“I gained weight because I’m so healthy. I’ve learned how to eat and for the first time in my life I can sleep.” – Judy Garland, 1950
January 4, 1937: In his syndicated column titled “Screen Life in Hollywood,” Hubbard Keavy’s makes note of Judy’s performance in Pigskin Parade. I think we can all agree with his sentiments!
January 4, 1942: These photos were taken of Judy and husband David Rose at the Dearborn Station in Chicago, Illinois. The to were on their way to begin a personal appearance tour of midwestern training installations. At this point, America had been in World War II for under a month and Judy was one of the first big Hollywood stars to go out and entertain the troops. She did four shows a day, singing 12 songs in each show, over a three-week period.
January 4, 1943: Girl Crazy began filming with the “I Got Rhythm” number on the “Exterior Corral” set. Time called: 11:00 a.m.; dismissed: 5:58 p.m.
Nine days were spent filming the “I Got Rhythm” number, four more than planned. This put the film $60,000 over budget. Director Busby Berkeley’s idea for the number resulted in a grueling shoot that was particularly hard on Judy. So hard that by mid-month she was confined to her bed from exhaustion, her weight had dropped to 94 pounds. Berkeley was replaced by Norman Taurog, but his production number of “I Got Rhythm” became the finale of the film.
January 4, 1945: Charles B. Driscoll’s column relays the following tale about Judy singing “Ave Maria.” There is no information about this alleged performance at a church in Providence. It’s probably not true but wouldn’t it be wonderful if there were a recording of Judy singing “Ave Maria”?? Talk about chills up one’s spine!
When I met Judy Garland at a recent party I told her a story that amused her. Daughter Mary was editor of the college paper at Pembroke a few years ago when Judy came to Providence. She assigned herself the job of interviewing the star for her paper, but, not content with that, decided to hear her sing “Ave Maria,” which, the papers announced, she would do at the 11 o’clock High Mass at the Cathedral.
Mary knew the church would be jammed, so she conceived the original idea of attending the first service of the day, at 6 a.m., and retaining her seat straight through until that “Ave Maria.”
To her great surprise, she found that everybody else had the same bright idea. “We were all big dopes,” says Mary, but we sat it through and heard Judy. We were sad, too, because you can’t applaud in the church.”
On this day, Judy was at MGM for another wardrobe fitting for The Harvey Girls. Time called: 1:30 p.m.; dismissed: 4:20 p.m.
January 4, 1946: “Every second a heartbeat.”
January 4, 1950: Judy’s a Lux Girl!
Second photo provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim!
January 4, 1950: Columnist Erksine Johnson reported on Judy back at MGM and currently working on Summer Stock. Johnson gets a bit clever with, “For a while, there Judy was playing her bin scenes in sanitariums and in the M-G-M doghouse instead of on the screen.” Of course, the article is mostly about Judy’s weight issues but at least, in this case, it was positive.
January 4, 1951: What a difference a year makes. By this point, Judy had left MGM after her very public suicide attempt prompted by MGM dropping her from the film Royal Wedding and placing her on another suspension.
This ad and article are from Melbourne, Australia. In non-American English speaking markets, Summer Stock was titled If You Feel Like Singing. The reason for the title change was that the term “summer stock” did not mean anything outside of the U.S. at the time.
January 4, 1954: Filming continued on A Star Is Born with more scenes shot on location at the Interior of the Shrine Auditorium. Time started: 10:00 a.m.; finished: 2:45 p.m.
January 4, 1957: During an interview from her closing days at the Palace in New York City, Judy said she planned to take her show to England, France, and Germany, and then return to fil a movie of the book “Born In Wedlock.” Columnist Dorothy Kilgallen reported that the management of the Palace had hoped to extend Judy’s engagement through that March. Judy’s last performance was on January 8.
January 4, 1958: Judy’s recent walkout of her show at the Flamingo in Las Vegas, Nevada, (December 31, 1957) made the papers.
January 4, 1960: This article reports on Judy leaving the hospital after her bout with hepatitis. Judy was released the following day, Tuesday, January 5, 1960. Little did anyone know that some of her greatest triumphs were right around the corner!
January 4, 1962: Judy had a meeting with Stanley Kramer about her next film, A Child Is Waiting, which would start filming later in the month.
This was the third of three days of rehearsals for Judy at CBS for the special “The Judy Garland Show” co-starring Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. The show was taped on January 5th, 8th, and 9th then aired on February 25th.
January 4, 1969: Judy made a personal appearance at The National Film Theater, London, England. Between showings of A Star Is Born she took questions from the audience. When talking about Barbra Streisand, Judy said: “She is a STAR, she makes a sound, she has a LOOK. No one will be able to really deny the fact that Barbra Streisand is a great talent . . . There doesn’t have to be a comparison. She has her way of singing, I have mine. There’s enough room for all of us.”
Listen to Judy’s talk here:
Judy also said she hoped to do more recording work and stay in London for a while. She did say that MGM “still doesn’t trust me,” and wouldn’t consider her for their planned musical biography of Irving Berlin, to be titled “Say It With Music.” That production had been in development by producer Arthur Freed for most of the 1960s. It was to be directed by Vincente Minnelli but it was never produced.
Judy spoke twice at the theater: after the first screening and again right before the second. For these talks, Judy wore her Blacklama mink over a pink mini dress. After her show at the Talk of the Town that night, Judy brought some friends back to the National Film Theater for a private showing of A Star Is Born.