On This Day In Judy Garland’s Life And Career – December 18

Posted by

“An older man is more understanding that a young man, who usually wants a kid too much.” – Quote attributed to Judy Garland in 1940.   


December 18, 1935:  Judy performed at the Elks Movie Star Benefit at the Fox Rosemary Theater in Ocean Park, California.  No information exists as to what Judy sang.

December 18, 1935:   “Variety” published this short blurb (dated December 17) that MGM was preparing an adaptation of Edgar Allen Woolf’s “La Belle Dolly” as Judy’s first film, co-starring with the 74-year-old opera diva Madame (Ernestine) Schulmann-Heink.  Heink was a legendary opera star who was forced out of retirement when she lost everything in the Crash of 1929, working as a coach and, of course, singer.

The information was most likely sent to the papers by MGM with other notices.  Harold W. Cohen picked it up for his column “The Drama Desk” on December 24, 1935, but only mentioned Mme. Schulmann-Heink and Woolf’s names.

It’s unknown if the intent was to have Judy sing in a more operatic style.  This role sounds more like the kind that would be played by Deanna Durbin (who wasn’t at MGM just yet) rather than Judy.

The property had been at MGM for at least a few years.  In 1933 “Variety” noted that the film would be made starring the young Jackie Cooper with the older actress Marie Dressler.  Details about the plot are unknown although it appears that it was probably a typical story about an older mentor with a younger performer and/or relative.

For more about the various film projects that Judy was considered for, check out The Judy Room’s “Films That Got Away” pages.

December 18, 1936:  Pigskin Parade.

December 18, 1937:  Playing at a theater near you!

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Page on Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry here.

December 18, 1937:  These promotional photos were taken of Judy on the set of Everybody Sing.

December 18, 1937:  Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry was listed in this two-page ad placed by MGM in the trade magazine “Motion Picture Herald.”

December 18, 1938:  “Jitterbugs United” – something tells me this is pure studio-fed fantasy… 

December 18, 1940:  Recording session for Decca Records. Judy recorded the following singles in the following order:  “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows”; “Our Love Affair”; “A Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow” and “It’s A Great Day For The Irish.”

All were released in January 1941. “Our Love Affair” and “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows” were released on Decca Single #3593 on the “A” and “B” sides respectively.  “It’s A Great Day For The Irish” and “A Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow” were released on Decca Single #3604 on the “A” and “B” sides respectively.

Labels from the Rick Smith Collection.  Thanks, Rick!

Listen to “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows” here:

Listen to the alternate version of “I’m Always Chasing Rainbow” here:

Listen to “Our Love Affair” here:

Listen to “A Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow” here:

Listen to “It’s A Great Day For The Irish” here:

Check out The Judy Garland Online Discography’s Decca Records Section for more about Judy’s Decca recordings.


December 18, 1940:  Columnist Sheilah Graham reported that Judy preferred “older men.”


December 18, 1942:  Judy had more rehearsals on “musical numbers” (most likely “I Got Rhythm”) for Girl Crazy.

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Pages on Girl Crazy here.

December 18, 1943:  Judy was scheduled for more filming on Meet Me In St. Louis.

On this day, the assistant director’s (Al Jennings) notes state that Judy called him at 8 a.m. reporting that she didn’t feel well but that she would go to work if a car picked her up.  Jennings spoke with the MGM transportation department and “arrangements were made to pick Miss Garland up in the company car.”  Upon arrival at the studio, Judy called the stage and David Friedman and Jennings went to her dressing room and called Dr. Jones, who came over and said she should return home.  Judy “would not go without first speaking to Mr. Freed, which was accomplished, and at 10:30 a.m.  I took her home in a studio car.”

