On This Day In Judy Garland’s Life And Career – January 23

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“Judy sings and acts like an earthbound angel.” – “The New York Times” on “Girl Crazy,” 1943

January 23, 1929:  “The Gumm Sisters” (Judy and her sisters) performed as part of “The Meglin Kiddies” at the Old Soldier’s Home in Sawtelle, California.  In 1942 (see the October 23, 1942 entry), Judy returned to the home with Roger Edens and took part in a “soldier’s revue” titled “Fall In.”  Apparently Edens “rehearsed the boys for three weeks.”


January 23, 1932 (possibly January 25):  Frances (Judy) appeared at the Coconut Grove at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California.  The appearance was an impromptu “Tea Dance” with Jimmie Grier and his Orchestra.  This was Judy’s first time performing at The Grove, a venue she returned to in later years with great success, most notably her 1958 appearance which resulted in the first “Judy Garland In Concert” record album, “Garland At The Grove.”  The image above is the marquee from that 1958 engagement.

January 23, 1938:  The world premiere of Everybody Sing was set to take place in Miami, Florida, on January 24, 1938.  Judy arrived on the 24th, her train was scheduled to arrive in Miami at 4:30 p.m.  On the way to Miami, Judy’s train stopped in Mobile, Alabama, where two sisters boarded en route to Pensacola, Florida, after losing a school basketball game.  The sisters got to meet Judy in the station restaurant at the train’s next stop in Flomaton, Alabama.  According to the article, “Judy told them of her school life in California, where she is a student in the eleventh grade, her ice skating and her fondness for eating which she displayed in stops at the Mobile, Flomaton and Pensacola station restaurants.”

Immediately upon arrival in Miami, Judy was interviewed for WIOD Radio which was broadcast live from the station at 4:45 p.m.

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Page on Everybody Sing here.

January 23, 1940:  Judy made her regular appearance on “The Pepsodent Show Starring Bob Hope” on NBC Radio.  A recording of the show is not known to exist and it’s unknown what song(s) Judy sang.


January 23, 1942:  Do you want to look like Judy with clear skin and no blackheads?  Well, use the cream described in this article.

January 23, 1942:  Judy’s USO tour took her to Fort Knox in Louisville, Kentucky.  It was the first of a two-day visit during which she performed two shows a night.  After this engagement, Judy and her husband David Rose then went to the Jefferson Barracks Army post, outside of St. Louis, Missouri.

January 23, 1943:  Girl Crazy filming continued.  It was noted that Judy was working “with Ballbusch Unit – Shot Rodeo Montage.”  There is no “Rodeo Montage” in the final film aside from the dance break in the “I Got Rhythm” number, which had already completed filming on January 14th.  This could have been part of the ultimately deleted “Bronco Busters” number of which no footage remains, only the pre-recording.  Time called: 3 p.m.; dismissed: 4:20 p.m.

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

Photos provided by Kim Lundgreen.  Thanks, Kim!

January 23, 1945:  Judy had wardrobe fittings and was on standby for The Harvey Girls.  Time called: 1:30 p.m.; dismissed: 2:30 p.m.

Restored three-sheet poster provided by Hisato M.  Thanks, Hisato!

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

January 23, 1948:  Filming on Easter Parade continued on MGM’s Backlot #2, the “New York Streets” section, specifically the “Brownstone Street.”  This was the first “Easter Parade” scene in the film, where Judy and Fred Astaire see Ann Miller and Judy makes a sarcastic remark about Ann’s silly hat.  Time called: 7 a.m.; Judy arrived on set at 9 a.m.; dismissed: 3 p.m.

Check out The Judy Room’s “Judy on the MGM Backlot” section for more about Judy’s films shot on MGM’s fabled backlot.

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

January 23, 1950:  This photo was taken of Spencer Tracy visiting Judy on the set of Summer Stock.


January 23, 1951:  This photo of Judy and fellow MGM star Gloria DeHaven, was sent out to publications by the Kings Features Syndicate for the “week ending January 26, 1951).  It has a date stamp of January 23, 1951, meaning that the write-up and the photo were most likely written and taken on this same date at Hollywood’s Club Mocambo.

Earlier in the day, Judy and Bing Crosby recorded her appearance on “The Bing Crosby Show” for CBS Radio.  Crosby recorded all of his shows in advance and this was no different. It was broadcast on February 7.

Judy sang “You Made Me Love You” and with Crosby, “Just The Way You Are” as well as a comedy skit that included “In My Merry Oldsmobile”; “Hello, My Baby”; “Some Rainy Afternoon”; and “Walking My Baby Back Home.”

The recording survives and has been released on various LPs and CDs.

Listen to, and download, “You Made Me Love You” here:

Listen to, and download, the medley here:

Listen to, and download, the complete show here:


January 23, 1957:  Here’s an endorsement of WNEW and their “Make Believe Ballroom” show, which Judy was a guest on in 1951 and on the one-year anniversary of her Carnegie Hall concert on April 23, 1962.

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


January 23, 1960:  Here’s a blurb about the Garland autobiography project.  On January 2, 1960, Judy signed a contract with Random House, to write her autobiography.

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 BroadwayFor Me And My GalGirl CrazyMeet 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.

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.

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


January 23, 1962:  Hedda Hopper reported that Judy was in the running for the film version of the Broadway smash, “The Unsinkable Molly Brown.”  It’s doubtful Judy was seriously considered for the role.  It wasn’t one that Judy was the right age for.  At this point, she was too mature to play the role.  It would have been a great role for her around 1946 but not in 1962 when she was pushing 40 years old.  Debbie Reynolds got the role and an Oscar nomination for “Best Actress.”

January 23, 1963:  Here’s a review of A Child Is Waiting by Stanley Eichelbaum for the “San Francisco Examiner.”  Eichelbaum liked the film in spite of its flaws, one of which was as he stated, “Miss Garland has been permitted an inappropriate ‘star’ performance, with too many filtered closeups, a little too much sobbing, and curiously long false eyelashes.”


January 23, 1966:  An ad for the Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood, Florida.  Judy was in concert at the venue on February 2 -10, 1966.

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

January 23, 1969:  Judy was late to her scheduled appearance at the Talk of the Town nightclub in London.  She had been performing semi-regularly at the club since the end of December 1968.

On this night, she arrived at the club at 12:50 am, an hour and 20 minutes late.  According to biographer Anne Edwards, as noted by Scott Schechter in his “Day by Day Chronicle” book, Judy’s new husband Mickey Deans insisted that she go on in spite of her still suffering from the flu.  It’s reported that the club’s makeup artist, “Miss Martyne,” “repaired her makeup through tears.”

Judy did not go on until 1:05 am.  The audience was told nothing about what had happened or why Judy was late.  Their anger manifested itself by Judy’s second song, “Get Happy,” when a pack of cigarettes was thrown at Judy followed by rude shouting and more cigarette packs.  “A red-haired man managed to get onto the stage and grabbed Judy’s microphone; this is followed by a glass being thrown, and shattering onto the stage, only three feet from where Judy was standing.  Judy decided finally that she could not control these obnoxious people, and walked off.  Her doctor, John Traherne, announced she had been ill all week but had been still making a valiant effort to appear.  Apparently backstage, while upset that no announcement had been made about her lateness, Judy was still in good spirits.  It was decided that she should have the weekend off, and return on Monday, January 27, for her final week.”

According to Schechter, Andrew Lloyd Webber was in the audience for this disastrous January 23 night, and “it inspired him to write ‘Don’t Cry For Me Argentina’ for his show ‘Evita.'”

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


  1. “You Made Me Love You.” Wow! And pow!! Thanks – haven’t heard that version in many years!

  2. “A Child is Waiting” has always been, I believe, one of the jewels in Judy’s crown. I don’t think she’s ever, in all her career, turned in anything close to a “star performance.” This reviewer sounds like a real sh*thead. I can’t believe he could refer to mentally retarded children as “congenital idiots.”

    1. It’s interesting to read the various reviews and articles about Judy over the years. Some of the writers could be quite cruel, especially when talking about her weight!

  3. Even when critics gave her positive reviews (during the MGM years) they could be quite reserved. For instance, I believe it’s Bosley Crother who wrote of her performance in “The Harvey Girls”, “Miss Garland sings her songs pleasantly.” PLEASANTLY? Uh, June Allyson sang pleasantly. Good grief.

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