“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.
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 22, 1939: Judy’s recent emotional visit to a sick girl in the hospital is reported here. Throughout her life, Judy was always very giving of her time and even concert paychecks to help children’s hospitals and children with special needs.
The story is this:
On December 2, 1939, Judy and her sister, Sue visited a young girl in the hospital in Santa Ana, California. The girl, Natalie Norris, was recuperating from “a major operation.” The details of the operation were not given. Her condition was critical for several days and at one point she had a “nightmare of delirium” in which she thought she was “Dorothy” in The Wizard of Oz. Her doctor thought a call from Judy would help her recovery.
A visit was arranged by MGM, with Judy gifting the girl a set of photos (two signed by Judy as “Dorothy”), a doll, some books, and a special performance of “Over the Rainbow” by Judy to the girl. The story was picked up by several columnists and was mentioned as late as early 1940.
The photos given to the girl have recently been discovered and are making their public debut here. These are the only known surviving Oz promotional photos that Judy signed as “Dorothy.” A huge thank you to Chris in Los Angeles for discovering these photos and bringing them to The Judy Room. Thanks, Chris!
Here are scans of the photos given to the girl in 1939.
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 survives.
The MGM playback disc wasn’t pressed until January 14, 1941. Although the contents of the disc contain some of these recordings, the Scene No. does not match any noted in the Daily Music Reports. It’s possible the scene number was changed due to changes in the production. Playback disc image provided by Bruce Hanson. Thanks, Bruce!
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
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 first appearance in a color film since The Wizard of Oz in 1939.
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, 1949: The re-release of The Wizard of Oz was so popular in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, that it was held over. 1949 was the year of the first major re-release of the film, and it proved to be quite popular, and quite lucrative, for MGM.
December 22, 1950: Judy’s recent split from her husband Vincente Minnelli was official and made the papers in several articles.
December 22, 1950: Here is a newspaper photo (notice the markings for print) which included this caption: “[Judy Garland] pictured at the Mocambo with Sid Luft (right) and Charlie Morrison, denies this date with Luft figures in rift.” The rift that the caption refers to is Judy’s split from her husband Vincente Minnelli, and the rumors around her time spent with Sid Luft. Judy was denying that the time spent with Luft had anything to do with her recent marriage issues.
December 22, 1953: Judy, in her Oscar ceremony costume for A Star Is Born, posed for this photo showing off new Christmas seals for the Christmas Seals organization. The photo is dated for this date although according to Warner Bros. studio records, Judy was out sick from the production on December 21 and 22. She had just completed the filming of the Oscar ceremony scenes from December 15 through 17, which is when this photo was actually taken. When she returned on the 23rd she filmed retakes on the “Interior Norman’s Dressing Room” set. The photo was used to help raise funds supporting the Los Angeles County Tuberculosis and Health Association in their anti-TB work.
In this copy of the photo, you can see the marks and “white out” paint made by the newspaper prior to publication. In those years before Photoshop, edits to photos were made on the actual photos, sometimes with dubious results.
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 31 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!