On This Day In Judy Garland’s Life And Career – January 8

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“There’s Judy Garland doing ‘I Wish I Were In Love Again’ and being just about the best thing in a movie filled with good things.” – “Modern Screen” magazine on “Words and Music”


January 8, 1939:  Judy was featured on the cover of the “Los Angeles Times” Sunday section (as well as other papers around the country), biting into an apple to promote The Wizard of Oz.

The accompanying caption read: “CAREFREE HAPPINESS … Is personified by Judy Garland, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer singing starlet, in her latest portrait.  The young actress, one of Hollywood’s brightest stars.

Photo provided by Kim Lundgreen.  Thanks, Kim!

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

January 8, 1939:  Judy appeared on the CBS Radio show “Hollywood Screen Guild.”  She sang “Shall I Sing A Melody? (Sweet or Swing)” from Everybody Sing and “Thanks For The Memory.”  Judy was the first guest on this premiere episode of this new series hosted by George Murphy and also featuring Jack Benny and Joan Crawford.

Listen to “Sweet or Swing” here:

Listen to “Thanks For The Memory” here:

The colorized glamour shot featured here also appeared in newspapers on this date.


January 8, 1939:  Offstage with younger stars.  Judy and her good friend Jackie Cooper.

January 8, 1940:  “Will these starlets be among leading actresses in Hollywood?”

The text that mentions Judy reads: “Judy Garland isn’t a newcomer, but she is rapidly rising in the orbit as one of the best box office attractions.”

I think we all know who among these “starlets” became the big star!  

January 8, 1941:  Released in 1940, Judy’s first solo starring role in Little Nellie Kelly was still playing and – in spite of its rather thin plot – was getting good reviews, especially for Judy.

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Pages on Little Nellie Kelly here.


January 8, 1942:  This ad appeared in the “Film Daily” trade paper promoting Babes on Broadway.


January 8, 1942:  Judy and husband David Rose were in New York.  The two were preparing for their upcoming tour of military installations.  Judy was one of the first, if not the very first, big star to entertain the troops after the U.S. entered World War Two less than a month before.


January 7, 1943:  Girl Crazy continued filming on the “Exterior Corral” set, specifically the “I Got Rhythm” number.  Time called: 10:00 a.m.; dismissed: 5:52 p.m.

Photo provided by Kim Lundgreen.  Thanks, Kim!

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

January 8, 1945:  A long day for Judy on the MGM Recording Stage.  She rehearsed and then pre-recorded the lengthy “On The Atchison, Topeka, And The Santa Fe.”  Time called: 10 a.m.; dismissed: 6:45 p.m.

Listen to the various takes of “Atchison” here:

Part 1, Take 4:

Part 1, Take 5:

Part 2, Take 8:

Part 3, Take 4:

Final complete version:

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

Photos:  English, Australian, and American sheet music scans provided by Kim Lundgreen.  Thanks again, Kim!  🙂

January 8, 1947:  Till The Clouds Roll By was a big hit at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall and elsewhere.  It remains one of MGM’s most well-known musicals to this day.

Check out The Judy Room’s Extensive Spotlight on Till The Clouds Roll By here.

January 8, 1949:  As with Till The Clouds Roll By above, Words and Music was a big hit at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall and elsewhere.  It, too, remains one of MGM’s most well-known musicals to this day.  Both Clouds and Words are biopics that are very thin on accuracy but the musical numbers are the real draw and they’re wonderful.

January 8, 1949:  These shots were taken on the In The Good Old Summertime set.  The film was in its final weeks of filming and would go on to be one of Judy’s most popular films.

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Pages on In The Good Old Summertime here.

Some photos provided by Kim Lundgreen.  Thanks, Kim!

January 8, 1953:  Funeral services for Judy’s mother, Ethel Gumm, were held on this day.  Ethel had passed away suddenly, on January 5th.  She was 56 years old.  Judy was in New York and immediately canceled her plans to perform at The Duchess of Windsor’s Waldorf Ball, co-hosted by legendary hostess Elsa Maxwell.

Judy and Sid Luft arrived in Los Angeles on January 6th, at which point Judy went into seclusion.

The funeral was held at the Little Church of the Flowers at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, where Ethel was laid to rest.


January 8, 1956:  This photo of Judy and husband Sid Luft on the town was published.


January 8, 1957:  Judy received the “Mark of Achievement” given to her by Oscar Hammerstein and Harry Brandt at a luncheon at the Hotel Sheraton-Astor in New York City (photo above).  Also honored were Julie Andrews of “My Fair Lady” and Robert Weede of “The Most Happy Fella.”

Later that night, Judy completed her engagement at the Palace Theater in New York.  The engagement lasted seventeen weeks, second only to her own 1951-1952 run of nineteen weeks.  The Palace wanted to extend the engagement but Judy had to return to California for her next television special for CBS-TV.  After the show, there was a part backstage until 3 a.m.  Judy sang “While We’re Young” and, for husband Sid Luft, “Eli, Eli.”  She and Luft spent the next two weeks in New York before returning to California in the latter part of January.

Left to right in the photo above:  Arthur Krim, Judy Holliday, Oscar Hammerstein present Judy, Julie Andrews, and Robert Weede with their “Mark of Achievement” awards.


January 8, 1959:  TV viewers in the greater New York City area were treated to a showing of The Pirate, as seen in this marvelous ad.

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


January 8, 1962:  Day two of videotaping “The Judy Garland Show” (now known as “Judy, Frank, and Dean”) for Judy, Frank Sinatra, and Dean Martin at the NBC studios in Hollywood, California (although the show was a CBS show).  The first day was January 5th.  Judy taped “The Man That Got Away,” “Just In Time,” and “When You’re Smiling” in front of a studio audience.


January 8, 1969:  Judy and Mickey Deans as seen on December 30, 1968, at the Ritz Hotel, London, England, just prior to her opening at “The Talk of the Town” cabaret.

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