“Without a doubt, Judy Garland ranks as one of the top artists in show business. Her fans are legion.” – Phil Sheridan, 1958
November 12, 1938: Here’s a fun article with a most unusual Garland caricature. Allegedly written by Mark Hellinger and obviously fed by the MGM Studio Publicity Department.
She made her first stage appearance at the age of two.
Her mother makes her wear gingham nighties.
Her favorite musical number is Gounod’s “Ave Maria.”
She is allergic to roses.
The lady’s name is Judy Garland. Her real name is Frances Gumm. That’s why she took a different name . . . She has been in vaudeville most of her life. The only time she appeared in vaudeville in New York was after she had become a movie star in Hollywood . . . Judy is extremely fond of flowers. She is allergic to roses . . . She is registered at Los Angeles high school. She has never attended a class, because she has a private tutor . . . Judy has a Pekinese and a St. Bernard, dislikes cats, isn’t afraid of mice, hates telephones, buttermilk, high-heeled shoes, filled fish, dirty hands, long automobile rides, backgammon, writing letters, and having her picture taken. She opens windows the minute she gets into a room, can stand on her head and turn cartwheels, never cries, likes to climb trees, wants to live on a farm, thinks kissing is silly, and sleeps between clean sheets every night. She likes having her hair washed, sleeping on trains, never gets tired, is a crack rifle shot, has never been on a boat, enjoys cooking, and never eats what she cooks . . . Judy has red hair. It photographs black, except in Technicolor, where it’s sort of a blushing brown . . . She considers herself quite grown up these days, and talks glibly of fancy negligees and nightgowns. Her mother makes her wear demure gingham nighties . . . she sings swing tunes with the hottest hotsy-totsies in that field. her favorite musical number is Gounod’s “Ave Maria” . . . Judy was born at two o’clock in the morning, made her first stage appearance in an amateur contest at the age of two, has two favorite boy friends, expects to marry at the age of twenty-two, and then have two beautiful, bouncing – well, let it go . . . Green is her favorite color. She generally dresses in brown . . . At the moment, she is studying Shakespeare very seriously. She reads Shakespeare every chance she gets, except on Sundays. Then she read the funny papers . . . She has been in the public eye most of her life, and crowds are always around her. She hates crowds . . . HARK H.
November 12, 1938: Here are more fun examples of MGM’s marketing Judy as the “girl next door” included the association of her name with teen fashions, including “Judy Garland dresses” and coats.
November 12, 1939: More studio fodder, this time pertaining to The Wizard of Oz and Mickey Rooney’s alleged antics trying to get onto the closed set plus the selection of the dog to play Toto. At least the story about Toto is true!
November 12, 1943: The first of two days that Judy was sick and could not work on Meet Me In St. Louis.
November 12, 1944: The “St. Louis Post Dispatch” promoted the upcoming premiere of Meet Me In St. Louis (November 22, 1944, at the Loew’s State in St. Louis) with this full-page feature plus a small blurb on another page of the paper.
November 12, 1947: Judy recorded her guest appearance on the “Philco Radio Time/The Bing Crosby Show – Thanksgiving Special” radio show on ABC-Radio
Here is the complete show, remastered:
The show aired on November 27, 1946. Bing was a pioneer in prerecording his radio shows for broadcast, no doubt to ensure quality while also giving him time on the golf course. He generally recorded the shows a few weeks in advance of the air date. Lucky for us, most of these show survive, including the shows with Judy’s appearances.
Judy sang “Liza” in honor of the recent birth of her daughter, Liza Minnelli. Judy and Bing also performed a comedy skit followed by “Wait Till The Sun Shines, Nellie.”
You can listen to “Liza” here:
Listen to “Wait Till The Sun Shines Nellie” here:
Photos: Newspaper notices from the night the show aired, November 27th.
November 12, 1947: Judy’s first prerecording session for Easter Parade. She prerecorded “Mr. Monotony” and “I Want To Go Back To Michigan.” Costar Fred Astaire also prerecorded his solo, “Drum Crazy.” Time called: 2 p.m.; dismissed: 5:55 p.m.
Listen to “Mr. Monotony” here:
Listen to “I Want To Go Back To Michigan” here:
Listen to “Drum Crazy” here:
November 12, 1948: This costume/make-up test photo was taken on the set of In The Good Old Summertime.” Photo provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim!
Also on this date, Marcia Van Dyke had a recording session, see the Daily Music Report below. Note how at this point the film was still titled “The Girl From Chicago.”
November 12, 1955: This page about A Star Is Born appeared in the UK “Picturegoer” magazine.
Scan provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim!
November 12, 1958: Here is a short review of “Judy in Love.”
November 12, 1960: This notice appeared in London’s “The Guardian” newspaper. It made note of Judy’s return to the Free Trade Hall in Manchester on December 4, 1960. The show was a rescheduling of Judy’s planned show on November 5th. That show was canceled because daughter Lorna had to have her appendix removed plus Judy, husband Sid Luft, and “two house guests” came down with food poisoning!
November 12, 1961: Here’s an article about Peter Lawford and “The Rat Pack.” Judy is, of course, mentioned.
November 12, 1962: Another development in the ongoing divorce case between Judy and husband Sid Luft. A judge had recently ruled that although Judy was setting up residence in Nevada to obtain a divorce, she was a resident of California and that if she tried to file for a Nevada divorce she would be held in contempt – because Luft had filed to have the case dismissed.
As reported on this day, the latest turn of events was Judy’s attorney, Harry Claiborne, stating that they will proceed with the divorce action (regardless of what the judge in California ruled), stating that “[Sid] Luft’s general appearance in the Nevada court subjected him to its jurisdiction and in no court in the land can he argue otherwise.”
November 12, 1963: In 1962 and 1963 MGM re-released in theaters six of its musicals as part of a series titled “World Famous Musical Hits.” The two Garland films were Till The Clouds Roll By and Words and Music. It’s odd that they didn’t re-release a Garland starring role.
November 12, 1964: Judy was out on the town in London and was photographed hugging former co-star Dirk Bogarde at the “Ad Lib Club.”
November 12, 1965: Tune in tomorrow night for Judy’s guest host appearance on “The Hollywood Palace.”
November 12, 1968: Judy’s recent trip to the hospital (November 7th) necessitated a stay for several days which oddly wasn’t mentioned in the press until now.
November 12, 1972: The Wizard of Oz had recently been re-released in theaters as part of a “Children’s Matinee” series. This was the last time the film received a nationwide theatrical release until it was restored and released in 1998.
November 12, 1984: The LP “From the Decca Vaults” was released.
The album was notable because it was the first time collectors had a chance to hear alternate takes of several of Judy’s Decca performances. Every song on the album was previously unreleased. The one exception being “I’m Just Wild About Harry,” making it’s U.S. debut here, having been previously available only in the UK in the 1940’s.
Listen to “I’m Just Wild About Harry” here:
Several of these songs and more alternate takes would be released on the MCA (Decca) 1992 CD “Judy Garland – Changing My Tune – The Best Of The Decca Years Vol Two” as well as the 1994 CD boxed set “Judy Garland – The Complete Decca Masters
Collector’s note: The alternate takes of “Friendship,” “Poor You,” and “The Last Call For Love” were unavailable on CD until the 2011 JSP Records anthology “Smilin’ Through – The Singles Collection – 1936-1947, ” which is the first-ever anthology of all of the singles Judy recorded for Decca, including all the outtakes and alternates.
Listen to “Friendship” here:
Listen to “Poor You” here:
Listen to “The Last Call For Love” here:
The version of “On The Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe” heard here is the US LP premier of the 09-10-1945 version of the song. This version was originally released in 1945 on the 78 “Cast Album”. However, when Decca began re-releasing the “Cast Album” in 1960, they mistakenly used a previously rejected 05-15-1945 version of the song that had been previously unreleased itself. See the “Complete List of Judy’s Decca Recordings” page for a better explanation.
Listen to this version of “On The Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe” here: