“She looked great and she’s still the most electrifying performer I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with.” – Louis Basil, conductor for Judy’s 1965 Sahara shows.
December 16, 1926: The final night of a six-night engagement for Judy and her sisters (as “The Gumm Sisters”) at Loew’s State Theatre in Los Angeles, California. The sisters were part of the Meglin Kiddie act which in turn performed as part of the “Twinkletoe Kiddie Revue” (as “100 Clever Children”) in conjunction with the latest Colleen Moore film, Twinkletoes.
December 16, 1931: Frances (Judy) performed at the Kiwanis Club Meeting which took place at the I.O.O.F. Hall in her family’s hometown of Lancaster, California.
December 16, 1932: Judy, as “Baby Gumm,” performed at the Fox Arlington Theater in Santa Barbara, California. It was the first of a two-night engagement.
December 15, 1937: The third of four installments in the story of Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry as published in “The Boston Globe.” Also included is a review of the film as published in Shamokin, Pennsylvania.
December 16, 1939: Judy appeared on the “Arrow Head Springs Hotel Opening Broadcast” show on CBS Radio, broadcast from Palm Springs, California. Judy sang “Comes Love” at the show’s conclusion.
Listen to “Comes Love” here:
The performance was originally released on the 1993 CD “All The Things You Are: Judy Garland On Radio, 1936-1944” and then finally remastered and released on the 2015 CD “Judy Garland – The Best of Lost Tracks 1929-1959.”
December 16, 1939: The “Vancouver Sun” film critic really loved The Wizard of Oz, stating: “This fascinating fantasy has not been turned into something unrecognizable by Hollywood. Everything is there, and what changes have been made in transferring the fairy tale to the screen make it more real. It is no longer just a fantasy. It is entertainment with an appeal to both children and adults.”
December 16, 1939: The “Motion Picture Herald” featured this wonderful local theater display promoting the run of The Wizard of Oz.
December 16, 1939: Columnist Harrison Carroll reported on Judy’s recent visit with a young girl in the hospital. Judy and her sister, Sue, had visited the girl in early December (see the article on the right published on December 4).
December 16, 1943: Judy was sick and thus did not work on Meet Me In St. Louis which was currently in production.
December 16, 1944: MGM placed this four-page ad in the “Motion Picture Herald” touting the current success of Meet Me In St. Louis. Below is a short blurb from the same publication, noting that the film is a great example of expert storytelling that doesn’t need “the vast causes, the epics” to be a success.
December 16, 1947: Judy had a rehearsal of the newly revised “Mack the Black” for The Pirate. Filming on the number began the next day.
December 16, 1949: Here is another ad for MGM Records including the soundtrack to Words and Music (1948).
December 16, 1953: Filming on A Star Is Born continued with more scenes shot on the “Interior Coconut Grove” set which was the pivotal “Academy Awards” segment of the film. Time started: 10 a.m.; finished: 5:40 p.m.
December 16, 1958: Judy, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Alan King performed at the Democratic Victory Party held at the Beverly Hills Hilton.
December 16, 1961: TV viewers in the greater New York City area were treated to a broadcast of For Me And My Gal, and this great artwork. Luckily it was being broadcast at 11 p.m. on a Friday night, meaning Garland fans didn’t need to call in sick to work to watch it (as often happened in those pre-home-media years).
December 16, 1961: Here is footage of Judy arriving in Rome, Italy, for a short vacation before returning home to the U.S. to spend the holidays with her husband Sid Luft and the rest of her family. Judy had just been in Berlin, Germany, for the opening of her latest film, Judgment at Nuremberg.
December 16, 1962: The annual broadcast of The Wizard of Oz took place on December 9 in the continental U.S. but not until a week later (December 16) in Hawaii. This was most likely due to the fact that live broadcasts from the mainland were not yet common. The first satellite TV system had only just begun that previous July although the first commercial satellite wasn’t launched until 1965.
December 16, 1966: Columnist Sheilah Graham reported on Judy’s financial woes and the fact that she would have to sell her home to pay back taxes.
December 16, 1967: Here are notices for the first time that I Could Go On Singing was broadcast nationwide in the U.S. which took place Thursday, December 21st when CBS showcased the film as their “Thursday Night Movie” broadcast in primetime.
December 16, 1968: Capitol Records had a series of “Deluxe Sets” that featured star-driven compilations, and of course Judy was a part of the lineup.
December 16, 1968: ABC-TV aired “The Dick Cavett Show” which was taped in color at the ABC-TV studios in New York City on December 13th.
Photos: Judy on the set and with her fans on the way into the taping.
Sadly, all that exists of her appearance is a poor quality black and white copy:
In November 2021, the owners of the Dick Cavett Show released this updated audio accompanied by color photos that might be screenshots which makes us all wonder if a good video copy of the show does exist?
December 16, 1999: The recent release from Rhino Records, “The Lion’s Roar – Classic M-G-M Film Scores 1935-1965,” was mentioned in John Hartl’s column for “The Seattle Times.” Included in the set was the premiere release of some of the stereo underscoring of The Wizard of Oz. Also premiering was the “Main Title/End Title” music to The Clock which is the only time any music from the film has been included on a legitimate CD release.
Listen to “The Wizard of Oz Suite” (Main Title/Crystal Gazing/Munchkinland/Poppies/The Spell) here (all stereo):
Listen to “Main Title/End Title” from The Clock here: