“She’s a little trouper. I could go back and play ‘Broadway Melody of 1938’ all over again, just for the pleasure of working with that swell little girl.” – Sophie Tucker, circa 1938
January 30, 1925: Frances (Judy) interrupted an Amateur Night at her father’s theater, the New Grand Theater, in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. She repeated her performance from December 26, 1924, during which she sang chorus after chorus of “Jingle Bells.” When she came on again at the finale of this show, the audience declared her the winner, though her father, Frank Gumm, as the owner of the theater, didn’t allow her to accept the award.
January 30, 1938: Judy (and her MGM entourage) was scheduled to stop in El Paso, Texas, on her way back to Hollywood from Miami, Florida, which is where Everybody Sing had its world premiere. However, the premiere was such a success that it was decided to send Judy up to Loew’s State in New York and then have her appear at Loew’s theatres in several states, accompanying the film, before turning to Hollywood. She ended up going to Providence, Rhode Island; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Columbus, Ohio, Chicago, Illinois; the last visit she would ever make to her birthplace of Grand Rapids, Minnesota; then back to Chicago to catch the train to Los Angeles.
Unfortunately, this left El Paso without a Garland appearance.
January 30, 1938: According to this article, Judy’s mom, Ethel, took a “hands-off” approach when it came to Judy working, allegedly staying home most of the time. The article quotes Ethel, “Judy’s really an old timer. She’s been in dramatics for eight years, now. I paid lots of money to obtain fine dramatic training for her. If I had known how to give her the training I could have saved that money. But I didn’t know. I still don’t know much of anything about dramatics. What I do know, I picked up from Judy. So I haven’t the least desire to interfere. Judy may be only 14 but she knows how to run her life – dramatically speaking – and here’s one screen mother who is definitely committed to a strict policy of ‘hands off’.”
January 30, 1940: Judy’s weekly appearance on NBC Radio’s “The Pepsodent Show Starring Bob Hope.” No other information about the show, or what Judy sang, is know. No recording exists.
Also on this day, two news items were printed. The first item notes that Judy was given the chance to sing on the stage of New York’s Metropolitan Opera House. If this really happened, it would have taken place that previous August when she and Mickey Rooney were in the city for the premiere of The Wizard of Oz.
The second item notes that Judy was stalling having her tonsils taken out for fear of it affecting her voice. Judy did a good job of stalling since she didn’t have her tonsils removed until October 1, 1940 (see a photo of Judy convalescing at home on October 2, 1940, here.)
January 30, 1941: According to this article, the baton that Judy wielded in the deleted “We Must Have Music” number in Ziegfeld Girl was her own baton from childhood and allegedly the same baton she used in Pigskin Parade but she didn’t use any baton in that film, co-star Tony Martin did. Clearly, this was more fiction provided by MGM’s publicity department to get Judy’s name in the paper and a mention of Ziegfeld Girl.
January 30, 1942: Judy arrived at Camp Wolters, in Mineral Wells, Texas, the last stop on her USO tour of Army camps with husband David Rose, mom Ethel, and assistant Baron Poland. On the way to Camp Wolters, Judy’s train briefly stopped that Thursday night (January 29th) in Ft. Worth, Texas, where Judy was photographed with MP’s (Military Policemen). It’s noted that Judy was the “first honorary woman member of the military police of World War II.”
According to the papers, Judy led “2,000 Mineral Wells school children in a parade to the post office where each will buy a defense stamp in the interest of the Palo Pinto county campaign to sell defense bonds…” Judy bought the first stamp.
On January 31st, Judy performed at the new $83,000 sports arena as the special guest of honor at a dance for the enlisted men and in honor of President Roosevelt’s birthday.
The second three photos above show Judy checking into her hotel, the Baker Hotel. She stayed in room 703. In a story printed in the Mineral Wells Index in November 2009, local resident Betty Scott remembers the day that her husband, who worked in the maintenance department at the Baker Hotel, got to meet Judy Garland:
“Lawrence wanted to see her so the guys in the maintenance department said that the air conditioning in Miss Garland’s room had a problem and they sent Lawrence up to her room to take care of it. Miss Garland was in her room at the time, as the story goes. She was sitting at her vanity in her dressing gown. She let Lawrence in to work on the air conditioning and he got to see her in person. This was probably one of his greatest moments because he told everyone back then he got to see her in person and that she was very nice.”
