On This Day In Judy Garland’s Life And Career – February 4

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“Judy Garland is an extremely clever little comedian.  She proves it in a delightful duet with Fanny Brice, and anyone who stands up to Miss Brice at her own comedy game is very good indeed.” – “Film Weekly” review of “Everybody Sing,” 1938

February 4, 1938:  Judy left Miami, Florida, for her very first personal appearance on the New York stage, at Loew’s State, beginning February 10th and then on to several cities in the east and midwest.  This was Judy’s second trip to NY.  In late May 1936, MGM sent her to the city on a small persona appearance tour.  Although she did not perform on stage in New York at the time, she did appear on Rudy Vallee’s popular radio show and had her third recording session for Decca Records in their New York studios.

Judy, her mom Ethel, and their entourage stopped in Jacksonville, Florida, where these two photos were taken.  It’s unclear if they spent the night, Judy didn’t have any performing engagements, but they did have what looks like breakfast, with Guy Kenimer (in back at right behind Ethel) of the Florida Theatre in Jacksonville and an unidentified man and young lady.  This could have been a meet-up with MGM execs and local theater owners, which wouldn’t have been unusual at all.  These photos were taken on either February 4th or possibly the 5th.  Judy (and her entourage) arrived by train in New York on February 7, so there was definitely enough time to stop in Jacksonville on the way up the East Coast.

Also on this day, Edwin Schallert’s column (shown here) reported that Judy was going to do a “bit of biographing” for MGM, speculating that it might be the story of Sarah Bernhardt or even Fanny Brice (who had just co-starred with Judy in Everybody Sing).

A big thanks to Bobby Waters for providing the close-up photo shown here.

February 4, 1939:  In the late 30s and early 40s, MGM marketed Judy as an example of the height of teen fashion, including “Judy Garland Dresses” and “Judy Garland Hats” along with photos of Judy modeling many of the designs.  The photos above are some examples.  I think she’s quite pretty in these photos!

February 4, 1942:  These photos were taken of Judy at home in bed with a case of strep throat.  Judy returned to Los Angeles from her USO tour of Army camps on February 2nd and was immediately taken to the hospital to get care for that strep throat.  Her physician said that she would be on bed rest for two weeks.

This is one of the times that is thought of as a possible time when Judy had her first abortion.  She allegedly had more than one abortion during her time at MGM (some claim that she had three) and definitely had one during her marriage to David Rose.  The studio, her mother, and Rose (to a smaller extent) all agreed that a child would halt Judy’s career which was currently shooting straight to the top, and fast.  They convinced Judy to go through with the procedure.  It’s alleged that this abortion was one of the main reasons for the breakup of Judy’s marriage to Rose.

February 4, 1943:  Judy and David Rose’s separation was news.

February 4, 1944:  Girl Crazy (released in 1943) was still in theaters, although one ad used a photo of Judy and Mickey from 1940’s Strike Up The Band.  Also advertised was the last two days of Meet Me In St. Louis playing in Los Angeles.

February 4, 1947:  Judy recorded a guest spot on Bing Crosby’s radio show, “The Philco Radio Time/Bing Crosby Show” for ABC Radio.  Crosby always recorded his shows in advance of the air date, which in this case was February 19.  Judy sang “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “Connecticut” (with Crosby), a comedy sketch, and “Tearbucket Jim.”  This was one of just a few radio shows in which Judy appeared in 1947, due to her busy schedule at MGM.

Listen to “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” here:

Listen to “Connecticut” here:

Listen to “Tearbucket Jim” here:

Listen to the rehearsal of the show here:

Listen to the broadcast of the show here:

February 4, 1947:  Till The Clouds Roll By


February 4, 1948:  The first of a rare two-day break from filming Easter Parade.  Judy had no other studio commitments.

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

February 4, 1949:  This ad for Words And Music (released in 1948) makes it seem as though Judy and Perry Como are the film’s main co-stars.  Como was one of the firm’s supporting players and Judy was a guest star, playing herself in a party scene.

February 4, 1954:  A Star Is Born filming continued with scenes on the “Interior Malibu Home” set, specifically the “Tour De Force” aka “Someone At Last.”  Time started: 11 a.m.; finished: 7 p.m.

The number had been rehearsed in the evenings during the month of January with Roger Edens (Judy’s musical mentor) devising much of the material.

From the production notes: Camera and set ready at 10 a.m.; Judy Garland worked from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.  First shot (done) at 2:15.  Six takes of start of number bars 1-16.  Adjust lights for added business and light changes.  Took bars 17-36 from 4:25 to 5:30 (Five takes). Shot bars 37-52 from 6:20 to 7:00 (Five takes).

