“I haven’t appeared in a modern picture since ‘The Clock’ three years ago and I’m getting tired of period clothes.” – Judy Garland, 1947
December 22, 1928: Judy and her sisters, as “The Gumm Sisters,” were in the middle of their week-long engagement at Loew’s State Theater in Los Angeles, California. The girls were part of the Christmas Show that featured “115 Meglin Kiddies.” Judy appeared as Cupid, and stopped the show with her rendition of “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love.”
December 22, 1929: “The Gumm Family” (Judy, her parents, and two sisters) performed at the Munz Country Club in Antelope Valley, California.
December 22, 1937: Here is a rare listing for MGM’s Christmas short, Silent Night, which featured Judy singing “Silent Night.” The fact that this theater in Texas (showing a Warner Bros. film, no less) promoted both Judy and the short in their advertisement is a good example of her growing popularity.
December 22, 1938: Coming in Sunday’s “Free Press” newspaper insert, information about “Hollywood Jitterbug” Judy Garland.
December 22, 1939: Judy the fashion model.
December 22, 1940: Judy pre-recorded “We Must Have Music” (with Tony Martin) and a reprise of “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows” for the “Finale” sequence of Ziegfeld Girl. This planned “Finale” was cut and replaced by a new one recorded and filmed in March 1941, just a month before the movie opened. Originally Judy and Martin opened Part 2 of the finale section, followed by parts 4 & 5. The rest consisted of the orchestra and the “Six Hits & A Miss” choral group.
A bit of the cut footage was used in the 1942 MGM short We Must Have Music which explained the inner workings of the studio’s music department. No other footage of these cut sequences survive.
Listen to the pre-recordings here:
Finale Part 2 – We Must Have Music – Special Material – You Stepped Out Of A Dream:
Finale Part 3 – Special Material – I’m Always Chasing Rainbows:
Finale Part 4 – Takes 1 & 2
Finale Part 4 – Take 3
Finale Part 4 – Take 4
Finale Part 4 – Take 5
Finale Part 4 – Take 6
Download the entire Ziegfeld Girl soundtrack here, paired with the complete Presenting Lily Mars soundtrack.
December 22, 1942: Judy pre-recorded “The Joint Is Really Jumpin’ Down At Carnegie Hall” for Thousands Cheer. At this point, the title of the film was still Private Miss Jones. At the piano is Jose Iturbi, of course, as it’s Iturbi who’s with her in the film. This was Judy’s appearance in a color film since The Wizard of Oz.
Listen to “The Joint Is Really Jumpin’ Down At Carnegie Hall” here:
Listen to the partial alternate take here:
December 22, 1943: Another long day for Judy. She had a 10:00 a.m. call to be on the set of Meet Me In St. Louis, specifically the “Exterior and Interior Foyer” set. Judy arrived at 10:22 a.m.; dismissed: 6:00 p.m.
Later that evening Judy had a Decca Records recording session. She recorded two songs in the following order: “No Love, No Nothin'” and “A Journey To A Star.” The songs were released on January 27, 1944, on single #18584 with “No Love” on the “A” side and “”Journey” on the “B” side.
Listen to “No Love, No Nothin'” here:
Listen to “A Journey To A Star” here:
Labels from the Rick Smith Collection. Thanks, Rick!
Check out The Judy Garland Online Discography’s Decca Records Section for details about all of Judy’s Decca recordings and subsequent re-releases.
December 22, 1947: Filming continued on Easter Parade. Judy was in makeup at 7:00 a.m.; she arrived on the set at 9:25 a.m.; dismissed at 4:45 p.m. What was filmed was not documented but it was probably the “When The Midnight Choo Choo Leaves For Alabam'” number that began shooting the day before.
Sheilah Graham’s recent column (published on this day) tells the story of her visit to the Easter Parade set and Judy’s lament that she’s “getting tired of period clothes” that she had to wear in her recent films.
December 22, 1948: Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see Words and Music on that big screen at Radio City, along with the Christmas stage show?
December 22, 1949: Columnist Erksine Johnson, with tongue in cheek, listed his wishes for stars for the new year. For Judy, he wished “some ice cubes for all the hot water she seems to get into.” This was a reference to her ongoing troubles at and fighting with, MGM.
December 22, 1950: Judy’s recent split from husband Vincente Minnelli was official and made the papers in several articles.
December 22, 1954: Judy signed a contract, drawn on this date, for a one-year deal with MCA for agency representation. A year later, Judy would sign a five-year deal with the agency.
Still making the rounds in theaters around the world was A Star Is Born although by this point the version in circulation was the cut version.
December 22, 1955: Judy signed a five-year renewal contract with MCA allowing them to act as her agents, for which they would receive a 10% commission on fees for work arranged for her.
Still in theaters at this time was the second re-release of The Wizard of Oz. The first re-release was in 1949.
December 22, 1963: “Episode Fifteen” of “The Judy Garland Show” (commonly known as “The Judy Garland Christmas Show”) aired for the first time on CBS-TV. The show was taped on December 6, 1963.
Judy’s guests were Jack Jones, Mel Torme, and her children, Liza Minnelli, Lorna Luft, and Joey Luft. Dancer and “Liza’s beau” Tracy Everitt also joined the festivities.
Judy sang: “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”; “Consider Yourself” (with Lorna and Joe, plus a reprise with Liza, Lorna, and Joe); “Little Drops Of Rain”; “Holiday Medley” (with Liza and Jack Jones); “The Christmas Song” with Torme; “Traditional Carol Medley” with everyone; and “Over The Rainbow.” Judy also did a fun little dance with a group of Santas (who provided several “flash mob” type comical interruptions to the proceedings) to the tune of “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
Judy always claimed that this was her favorite episode and it’s no wonder. She’s surrounded by her family in a very intimate and homey (albeit on a soundstage mock-up of her Brentwood living room) environment.
In 2011, the popular musical TV show “Glee” paid homage to the show by recreating the set and having its characters become a part of the show, in black and white, semi-recreating some of the original show’s scenes such as the opening with Judy (“Kurt” in “Glee”) welcoming everyone to the show/set, “Blaine” singing in the window, and so on. If you haven’t seen it, check it out, it’s a good show.
Photos above: Some wonderful shots of the two shows from the wonderful “Christmas TV History” blog,
December 22, 1964: A judge awarded Judy custody of her two children, Lorna, and Joey Luft, for the Christmas holiday. The children were in California with their father, Sid Luft, and Judy had just returned to New York City from Europe. Judy had petitioned the court to gain custody as soon as she flew back on December 19th.
The first article notes: The judge had warned that if the custody battle between the singer and the producer continued in its present vein, the youngsters probably would “grow up to despise both their parents.”
December 22, 1967: Judy had an evening rehearsal for her next engagement, her appearance on December 25 through 31st at the Felt Forum, Madison Square Garden, New York City.
Download the complete December 25, 1967, concert here (zip file).
Donated to The Judy Room by Steve Gruber from his collection. Thanks, Steve!