“Is there anyone who can listen to Judy Garland singing The Man That Got Away, without feeling a chill up the spine?” – Margaret Hinxman, 1983
December 2, 1927: “The Gumm Sisters” performed at their father’s theater, The Valley Theater, in Lancaster, California. Frances (Judy) sang solos in the show (the “Kinky Kid Parade”) which included her impression of Al Jolson singing “Mammy” while in blackface.
December 2, 1938: Singing, Swinging Judy!
December 2, 1939: Good News was still news for Judy and Mickey Rooney. The trade magazine, the “Independent Film Exhibitors Bulletin,” in their section titled “Production Section – Studio Size-Ups, ” listed the various upcoming films on studio schedules. Judy’s name pops up a lot in mid-1939 then later, obviously the studio was getting her name out there. Her name was also listed for films that had been released and a few reviews.
The text reads:
December 2, 1939: “Good News” was still news: Paul Whiteman and his band may appear in “Good News”, the next Mickey Rooney-Judy Garland starring vehicle.
Producer Arthur Freed had wanted to remake “Good News” (it had originally been filmed in 1930) as a vehicle for Judy and Mickey after their huge success with “Babes in Arms.” Instead, and allegedly at the urging of MGM studio head Louis B. Mayer, he went with the more patriotic “Strike Up The Band.” Over the years “Good News” was in and out of the newspaper columns as a Garland/Rooney project until it was obvious that both stars had outgrown the “kids pictures.” The project finally made it to the screen in 1947 with June Allyson and Peter Lawford in the lead roles.
Note that one of the notices shown here mentions a new Arthur Freed song titled “Our Love” that was to be in “Good News.” That might be a reference to what became known as “Our Love Affair” which was performed in “Strike Up The Band” by Judy and Mickey and became a standard.
Pics: Notices, plus a window card for the 1930 film version of the show.
December 2, 1939: This article appeared in the Australian Women’s Weekly “Movie World” section, featuring these great color photos. The article, about fantasy characters in films, mentions not just The Wizard of Oz but also Fox’s The Blue Bird production and a proposed biopic of Hans Christian Andersen starring Gary Cooper. That wouldn’t be made until years later, with Danny Kaye in the title role.
“Oz” related text reads:
That juvenile queen of swing and song Judy Garland, lately put a blue bow on her hair and widened her eyes to wander through the gorgeous technicolor fantasy of “The Wizard of Oz.”
Judy and Frank Morgan are the only “ordinary” people in this Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer picture which has completely captivated America. It comes from a story by Frank Baum, which has been read by millions of children within the United States and overseas.
As a little girl from Kansas who is swept away on a whirlwind, Judy meets all kinds of odd people in the land of Oz. Peep beneath the super make-up and you will find that the Fairy Queen is Billie Burke; that the Cowardly Lion is comedian Bert Lahr; that the Tin Woodman is Jack Haley; and that the Scarecrow is Ray Bolger.
Producer Mervyn Le Roy, who was jeered at while the picture was in production, and is now being applauded by all, explains just why he made his studio spend nearly 1,000,000 on a musical extravaganza.
The screen has become so fascinated by the fairy tale that it has already snubbed Snow White herself!
November 2, 1942: Here are cute photos of Judy that were run promoting For Me And My Gal, along with the usual ads and promotional photos.
Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Pages on For Me And My Gal here.
December 2, 1942: Judy had more rehearsals for Girl Crazy. Time called: 10 a.m.; dismissed: 4:45 p.m. These rehearsals were most likely for the “I Got Rhythm” number.
Photo provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim!
December 2, 1943: Recording session for Meet Me In St. Louis. Judy pre-recorded one of her greatest songs: “The Trolley Song.” She completed a perfect take with the first recording after only one rehearsal. She then completed an additional take “for insurance” and that is the one that is used in the film. Afterward, and probably since they had some extra time, Judy rehearsed “Skip To My Lou” with the MGM Studio Chorus.
Listen to Take 2 “The Trolley Song” here:
Below is a news blurb about the beginning of production on the film.
December 2, 1944: MGM placed this multi-page ad in most of the trade magazines and papers. On this date, it ran in the “Motion Picture Daily.”
December 2, 1943: This four-page spread advertising Thousands Cheer appeared in the “Film Daily” trade magazine.
December 2, 1943: Girl Crazy was being held over in many theaters around the country. Here’s an example.
December 2, 1944, & 1945: A news blurb about the casting of The Harvey Girls. Popular MGM star Ann Sothern was named. It’s possible she was in the running for the role of “Em” that was played by Angela Lansbury. Also included here is an ad for the film.
December 2, 1946: Judy returned to MGM for her first day of work at the studio after taking time off to give birth to daughter Liza Minnelli. She had originally been due back on November 6th but was unable to make it due to illness. This first day was relatively easy and short, consisting of wardrobe tests and rehearsals for The Pirate (see the photo below).