The film’s director, George Cukor, used a new technique for the film (perhaps new for any film of this stature in the industry) when he shot the number more like television, having two cameras running/filming at the exact same time instead of just one that would be moved to a new position after each angle was shot.

The filming of the number continued on February 5th and 8th (Judy was out sick on the 6th & 7th.)

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

Photos provided by Kim Lundgreen.  Thanks, Kim!

February 4, 1954:  Ed Sullivan’s column was devoted to songwriter Harold Arlen, composer of “Over the Rainbow” as well as many other wonderful standards.  Meanwhile, Hedda Hopper’s column told of how Bing Crosby allegedly “fell under the sway of Judy Garland’s talent at a party” and told his studio he wanted to make a film with her while Warner Bros. star Doris Day was apparently the big shot at the studio and so was doing what Judy was doing, keeping banking hours.  All of that is taken with the grain of salt since Hopper was known for embellishing and/or making up stories to fill her column.

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

February 4, 1956:  The news of Judy filing for divorce from Sid Luft was in the papers.  She filed on February 3 but dropped the suit on February 6th.


February 4, 1958:  Judy and her husband Sid Luft made the news for what they owed to the IRS in back taxes.  The headline is misleading.  While they did owe more than most celebrities reported in the article, it was Charlie Chaplin who really headed the list, owing $1.4 million.

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


February 4, 1959:  Here’s a fun ad for a showing of Meet Me In St. Louis on local TV in Orangeburg, South Carolina, which puts the emphasis on Marjorie Main.

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

February 4, 1961:  The record critic for the “Calgary Herald” out of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, wasn’t too pleased with Judy’s recent LP for Capitol Records, “That’s Entertainment!” saying:  A new Judy Garland record is an almost unfailing source of delight, but this one suggests that the famed voice is undergoing a transition.  Not so vibrant as before, and a little drier.  Included are Who Cares? If I Loved [sic] Again, and Old Devil Moon.

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

February 4, 1962:  Judy featured prominently in this full-page ad for the Capitol Record Club, thanks to the smash hit 2-LP set, “Judy At Carnegie Hall.”  The image the label used is that wonderful artwork from the 1958 LP “Judy in Love.”

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


February 4, 1964:  The following checks were issued and signed by Judy on her Kingsrow Enterprises, Inc. checking account:

#547: Wayne Jones (staff; no address; $148.56
#549: Lionel Doman (Judy’s butler); $120.47
#550: Cloretha B. Gland (household staff); $96.37
(#??): Harry E. Dietrich, M.D., 153 S. Lasky Dr., Beverly Hills, CA, for $40.00; issued on February 5, 1964.

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

February 4, 1966:  The latest installment in “The Child Stars” series that ran in paper across the country focused on Mickey Rooney, with some mention of Judy, of course.  This included the story about Mickey’s mom asking him why he wasn’t interested in marrying Judy to which he famously replied, “Judy’s like a sister, that’s why.”

February 4, 1966:  Another review of Judy’s recent opening at the Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood, Florida.


  1. As a very naive and sheltered adolescent, I was absolutely horrified to read in Anne Edwards’ biography that 19-year-old Judy was pressured by those closest to her to abort her first child. However since Edwards’ book seemed a bit sensationalistic and error-prone, I chose to not believe it . . . but apparently it was true. The thought of it still saddens me–not only because young Judy was probably heartbroken, but also because, given the child’s parentage, the world most likely missed out on another beautiful and talented individual!

  2. I, too, thimk the teen modeling shots show a very pretty girl. The banner photo, especially, shows someone with absolutely no cause for insecurity about her appearance. She’s positively FETCHING!

    She had such a special face. . . . .

    1. Agreed! It’s a shame that she didn’t get any confidence from MGM. Judy’s beauty was more natural than the “love goddesses” (not that they weren’t pretty) but Judy’s beauty was more relatable and down to earth, if you know what I mean.

  3. I think I do know what you mean. It’s a very American face, I think, for one thing. She’s certainly very “pert” and fresh-faced. Those wide-set, big brown eyes….I mean, what can you say? Who had eyes like that? The love goddesses were indeed a feast for the eyes. But they were almost machines. If I had to name one thing about the way Judy was different in her face I would have to say guilelessness. Open. Right out there. I know in later years she could be as devious and calculating as the next guy, and probably needed to be for her own good, but when I see her teenaged face I just get a sense of innocence and genuine friendliness. Sexy? Maybe not….But appealing? Absolutely, times infinity!!!

    1. I think you nailed it! Recently a co-worker was looking at the “Year in Review” and commented about how her eyes, and Liza’s too, were wide set. It’s interesting that you would mention that as well. 🙂

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