On This Day In Judy Garland’s Life And Career – December 29

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“Judy pours her sweet and swingy voice into a clever new song “Gotta Pair of New Shoes'” – Uncredited review of “Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry,” 1937 

December 29, 1932:  “Baby Gumm” (Judy) was part of Maurice L. Kusell’s Juvenile Christmas Revue at the Million Dollar Theater in Los Angeles, California.  “The Los Angeles Record” stated that Judy was “astounding.  Her singing all but knocks one for a loop.  her dancing is snappy and clever.  She handles herself onstage like a veteran pro.”  The engagement ran through January 4, 1933.

December 29, 1937:  Judy had two films that were still in circulation around the nation, her MGM feature film debut, Broadway Melody of 1938, and her first with Mickey Rooney, Thoroughbreds Don’t Cry.

December 29, 1938:  This was the first of the last two days of filming the “Munchkinland” sequence for The Wizard of Oz.  These last two days were devoted to the opening scenes of the sequence, featuring Dorothy’s entrance and her initial meeting with Glinda (Billie Burke).  These were the last scenes of the extensive sequence to be shot, ending about two weeks of filming on that fantastic set.

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

Widescreen photo created and provided by Kurt Raymond.  Thanks, Kurt!

December 29, 1942:  Recording session for Girl Crazy.  Judy and Mickey Rooney rehearsed and then pre-recorded “I Got Rhythm” with Tommy Dorsey and His Orchestra, and the MGM Studio Orchestra & Chorus.  Time called: 10:15 a.m.; dismissed: 2:30 p.m.

Listen to the complete version of “I Got Rhythm” here:

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

December 29, 1942:  The “Showmen’s Trade Review” listed Judy as one of their featured stars.

December 29, 1943:  Filming on Meet Me In St. Louis continued with scenes shot on the “Interior Kitchen” set, dressed up for the Autumn sequence.  Judy was not a part of these scenes.  She had just spent two days (December 26 & 27) in the hospital for an undisclosed reason (most likely fatigue and/or a physical breakdown).  Included is a set reference still taken on this day of the “Little Girls Bedroom.”

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


December 29, 1944:  Judy began work on her next film, The Harvey Girls.  On this first day (time called at 10 a.m.; dismissed at 12:20 p.m.), Judy was on the MGM recording stage rehearsing “It’s A Great Big World” (possibly with Virginia O’Brien) and “On The Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe.”

Originally Judy did not want to make The Harvey Girls preferring to star in Yolanda and the Thief which her husband, Vincente Minnelli, was directing.  The studio convinced her that The Harvey Girls was a better role for her. How right they were!

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

Photo provided by Kim Lundgreen.  Thanks, Kim!

Also on December 29, 1944:  These items appeared in “The Los Angeles Times” promoting the upcoming Los Angeles premiere of Meet Me In St. Louis.  It was also opening New Year’s Eve in Meridan, Connecticut (third image above).

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

December 29, 1947:  Judy and Peter Lawford filmed the “Interior Brevoort Restaurant” scene for Easter Parade.  This is one of the most effective scenes in the film and is a perfect (and underrated) example of Judy’s acting skills.

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

December 29, 1954:  Judy was making the top of various “year’s best” lists for her performance in A Star Is Born.  This article is about the Critic’s Choice” top picks for the year, of which Judy was their number one female performance.  Also included is this notice in the trade magazine “Motion Picture Herald” with Judy named “Best Actress” by a Canadian critic.

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

December 29, 1956:  This photo of Judy with her husband Sid Luft and an unidentified man at the El Morocco Club in New York City is noted as having been taken on this date.

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

December 29, 1963:  CBS-TV aired “Episode Fourteen” of “The Judy Garland Show.”  The show was taped on November 30, 1963.

Judy’s guests were Bobby Darin and Bob Newhart.  Judy’s songs included: “Football Medley” (pre-recorded earlier in the day but cute before the airing – the footage still exists,); “Sing, Sing, Sing” with Darin and Newhard; “More”; “Train Medley” with Darin. The “Trunk” segment featured Judy singing “Do It Again” and “Get Me to The Church On Time.”

Judy and Bob Newhart performed a funny sketch about a couple watching “The Judy Garland Show.”

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


December 29, 1963:  The San Antonio, Texas, edition of ‘TV Week” featured this cover article about Judy accompanied by a really great sketch of Judy.

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


Also included is a snip from Walter Scott’s “Personality Parade” Q&A.  Although he claims that Judy and Glenn Ford were just friends, the reality is that they did indeed have a love affair.

Text from the article:

Judy Likes Mirth

To announce that “Judy Garland likes to laugh” is not an especially newsworthy bulletin, inasmuch as a lot of people like to laugh.

Moreover, people like to make her laugh, but that is deceptively unsimple. The abundant supply of popular laughter-provoking material won’t work, because she has heard every joke from Joe Miller to Jack Carter.