This evening was the live broadcast of the radio version of Meet Me In St. Louis for the Lux Radio Theater show on CBS Radio. Judy was joined by Margaret O’Brien and Tom Drake, all three recreating their roles from the 1944 film.
Listen to, and download, the broadcast here:
Details of the broadcast are as follows:
Producer: William Keightley
Director: Fred MacKaye
Announcer: John Milton Kennedy
Music conducted by: Louis Silvers
Starring: Judy Garland, Tom Drake, Margaret O’Brien, Gale Gordon
Host: William Keightley
Sound Effects: Max Uhlig, David Light, Walter Pierson, Charlie Forsyth
Sponsored by: Lever Brothers – Lux Toilet Soap
Sponsor Pitch person: Doris Singleton as Libby Collins in Lux commercials
“Meet Me In St. Louis”
“The Boy Next Door”
“Skip To My Lou”
“Under The Bamboo Tree”
“Over The Bannister”
“The Trolley Song”,
“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”
December 2, 1946: Decca Records released “There Is No Breeze” and “Don’t Tell Me That Story” on Decca Single #23746 with “Breeze” on the “A” side.
The two songs were recorded by Judy on October 1, 1946, in a session that lasted from 8 to 10:30 p.m. It was the next-to-last recording session for Judy with Decca Records. She had one more on November 15, 1947, at which time she recorded “Nothing But You”, “I Wish I Were In Love Again”, and “Falling In Love With Love.”
Listen to “There Is No Breeze” here:
Listen to “Don’t Tell Me That Story” here:
Listen to the alternate take of “Don’t Tell Me That Story” here:
Record photos from the Rick Smith Collection. Thanks, Rick!
Check out The Judy Garland Online Discography’s Decca Records Section for all things pertaining to Judy’s prolific work for the label.
December 2, 1947: Judy had music rehearsals for the “Mack the Black” number for The Pirate, the second revised version that replaced the deleted “Voodoo” number. Time called: 11 a.m.; Judy arrived at 11:40 a.m.; dismissed: 3:40 p.m.
December 2, 1950: Judy recorded her third appearance on “The Bing Crosby Show.” The show aired on December 6th, which was a fast turnaround for Crosby’s shows. He usually pre-recorded them a week or two in advance. Judy and Bing’s duet on “Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer” is a fan favorite.
Listen to “Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer” here:
Listen to the entire show here:
December 2, 1953: The A Star Is Born production company went on location to Piru, California to film the scenes in which Jack Carson’s “Libby” character catches Judy and James Mason’s “Vicki and Norman” after getting married on the sly rather than have a big, public wedding set up by the studio. Libby is not amused.
Photos provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim!
December 2, 1955: Be sure to get your copy of “Miss Show Business” on Capitol Records!
December 2, 1962: Judy taped an appearance on “The Jack Paar Program” at the NBC-TV studios at Rockefeller Center in New York City. The show aired on December 7th and has become one of Judy’s most famous television appearances. Appearing with Judy was Robert Goulet, her co-star in the recently released animated musical Gay Purr-ee.
Judy’s appearance was so successful that it led to the biggest deal of her career, which would be signed at the end of the month, her contract with CBS for her series, “The Judy Garland Show.”
Photos: Snapshots of Judy taken after the taping; photos of Judy, Goulet, and Paar.
December 2, 1963: The first of four days of rehearsals for the next “Judy Garland Show” (“Episode Fifteen” aka “The Christmas Show”) at CBS Television City in Los Angeles. The dress rehearsal and videotaping took place on December 6. Judy’s guests were Mel Torme, Jack Jones, and her three children, Liza Minnelli and Lorna and Joe Luft. The screenshot above of Torme, Judy, & Jones, is from the final aired version of the show, taped on December 6.
December 2, 1966: Judy’s lawyers announced that she would seek an annulment of her fourth marriage (to Mark Herron) on the grounds that the marriage was never consummated.
December 2, 1968: After setting Judy’s new recording contract with his attorney, John Meyer caught the 5:30 flight from New York City to Boston. After a brief, intimate reunion between Judy and John, in Judy’s hospital room, they joined their friend Annie (who was making new orchestrations for Judy) in singing Christmas carols to some of the patients in Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, including “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman,” which Judy started. There is also a receipt from this day for Lord & Taylor in Boston in the amount of $15.97. Meyer picked up the items which included a new hat.
December 2, 1983: This article was published in “The Daily Mail” in the UK. A Star Is Born had just been restored and re-released to universal acclaim. It was the first time a major restoration had been done on a major film and re-released. The premiere of the “new” film took place at New York’s Radio City Music Hall that July 7th.