“One small miss shook these well-known rafters with her songs a la Sophie Tucker.” – 1928 Review of Frances Gumm
December 21, 1928: The first of a seven-night engagement for Frances (Judy) with “115 Meglin Kiddies” as part of the Christmas Sow at Loew’s State Theater in Los Angeles, California. Frances appeared as Cupid and stopped the show with “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love.” The film on the bill was Romance of the Underworld, a talkie starring Mary Astor, who would play Judy’s mom 10 and 15 years later in Listen Darling and Meet Me In St. Louis respectively.
“The Los Angeles Record” stated about Judy: We have no names with which to lay tribute to. One small miss shook these well-known rafters with her songs a la Sophie Tucker.
December 21, 1929: The first of a seven-night engagement for “The Hollywood Starlets Trio” (Judy and her sisters, formerly “The Gumm Sisters”) at the State Theater in Long Beach, California.
December 21, 1937: Judy and Fanny Brice pre-recorded the “Why? Because!” number for Everybody Sing. It’s been previously claimed that this was recorded “live on set” on this date but that’s not true as shown by this Daily Music Report. The pre-recording sessions and the filming could not have been achieved on the same day, not unless they went into serious overtime and with Judy being a minor, that wasn’t possible. It’s possible that some recordings were made live-on set during the filming although the exact dates of the filming of the number are unknown.
Of note is the fact that this was also the only time that Brice performed her famous radio personality “Baby Snooks” on film.
The 2017 4-CD set “Judy Garland – Duets” features a newly remastered version of this performance which is a partial-alternate take pre-recording with an ending that is slightly different than that in the film. Listen to that version here:
Listen to the film version here:
December 21, 1938: Judy does her bit for the National Tuberculosis Association.
December 21, 1942: Judy was back at MGM on the Girl Crazy production after being out sick for two days. She rehearsed the “I Got Rhythm” number which was pre-recorded on December 29th. Time called: 11 a.m.; Judy arrived at 12:30 p.m.; dismissed: 3:30 p.m.
December 21, 1943: Filming on Meet Me In St. Louis continued with scenes shot on the “Interior Lower Floor” of the Smith Home set. Time called: 10 a.m.; Judy arrived at 10:25 a.m.; dismissed: 5:10 p.m.
December 21, 1945: MGM wished everyone a Merry Christmas and promoted its upcoming films including Ziegfeld Follies and The Harvey Girls.
December 21, 1946: Judy was listed as one of the stars in the special Christmas edition of the MGM “Lion’s Roar” radio program broadcast by the 3AW network in Melbourne, Australia. The show was advertised as including greetings from famous MGM stars. No other information about the show is known. Judy had just returned to MGM on December 17th after more than a year off to give birth to daughter Liza Minnelli so it’s possible she recorded a greeting at the studio for the program which likely was sent on a disc to Australia.
December 21, 1947: Here is an article about MGM’s famous hairstylist, Sydney Guilaroff. Although not featured in the photos, Judy is listed in the article as one of the celebrities that he had been the stylist for.
December 21, 1947: According to this uncredited article (dated the 20th put published on the 21st), some MGM musicals would have been very different if the noted casting had gone through. Frank Sinatra was listed as playing Richard Rodgers in Words and Music (played by Tom Drake) and gave the synopsis of In The Good Old Summertime as a “baseball yarn with Gene Kelly and Sinatra.” The author obviously got that mixed up with Take Me Out To The Ballgame. The article was right about Judy being cast in Annie Get Your Gun.
December 21, 1953: First first of two days that Judy was out sick from the A Star Is Born production.
December 21, 1962: A stuffed toy cat replica of Judy’s “Mewsette” character in the animated film Gay Purr-ee won at “aCat-emy” award at the Los Angeles 14th Annual Championship Cat Show. Although Mewsette was disqualified for wearing too much mascara, overlong eyelashes and a “shocking Parisian coiffure” she was permitted to enter in a “special CATegory.”
December 21, 1967: Judy’s final film, I Could Go On Singing, had its network television premiere on the “CBS Thursday Night At The Movies.”
Photo above: From the May 1963 “Screen Stories” magazine provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim!