dismissed: 5:50 p.m.
November 9, 1948: The second to two days Judy spent in the portrait gallery at MGM.
November 9, 1951: Here is another re-telling of the legend of how Judy got her stage name of “Garland” from George Jessel.
November 9, 1952: A very pregnant Judy was photographed at a recent party/fundraiser given by Marion Davies. Judy gave birth to her second child, Lorna Luft, on November 21st.
November 9, 1953: Two articles about Judy’s return to films. A Star Is Born had recently begun filming and naturally, it was news. The implication in the second article is that Cary Grant was “replaced” by James Mason when in fact Grant was considered for the role but declined and thus didn’t being production so he wasn’t “replaced.”
This day was also the first of four days that Judy was out sick from the production.
November 9, 1954: Here is another local review in which the critic mentions that A Star Is Born is over 3 hours in length. Apparently, the uncut version was shown more than previously thought before Warner Bros. replaced the prints with the shorter version.
Included is an ad for Lux Soap which was a tie-in for the film.
November 9, 1962: Judy attended the world premiere of her only animated voice-over role, the film Gay Purr-ee in Chicago. After the premiere, Judy had dinner at the Pump Room at the Ambassador East Hotel (I have always liked the fact that Judy would frequent the club that she sang about in the song “Chicago”), which is where she was staying. At 12:30 a.m., Judy left to attend Eddie Fisher’s opening at the Villa Venice in suburban North-Brook. She sang with Fisher at a party after his show, then returned to her hotel, with Fisher, at 3:45 a.m.
November 9, 1963: “Judy at Carnegie Hall” and “Judy” were part of the Capitol Record Club. These subscription clubs were popular for decades and quite a few fans were able to get great deals on records. The most recent version is the Disney Movie Club which operates in the same way, although with DVDs and Blu-rays.
November 9, 1963: Two articles about Judy’s TV series. The first reported on Jerry Van Dyke’s recent departure from the show. The second tells the untrue story of a “feud” between Judy and June Allyson. The story goes back to their MGM years when the studio allegedly would threaten each the other if they didn’t tow the studio line. That most likely did happen since MGM wasn’t above such tactics, but Judy and June had been friends for years. There really was no “feud” between them.
On this day, the production of “The Judy Garland Show” went on a one-week break so the new team could be assembled. The team began work on the preproduction of the next episode on November 18th.
November 9, 1964: Judy and Liza at the London Palladium were a big hit! Also at this time, columnists reported that Liza was Broadway-bound in a musical version of the Audrey Hepburn film Roman Holiday.
Also, as seen in the clippings above which hit the papers on November 10th, on this day (November 9th), a California judge ruled that Judy must return to the U.S. to make a deposition in Mel Torme’s $22,500 suit against her. Judy’s lawyers requested that she be allowed to answer questions in London but that was denied. Torme claimed that Judy owed him $9,000 for arrangements he made for her TV series and $13,500 for guest appearances.