On This Day In Judy Garland’s Life And Career – January 12

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“It was the toughest number I’ve ever done.  After it was over, I thought I was going to die.  I nearly collapsed.  Even Gene [Kelly] was so worn out that he had to flop down in a chair.” – Judy Garland, while making “Summer Stock” in 1950.

January 12, 1930:  “The Gumm Sisters” (Judy and her sisters), billed as “The Hollywood Starlets Trio” (as they had recently been billed in Los Angeles), performed at their father’s theater, The Valley Theater, in Lancaster, California.  The girls sang songs from their recent short films, including “When The Butterflies Kiss The Buttercups Goodnight” (from A Holiday In Storyland) and “The Land Of Let’s Pretend” (from Bubbles).

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Page “Shorts – The Gumm Sisters” here.


January 12, 1939:  The “Film Daily” trade magazine listed Love Finds Andy Hardy as one of the ten best films of 1938.

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography pages on Love Finds Andy Hardy here.

January 12, 1939:  Filming on The Wizard of Oz continued with the scene on the Yellow Brick Road just after the foursome (and Toto, too!) wake up on the Poppy Field and complete their journey to the Emerald City.  This short sequence was cut prior to the final edit of the film.  The footage no longer remains, but we do have a few photos showing what it might have looked like.

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


January 12, 1942:  Judy and her husband David Rose were photographed out on the town in Miami, Florida, at the Frolic Club.  The caption reads “First Time In Miami” which wasn’t true for Judy but was true for Judy and Rose as a couple.  Judy and David must have taken a jaunt to Miami from New York just prior to their personal appearance tour of Army installations.

January 12, 1943:  Judy was still in the throes of filming the brutal “I Got Rhythm” production number for Girl Crazy.  These photos were taken on this day.

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


January 12, 1944:  Judy was ill and did not work on Meet Me In St. Louis which she was currently filming.  According to the assistant director’s notes filed by Dave Friedman:

At 11:20 last night Judy Garland phoned Al Jennings, assistant director and said she was ill, she still had her headache, her eyes were beginning to swell, and that she would be unable to come in at all today.  Mr. Jennings called me, and I notified Mr. Freed [the film’s producer].  Decision was made to let the crew come in and line, light, and rehearse the difficult boom shot we planned for today, going as far as we could without Miss Garland.  As a result, company did not shoot today. 

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

Virginia O'Brien, Judy Garland, Cyd Charisse in "The Harvey Girls"

January 12, 1945:  The first day of filming on The Harvey Girls consisted of scenes on the “Exterior Balcony” and “Interior Dormitory” sets, including the “It’s A Great Big World” number with co-stars Virginia O’Brien and Cyd Charisse.  The filming of these scenes lasted for several days.

Per the production notes:

Last night Judy Garland was given a call for this morning, by the assistant: 8:00 in makeup; 10:10 ready on set.  She told him she wouldn’t be in until 8:30 as she didn’t need more than an hour and a half for makeup.  This morning she arrived at the studio at 9:25, onstage at 10:50, went into her dressing room and didn’t come on the set until 11:25.  The company was dismissed at 6:12 p.m.

Listen to the existing prerecording of this song here:

Listen to the “pick-up” here:

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

January 12, 1946:  The trade magazine, “Motion Picture Herald,” ran this two-page MGM ad, plus a note about MGM’s upcoming releases, including The Harvey Girls.

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

January 12, 1947:  Jay Scott’s photo column “Candidly, This Is Hollywood” features this photo of Judy with Margaret O’Brien, Red Skelton, and her husband Vincente Minnelli, at a premiere although I don’t know which premiere it was.  It certainly wasn’t the premiere of Till The Clouds Roll By (of which there are several photos) due to the different outfits Judy’s wearing, although it’s the right time period.  Included above is a second photo from the same event, with Esther Williams chatting with Judy.


January 12, 1947:  Filming continued on Easter Parade.  Judy was in makeup at 7 a.m.; due on the set at 9 a.m. 