Some of the best spine-benders in the business have been trying since Miss Garland started rehearsals for her hour-long CBS-TV musical variety series, seen at 8 p.m. Sundays on Ch. 5.

“Route to Oz”

When Miss Garland arrived at CBS Television City in Hollywood, she laughed when she saw that the route from her dressing room to her stage had been painted to look like the yellow brick road along which she danced with the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodsman and the Cowardly Lion in “The Wizard of Oz.”

The night of the taping of the first production of “The Judy Garland Show,” all the men on the production staff – at the instigation of Mel Torre, who is doing special material for Miss Garland as well as making occasional appearances in the series – showed up wearing identical bright yellow patches on their jacket, all bearing the punchline of Miss Garland’s current favorite joke.

Then there was the time that the writing staff of the Garland show turned up at a production meeting wearing matching pink jackets. Again Miss Garland laughed. But this time she retaliated in kind.

No More

The next day her manager called the writers into an emergency conference. In a serious tone, he told them that, this being Miss Garland’s first television series, everything must be treated with great decorum. Miss Garland must not lose confidence in the production staff, he said. Reluctantly the writers agreed to stop acting like comics.

Then, on a cover cue from her manager, Miss Garland shuffled hesitantly into the room – wearing a black0and-white striped prisoner’s uniform, gaudy silken Turkish slippers with turns-up toes and purple fright wig.

The writers, outwitted and out written, came completely unstrung.

December 29, 1964:  Judy had a belated Christmas present when her two younger children, Lorna, and Joey Luft, arrived in New York to be with her.

Judy’s Tots Bring Cheer

Christmas came a little late this year for singer Judy Garland and her two young children, but it is going to be a might merry one, anyway.

The two children, 12 year old Lorna Luft and her 9 year old brother, Joseph, arrived by plane from Los Angeles early today for a tearful but happy reunion with their mother, who had not seen them for 10 months.

“We made it! We made it!” Cried Lorna.

“Hello, beautiful! Hello, beautiful!” Miss Garland cried in return amid tears as she swept the youngsters into her arms.

“You’re both so grown,” she added. “You grew nice feet,” she exclaimed to Joseph.

The children have been pawns in a custody fight between Miss Garland and her estranged husband, Sid Luft.  They have been living with a governess, Mrs. Letitia Chapman, in the singer’s home in Brentwood, Calif., while she made a world tour which largely proved to be a flop.

Miss Garland has had technical custody of the children, with Luft having part-time visiting rights.  They were to have come here Christmas Day to be with their mother, but Luft had taken them from their home for a holiday outing and did not return them.

A California judge issued an order for Luft’s arrest, but neither he nor the youngsters could be found.

Miss Garland declined to say how she was able to get the children back, except for a vague explanation that “the children came to the governess yesterday” – that “they found her” on a street in Beverly Hills.

With the singer awaiting the children at Kennedy International Airport where Liza Minnelli, Miss Garland’s 18 year old daughter by her marriage to director Vincente Minnelli; Liza’s finale, Peter Allen of Australia, and Miss Garland’s companion of recent months, Mark Herron.

The party then left for Miss Garland’s Manhattan hotel suite. Speaking of the younger children, she said: “They’ll be here until January 4th or 6th – I’m not sure which day they’re due back in school.”

“We’re going to have a belated Christmas.”

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


December 29, 1967:  Wilbur Moon of Indianapolis, Indiana, wrote a letter to Richard Shull, columnist, and critic for “The Indianapolis News.”  He chided Shull for his negative comments about Judy’s “troubles.”  Shull responded with an amusingly snarky quip.

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


  1. “The Harvey Girls:” Judy had only finished the relatively long shoot of “The Clock” just the month before, and now would begin six, long, exhausting months on this film. While I love “The Harvey Girls”, and definitely agree this was the better role, I’m one of only a handful that also loves “Yolanda and the Thief.” I thought the paring of Astaire, Minnelli and Lucille Bremmer pure magic, but, sadly, the public never took to her. I’ve always enjoyed her work immensely.

    Thanks again! And happy New Year!!

  2. Awesome panoramic of the Munchkinland set. A true feast for the eyes. Great work!

    Agree with you, Scott, about Judy’s acting with Lawford. One gets the sense that the kindness she displays was genuine. . . . .

    Did they really squeeze people of stature into such tiny tables at El Morocco? Tsk tsk! (I see Sid liked his Marlboros.)

    1. The panorama image of Munchkinland was created by Kurt Raymond who expertly blended multiple screenshots to show us just how huge (and gorgeous) that set was. It’s great, for sure!

  3. Don’t worry, I did see that you credited Kurt for the Oz image. I should have been more explicit. But hey, now I have another chance to say how awesome it is! (More please, Kurt!)

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