January 30, 1944: This photo of Judy and Roger Edens at the premiere of The Song of Bernadette (on December 321, 1943), made Nat Dillinger’s “Inside Hollywood” photo column. Also included above is another shot of Judy and Edens at the same premiere.
Below, is a “human interest” blurb about MGM starlet Mary Elliott. Elliott had a tiny role in Girl Crazy (1943) as, of course, a girl with a thick Southern accent that Mickey Rooney’s character, Danny Churchill, semi-mocks.
January 30, 1945: Judy appeared with Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra on the “March of Dimes America Salutes The President’s Birthday” (FDR) radio show and sang “Love” and “I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now?”
Listen to “Love” here:
Listen to the entire show here:
January 30, 1945: Judy in the news. The first is from Erksine Johnson’s column in which he reports on Judy’s habitual tardiness to the set and how producer Arthur Freed played a joke on her when she actually showed up on time. Apparently, Judy had a well-known reputation for being late, enough so for Johnson to provide an anecdote about it.
The second clipping reports that Judy and director Vincente Minnelli were set to wed early that fall. The couple didn’t wait that long. They were married on June 15, 1945.
The other clippings are for the San Francisco, California, engagement of Meet Me In St. Louis, which was still a huge hit around the country.
January 29, 1947: Till The Clouds Roll By.
January 30, 1948: This photo of Judy with Vincente Minnelli, Carlton Alsop, and Sylvia Sidney went out to the press with the following description on the back:
Sylvia Sidney and her husband Carlton Alsop, at left, join with Judy Garland and her husband, Vincente Minnelli at a Hollywood night club for a discussion of careers. Both woman have interesting hobbies in addition to their screen work. Miss Sydney has decorated her home with her hand-hooked rugs and furniture which she has refinished while Miss Garland has written two book of poetry and dabbles in painting.
1-30-48 Credit Line (ACME)
ACME Roto Service for Immediate Release
Judy spent the day at MGM filming scenes for Easter Parade on the “Interior Vaudeville Theater Backstage” and “Interior Don’s Apartment” sets. Judy was in makeup at 7 a.m.; she arrived on the set at 9:23 a.m.; dismissed at 5:40 p.m.
January 30, 1949: Judy and Vincente Minnelli’s daughter, Liza Minnelli, got two mentions in this uncredited column titled “Studying the Stars.” It notes Liza’s recent debut in her mom’s film In The Good Old Summertime as well as the rumor that she was to play a role in Annie Get Your Gun. Also noted is the fact that Liza was the youngest actress to wear a costume designed by the famous costume designer Irene.
January 30, 1951: Judy appeared on the NBC Radio show “The Bob Hope Show” broadcast from Los Angeles, California. Judy sang the Rodgers & Hammerstein song “I’m In Love With A Wonderful Guy” from “South Pacific.”
Listen to “I’m In Love With A Wonderful Guy” here:
Listen to the entire show here:
After Judy left MGM in September 1950, there was some talk of her replacing Mary Martin in “South Pacific” on Broadway. In October of 1950, Judy was in New York for the baseball World Series and meetings with her new William Morris Agency representative, Abe Lastfogel. There were talks with Rodgers & Hammerstein about taking over for Mary Martin in “South Pacific” currently on Broadway. Rodgers & Hammerstein hoped to write a film or stage musical for her based on the 1936 Katherine Hepburn film “Alice Adams.” Judy had played the part on the radio on November 5, 1950, on NBC’s “Theatre Guild on the Air.”
There were also rumors that Judy would star with Ezio Pinza in “Slightly Dishonorable.” Judy was also supposedly thought about for a film version around 1955. “South Pacific” made it to the screen in 1958 with Mitzi Gaynor in the starring role. It’s doubtful that by 1957 when casting would have been decided on (possibly 1956) Judy would have been seriously considered for the film role, chiefly because she wasn’t the Nellie Forbush type anymore.