The assistant director’s notes state: 

At 9:05 a.m. Miss Garland called Wally Worsley from her dressing room to say that she was not feeling well and that she had sent for her doctor.  She said that she would report to set as soon as doctor completed examination.  Miss Garland on stage at 10:19, changing into wardrobe.  Ready at 10:44 a.m.  Judy was dismissed at 3:00 p.m.

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

January 12, 1950:  Judy’s progress in filming Summer Stock was noted by columnists Hedda Hopper and Harrison Carroll.  On this day at MGM Judy filmed the rehearsal scene in Summer Stock, where the cast is seen rehearsing the number “All For You.”

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

January 12, 1951:  Judy provided emcee services for the special radio program “Hollywood Party” (also known as the “Hollywood Testimonial Dinner”) paying tribute to Senator Dudley J. LeBlanc.

Judy performed “Stars and Stripes Forever”; “How Deep Is The Ocean?”; “You’re Just In Love” (with Vic Damone), and she engaged in a comedy skit with Groucho Marx.

Download Judy’s performances here (zip file).

January 12, 1954:  The first of two days of filming on the “Interior Malibu House” set, specifically the party sequence, for A Star Is Born.  This had been delayed from December 1953, when Judy was unhappy with her gown for the scene.  Time started: 2 p.m.; finished: 5:30 p.m.

Some photos were provided by Kim Lundgreen.  Thanks, Kim!

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

January 12, 1961:  Judy participated in a press conference at the Carlyle Hotel in NYC with director Stanley Kramer, regarding her participation in Judgment at Nuremberg.

Judy was staying at the hotel prior to moving to her new apartment at the famous Dakota, which was procured for her by her new agent’s (Freddie Fields) assistant, Stevie Dumler (Stevie Phillips?).

Photos provided by Kim Lundgreen.  Thanks, Kim!


January 12, 1961:  Leonard Lyon’s column mentions Judy’s attendance at the Broadway show “Gypsy” starring Ethel Merman.

“Rose” in “Gypsy” is one role that Garland fans have always wished Judy could have played.  She definitely would have done an amazing job.  She incorporated a couple of the songs from the show into her repertoire, performing “Together” with Liza on her TV series in July 1963, plus she performed “Some People” several times including this fantastic rehearsal recording from April 26, 1962, which was a part of the “live” recording session at New York City’s Manhattan Center, for the planned Capitol album “Judy Takes Broadway.”

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

Listen to Judy’s rehearsal performance of “Some People” below.


January 12, 1962:  Judy signed this addendum to the “Employment Agreement” she signed on September 26, 1961, postponing the start date of filming The Lonely Stage (I Could Go On Singing) from April 16, 1962, to May 14, 1962.

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

January 12, 1964:  “Episode Sixteen” of “The Judy Garland Show” aired on CBS-TV.  The show was taped on December 13, 1963.

Judy’s guests were Ethel Merman, Shelly Berman, and Peter Gennaro.

Judy’s songs: “Everybody’s Doin’ It” and “Let’s Do It” (opener with Merman, Berman, and Gennaro); “Shenandoah”; “Makin’ Whoopee” (with Gennaro, then joined by Berman); and “[Ethel] Merman Medley.” The “Trunk” segment featured Judy singing “A Pretty Girl Milking Her Cow”; “Puttin’ On The Ritz” and her once-in-a-lifetime performance of “Battle Hymn Of The Republic” which she sang in tribute to John F. Kennedy who had been assassinated just a few weeks prior. JFK and Judy were friends and she was devastated by his death.  She had wanted to do a tribute show just after the assassination but CBS nixed the idea, with one exec now famously telling Judy that in a week no one would remember JFK.

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


  1. The dress that the infamous peach/orange one replaced was the cream one with a pattern of small triangles at the waist. It sold at auction recently and there are several publicity pictures showing Judy in it in that scene.
    Luanne Edwards

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