Photos:  Studio reference stills taken throughout the years of the “St. Louis Street.”  The street was built specifically for Meet Me In St. Louis at director Vincente Minnelli’s insistence.  Originally, executives at the studio balked at the expense ($151,175) thinking it was a wasted venture.  The street turned out to be one of the most popular and versatile on the backlot (MGM’s Backlot #3), turning up in dozens of films and TV shows.  Check out The Judy Room’s “Judy Garland on the MGM Backlot” section for details about all of the Garland films that were shot on MGM’s famous backlots.

Check out The Judy Room’s Spotlight on Meet Me In St. Louis here.

December 18, 1943:  This article in the trade magazine “Showmen’s Trade Review” reported on the extensive campaign (“adaptable stunts”) for Girl Crazy run by Dean Gross, manager of the Paramount Theatre in Seattle, Washington.  The film is noted as “the biggest box-office record-breaker at that theatre in the past twelve years.”  The image is a copy of the ad placed by Lester Pollock of the Loew’s Rochester Theatre in that market’s local paper.

December 18, 1943:  MGM placed this two-page ad in the “Showmen’s Trade Review.”

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Page on Thousands Cheer here.

December 18, 1944:  Judy and Vincente Minnelli were recently seen together at The Stork Club.  Over the years, the club was a favorite of Judy’s.


December 18, 1945:  Here is another article about the top moneymakers in Hollywood.

December 18, 1946:  Judy and her husband Vincente Minnelli attended the premiere of MGM’s adaptation of The Yearling.  In the newspaper clippings, Red Skelton chats with the couple (obviously making them laugh as only he could) while Kay Thompson and her husband, Bill Spier, look on.

December 18, 1946:  Here’s another ad for the upcoming premiere engagement of Till The Clouds Roll By at New York’s Radio City Music Hall.  Also published on this day, Jimmie Fidler’s recent column in which he writes that he’s very glad Judy recently re-signed with MGM stating his case why, saying she would have been “ungrateful” to the studio if she didn’t.  It’s too bad that Judy didn’t feel the same way and that history would prove her resigning turned out to be a huge mistake for her.

Check out The Judy Room’s Spotlight on Till The Clouds Roll By here.

December 18, 1947:  More retakes for The Pirate.  Judy was currently filming Easter Parade but took time off from that to re-record and re-film parts of The Pirate.  This particular day was the second day of retakes on the “Mack The Black” number, which was now in the spot in the film where the deleted “Voodoo” number would have been, on the “Interior Show Tent” set.  Time called: 7 a.m.; on set: 9 a.m.; dismissed: 5:20 p.m.

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Pages on The Pirate here.

Check out The Judy Room’s Extensive Spotlight on Easter Parade here.

December 18, 1948:  Words and Music and Easter Parade were listed in this two-page ad placed by MGM in the trade magazine “Showmen’s Trade Review”

December 18, 1950:  Judy signed the boilerplate agreement with the J. Walter Thompson Company to appear in the Lux Radio Theatre version of The Wizard of Oz on December 25, 1950.  Judy was paid $5,000 for the broadcast.

Check out The Judy Room’s Extensive Spotlight on The Wizard of Oz here.


December 18, 1953:  The assistant director’s production notes for A Star Is Born state “Held – wardrobe not ready.”  This most likely means that no filming was completed due to someone’s costume(s) not being ready.

Check out The Judy Room’s Spotlight on A Star Is Born here.

1965 b

December 18, 1965:  Judy, Mark Herron, Shep Fields (brother of Freddie Fields, Judy’s manager), and Snowy, caught a 5:00 p.m. flight out of Houston, Texas, (where Judy had just performed the night before at the Astrodome), arriving home in Los Angeles, California, at 4:45 p.m., local time.

Check out The Judy Room’s “Judy Garland – The Concert Years” here.


December 18, 1968:  Judy signed a new recording contract with Bob Colby and his Blue Records label, but only after Colby went to the bank to cash Judy’s advance check of $2,500.00.  Also on this date, the news hit that Judy planned to marry for the fifth time, to Mickey Deans on December 30th.

Check out The Judy Room’s “Judy Garland – The Concert Years” here.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.