January 30, 1951: Part Two of Judy’s own story, as told by her to Michael Drury.
January 30, 1954: A Star Is Born filming continued with the scene on the “Interior Dressing Room” set. This was the very heartwrenching scene with Judy’s “Vicki Lester” pouring her heart out to Charles Bickford’s “Oliver Niles” about James Mason’s “Norman Maine,” between takes of the peppy “Lose That Long Face” number.
“Lose That Long Face” was cut from the general release print of the film, but the dressing room scene was not. The number, which takes place before the dressing room scene with a short reprise after, was not seen until the restoration of the film in 1983. The scene with the musical number as a framing device is even more powerful than without it. Luckily for us, the lost footage for this segment survived and we can all enjoy it as it was intended to be seen by the film’s director, George Cukor.
Photos provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim!
January 30, 1961: Judy and daughter Liza Minnelli, along with fashion designer Donald Brooks, were photographed leaving the theater after seeing the Broadway show, “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” starring Tammy Grimes and Harve Presnell. Judy was rumored to be in the running to star in the film adaptation a few years later. The role went to Debbie Reynolds, who received an Oscar nomination for “Best Actress” for the 1964 MGM film adaptation.
Note that the back of one of the photos incorrectly notes that Judy and Liza are with Judy’s ex-husband (and Liza’s dad) Vincente Minnelli. It also incorrectly notes that the photo was taken on March 4th.
January 30, 1963, to February 3, 1963: Judy, along with Phil Silvers and Robert Goulet, taped her special for CBS TV titled “Judy Garland and Her Guests Phil Silvers and Robert Goulet” in New York. The show aired on March 19, 1963, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. and received stellar reviews.
The special was nominated for an Emmy award for Outstanding Music Program but lost to “Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall.”
January 30, 1964: Judy wrote a check on her Kings Row Enterprises, Inc., checking account to Clorehea Gland, a member of her household staff, for $96.37.
January 30, 1967: Judy and Tom Green again saw “Mame” at the Winter Garden Theater, starring Judy’s The Harvey Girls co-star, Angela Lansbury.
In 2017, Lansbury was interviewed for “Vanity Fair” in which she talked about working with Judy, and then seeing her again while doing “Mame”:
In 1966, Lansbury won the best leading actress in a musical Tony for “Mame,” and Judy Garland visited her dressing room, just three years before Garland’s death. “‘Angie, I’d give anything to play this part,’” Lansbury remembers Garland saying. “I knew it was somebody reaching out in a sort of desperation, at that point, because this was way, way on, when her kids were growing up, and she was, you know, not doing very well. I said, ‘Think about it. You can do it. What’s stopping you?’ And, of course, I knew she never would. Nevertheless, that was her yearning to do something different, something that was a wonderful role. Once an actress, always an actress!”
Lansbury also said of Judy:
“She was driven by an army of people, who were interested in getting everything they could out of her,” explained Lansbury, who shared a limousine with Garland while shooting [The Harvey Girls]. “I was aware of how very extraordinary her talent was. I could see that harboring this extraordinary talent took every bit of energy that she had, and caused her to make some terrible mistakes.”
Read the entire article here. It’s one installment of a series of articles about the MGM “Dream Factory.”
Photo above: 1967 snapshot of Judy and Tom Green. Below is a wonderful and unusual ad for The Harvey Girls.
January 30, 1969: Judy had a business meeting at 5:30 p.m. with Bob Colby and Hector (Ettore) Stratta, along with John Meyer, in Judy’s room at the Ritz Hotel in London, England The meeting was held with Mickey Deans in an effort to determine what was going to happen about the recording session set for February 4th. Despite the studio being booked, musicians being hired, and Johnny Spence providing the arrangements (Spence had worked with Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdink), it was decided that after five weeks of signing, Judy would sound better after a month of rest. Deans later said that he decided not to accept the offer for Judy to appear in a TV commercial (proposed by TWA Airlines and to feature Judy with Mickey Rooney) because Judy wanted to go to the Virgin Islands.
Photo: Judy and Mickey Deans in 1969.