“From start to finish, the show is a carefully engineered exercise in mass hysteria.” – Unnamed psychiatrist dispatched to analyze Judy’s concert at the O’Keefe Centre in Toronto, 1961
December 5, 1927: The second of a two-day engagement for Judy and her sisters, as “The Gumm Sisters,” at their father’s theater, the Valley Theater, in Lancaster, California.
December 5, 1936: The trade magazine “Motion Picture Herald” had a regular feature titled “What The Picture Did For Me” that featured feedback from theater owners around the country as to how films performed in their local markets. In this issue, Pigskin Parade is mentioned. D.E. Fitton, theater manager of the Lyric theater in Harrison, Arkansas, noted, “Here’s a picture made to order for the small town. Little Judy Garland has a great future, I predict.” How right he was!
December 5, 1939: Judy’s weekly appearance on “The Pepsodent Show Starring Bob Hope” broadcast out of Hollywood by NBC Radio. According to the papers, Judy was scheduled to sing “I Used To Love You But It’s All Over Now” with “special lyrics referring to Hope’s pseudo-romance with Madeleine Carroll.” No recording of this show is known to exist so Judy’s musical ribbing of Hope is lost to history.
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 Centennial 1939 Page.
December 5, 1942: Judy recently took a break from filming Girl Crazy to visit Republic Studios as noted by this blurb in the “Showmen’s Trade Review” trade paper, published on this date. It’s unclear why Judy was at the “poverty row” studio. She visited the set of Hit Parade of 1943 co-starring John Carroll and Susan Hayward. 25 years later Hayward replaced Judy as “Helen Lawson” in Valley of the Dolls.
At MGM on this date, Judy had rehearsals and tests for Girl Crazy that began at 10 am and ended at noon, at which point she probably went over to Republic.
From that same “Showmen’s Trade Review” is the above two-page MGM promotional spread which includes a paragraph about how For Me And My Gal topped Mrs. Miniver in its first 19 cities.
December 5, 1943: The Fall of 1943 was a good season for Judy’s film career. Presenting Lily Mars was still playing around the country, Girl Crazy was opening, and soon to open was Thousands Cheer in which she had a notable guest spot.
At MGM, Judy was in the middle of filming Meet Me In St. Louis. She had just prerecorded “The Boy Next Door” and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” the day before, and in the next few days, she filmed the exterior scenes for “The Trolley Song” sequence on MGM’s Backlot #2.
December 5, 1943: This article about Deanna Durbin naturally linked her to Judy and included a photo of the two with Buddy Ebsen from 1936.
December 5, 1946: Judy’s mother, Ethel, called MGM to tell them her daughter was ill and couldn’t work this day. Judy had just returned (December 2) to MGM beginning work on The Pirate, her return to films after taking over a year off for her pregnancy with daughter Liza Minnelli. Judy didn’t return to MGM until December 12th at which time she had wardrobe tests.
December 5, 1946: The world premiere of Till The Clouds Roll By took place at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. This ad was in the “New York Daily News.” Although Judy has a guest role, she’s placed alone at the top of the Christmas tree which is a clear indication of her incredible star status, even in MGM’s sparkling constellation of stars.
December 5, 1947: Easter Parade filming consisted of part of the “Montage Medley” with Fred Astaire, specifically the “I Love A Piano” and “Snooky Ookums” portions. This photo was taken of Judy behind the scenes.
The assistant director’s notes state: 9:50-12:00: Wait for Miss Garland; She left stage at 9:50 a.m. to see Dr. Jones. Left Dr. Jones office at 10:35 a.m. in studio car to see her own doctor; Miss Garland will call stage 5 after her doctor completes his examination; 12:00-1:00 – Lunch. Note: Miss Garland called at 12:15 p.m. to say that she would be ready to work at 1:15 p.m.; 1:00-1:44 – Wait for Miss Garland; on stage at 1:23 – ready to work: 1:44 p.m. Dismissed: 5:45 p.m.
Photo provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim!
December 5, 1961: Judy was in concert for the second night at The O’Keefe Center in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It was another Standing Room Only show (the first, on December 3, was SRO as well).
The article above notes how Toronto’s “Telegram” newspaper dispatched a psychiatrist to the concert to determine just why Judy’s audiences acted the way they did with the focus on the phenomenon of Judy’s audience rushing the stage at the concert’s end. The results are fascinating and more than a little bit amusing.
December 5, 1965: Two articles about Judy’s upcoming concert at the Astrodome in Houston, Texas. Judy was the first performer to play the recently completed domed multi-event complex (it opened in April 1965). Tickets ranged in price from $1 to $7.50. The Supremes (not yet billed as “Diana Ross and the Supremes”) were Judy’s opening act.
December 5, 1968: John Meyer confirmed three New York City-based television talk shows for Judy: Dick Cavett, Johnny Carson, and Merv Griffin. Judy also spoke with her long-time conductor Mort Lindsey (from 1961 to 1966), calling him at his Long Island, New York home to tell him she’d be taping Merve’s show (for which he was the musical director) on December 19, and that he had to do the arrangement of “I’d Like To Hate Myself In The Morning” for her. Later that afternoon, Harold Davidson, the London booking agent they had spoken to on Sunday, November 24, called: It had taken him only a week and a half to arrange and confirm Judy’s bookings. She was all set to open on December 30, at the Talk of the Town nightclub in London’s Leicester Square, at 2,500 pounds per week, which translated into $7,000 a week for four weeks. Davidson was mailing the contract that night to Judy, and also arranged rooms at the Ritz hotel. later that evening, Judy, John, and their friends Annie and Marvin were playing the piano and singing. When it got to be 12:0 a.m., Judy’s downstairs neighbor called the police again, who came and knocked on Judy’s door. The officers were, of course, no match for Judy Garland, who practically had them in tears when she sang “Over The Rainbow” for them.
December 5, 1993: Here is another article about the release of the deluxe laserdisc and VHS boxed sets “The Ultimate Oz.”
Check out The Judy Room’s “Ultimate Oz” page here, which features extensive details about the set.