“What I do remember [about Grand Rapids] was terribly happy, terribly happy, possibly the only kind of normal carefree time in my life and that was only for three years.” – Judy Garland, 1960
January 2, 1929: Frances Gumm (Judy) and her sisters performed at a New Year’s celebration party held at the Gumm family home in Lancaster.
January 2, 1940: Judy made the cover of “Look” magazine. Below, two ads for showings of Judy’s 1936 film debut, Pigskin Parade, showing that by 1940 Judy’s name was the biggest draw.
January 2, 1941: Judy made the list of the top ten box office stars for 1940. She and Bette Davis were the only women on the list. Judy’s co-star and best friend, Mickey Rooney, was #1.
January 2, 1942: Judy made the cover of “Modern Screen” magazine.
January 2, 1943: MGM recording session for Girl Crazy. Judy, along with Mickey Rooney and Nancy Walker, pre-recorded “Bronco Busters” which was cut from the film before it was shot. Also recorded on this day were some more recordings for the “I Got Rhythm” number with Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra, plus the MGM chorus. Judy and Mickey were not needed for those recordings.
Judy also had wardrobe fittings for the film. She had an 11 a.m. call and was dismissed at 5:45 p.m. (the time encompassed the fittings and the recording session).
Listen to “Bronco Busters” here:
The outtake was first released, taken from a mono playback disc, on the 1976 LP “Cut! Outtakes from Hollywood’s Greatest Musicals, Vol. 2.”
January 2, 1945: Judy had a wardrobe fitting for The Harvey Girls. Time called: 10 a.m.; dismissed: 2:45 p.m.
Photo provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim!
January 2, 1947: Judy’s new five-year contract with MGM began on this date. This new contract gave her a weekly salary of $5,619.23: Nearly $1,000 per day for the six-day workweek, with a guarantee of $300,000 per year, $150,000 per film, making the contract worth a total of $1.5 million for five years of work.
Judy’s previous contract was scheduled to end in August of 1947, but on January 2, 1946, she entered into this new contract (with the effective date of January 2, 1947). She had changed agents during the time of her pregnancy with Liza and recuperation. She had previously been with Leland Hayward, but Haward sold his company to the Music Corporation of America (MCA) to concentrate on backing Broadway shows.
Judy’s new agency, Berg-Allenberg, Inc., began by negotiating a new contract with MGM. Judy had made it clear that after her current contract ran out in August of 1947 she intended to freelance. MGM was not happy about that and did everything they could to keep Judy with the studio.
MGM offered the following incentives: She could continue to work with her husband (Vincente Minnelli); the studio would mount lavish productions starring Judy along with a pledge that she need not make more than two films in one year and one of those two could be a “guest” appearance though she would still get “top billing”; she could continue to have Dottie Ponedel as her makeup artist, as long as Dottie would “be employed by the studio.”; and she had the right to make “phonograph records” and radio appearances. The new contract was typed up on November 20, 1946.
Later, Judy said that after she signed the new contract she immediately knew she had made a big mistake. She would be proven right in just a few years when the strain of the studio grind became too much for her and she left MGM forever in September 1950.
January 2, 1948: Easter Parade filming continued with the scene on the “Interior Hannah’s Hotel Suite” set in which Judy and Fred Astaire plan their calendar and Judy realizes they’ll be back in New York in time for the Easter Parade. Judy was in makeup at 7 a.m.; arrived on set at 9:20 a.m.; dismissed at 6 p.m.
January 2, 1948: Judy and Gene Kelly (in The Pirate) made the cover of the French “Cinévogue” magazine.
January 2, 1949: Two blurbs about In The Good Old Summertime which was currently in production.
January 2, 1954: A Star Is Born continued filming at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, specifically the “This is Mrs. Norman Maine” scene. Time started: 10 a.m., finished: 6:10 p.m.
January 2, 1960: Judy signed a contract with Random House, to write her autobiography. The press release announcing the deal was produced on January 4 by Jean Ennis.
Listen to some of the recordings Judy made for the book here:
To be called “The Judy Garland Story,” the book was to be a collaboration with Fred Finklehoffe. Finklehoffe had written the screenplays for some of Judy’s greatest films including Strike Up The Band, Babes on Broadway, For Me And My Gal, Girl Crazy, Meet Me In St. Louis, and Words and Music.
Judy was paid an advance of $35,000, and she and Finklehoffe recorded their sessions on audiotape some of which have survived – see above link.
On September 26, 1960, Bennett Cerf of Random House wrote a letter printed in the fan publication “Garland Gazette” that said Random House had “not yet seen one line of manuscript of the Judy Garland autobiography. I have been assured that we will have half of the manuscript within a month’s time.”
A partial manuscript was eventually produced, totaling 65 pages, and it contains frank observations and startling revelations, including: Judy knew she was an “unwanted” (unplanned) baby, and she received a great amount of psychological abuse from her mother and the man who became her stepfather who had taunted and laughed at Judy together, with Ethel (Judy’s mom) at one point telling Judy that she had been born with a defective brain. Although Judy admitted that she loved Ethel and that “she was always doing things . . . which made me love her so much, but at the same time I was afraid of her. At any time, in the middle of a great kindness or loud laughter, she was capable of saying something or doing something that would scare me to death.” Judy also talked candidly about her attempts to rid herself of the medications she was on; the men at the studio who made advances on her; and most astonishingly, about the abortion she had when she was twenty. However, the book would not continue after a certain stage, as Judy felt too good and happy to look back.
January 2, 1962: Rehearsals began in Burbank, California, for Judy’s new TV special, her first in six years, “The Judy Garland Show” (originally titled “Miss Show Business”), now commonly known as “Judy, Frank, and Dean” because Judy’s guests were Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin.
January 2, 1969: The Merv Griffin TV show in which Judy appeared (and which was taped on December 19, 1968) aired in select markets. It also aired in other markets on Monday, January 5.
Judy sang John A. Meyer’s “I’d Like To Hate Myself in the Morning” as well as “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” and “The Trolley Song.” The latter was sung with the audience.
Listen to “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” here:
Listen to “The Trolley Song” here:
Unfortunately, the show hasn’t survived although there is some silent footage shot from aiming a home movie camera at a TV set. Merv Griffin himself stated that the shows from this time person were erased when he moved his show over to CBS-TV.
Photos: Two snapshots of Judy leaving the studios after the taping plus a newspaper notice.