“That little something extra. Well, you’ve got it!” – James Mason to Judy Garland in “A Star Is Born”
February 5, 1937: This ad features a showing of the 1936 MGM short, Every Sunday, which was proving to be one of the most popular MGM shorts to date.
February 5, 1938: Judy and Fanny Brice, with an assist from Mickey Rooney, are seen enjoying a bounty of food. We know just how staged that was for Judy! The photos are part of MGM’s publicity around Everybody Sing. Included is a page from the “Hollywood Spectator” magazine that published its opinion of the film.
February 5, 1939: Here’s another example of “The Judy Garland Story” that wasn’t quite true, but MGM’s publicity department wasn’t always concerned with total accuracy. Still, these are fun to read.
February 5, 1941: Little Nelly Kelly, released on November 22, 1940, was enjoying a good, long run.
February 5, 1942: Here’s an ad from Decca Records that promoted three different versions of the recent hit song, “Blues In The Night.” Judy recorded her version of the song on October 24, 1941. The song was on the “A” side of Decca Record #4081, with “FDR Jones” (also recorded on October 24, 1941) on the “B” side.
Listen to “Blues In The Night” here:
Listen to the alternate take of “Blues In The Night” here:
Listen to “FDR Jones” here:
Label images from the Rick Smith collection. Thanks, Rick!
February 5, 1943: For Me And My Gal (released in 1942) was still doing great business in theater across the nation.
February 5, 1942: The rumor that Judy was pregnant made the columns. It’s now known that she did indeed become pregnant while married to David Rose and was convinced by MGM (and allegedly her mom and to a lesser degree, her husband Rose) to get an abortion. Allegedly when he found out that Judy was pregnant, MGM boss Louis B. Mayer screamed, “That baby can’t have a baby!” See yesterday’s entry.
Meanwhile, the papers were still reporting Judy was home with strep throat. This could have been a ruse cooked up by the studio. She might have been recovering from the abortion which would explain the need for a two-week rest on doctor’s orders.
February 5, 1944: Judy had three films currently in theaters, all released in 1943: Girl Crazy, Presenting Lily Mars, and Thousands Cheer. Below is the 8-page 8-page MGM ad spread published in the “Motion Picture Herald” trade magazine.
February 5, 1944: The latest installment of the regular feature, “What The Picture Did For Me,” as published in the trade magazine “Motion Picture Herald” included four separate items of feedback about Girl Crazy (released in 1943) from the managers/owners of local theatres:
From A.E. Hancock of the Columbia Theatre in Columbia City, Indiana:
Mickey Rooney has the same old bag of tricks and the public is getting bored with them.
From F.A. Falle of the F.S. Theatre-No.1, B&G School, in Javis, Ontario, Canada:
Thank MGM for this one; it is really a honey. Mickey Rooney certainly at his best. Played to a full house.
From Thomas di Lorenzo of the New Paltz Theatre in New Paltz, New York:
Typical good MGM musical production which pleased all who came. Business was good; played under excellent weather conditions.
From F.R. Crist of the Crist Theatre in Loveland, Ohio:
A typical Rooney picture. Rooney is always good here. Plenty of laughs.
February 5, 1945: Columnist Harrison Carroll reported on the upcoming marriage of Judy and Vincente Minnelli. Carroll wasn’t too far off in stating the ceremony would be in July. The couple was married on June 15, 1945.
On this day at MGM Judy had wardrobe tests. She was due on the set at 10 a.m.; she arrived on set at 11:40 a.m.; times dismissed: 4:20 p.m.
February 5, 1945: Meet Me In St. Louis (released in 1944) was a big hit around the country.
February 5, 1948: The second of a rare two-day break for Judy at MGM. She wasn’t needed for any work on the film she was making at the time, Easter Parade co-starring Fred Astaire. There’s no doubt she probably enjoyed this break immensely.
February 5, 1949: Here are photos of the window displays at the Regent Theatre in Battle Creek, Michigan, promoting Words and Music (released in 1948). The film opened in Battle Creek on this day in 1949.
February 5, 1950: Judy and co-star Gene Kelly filmed the finale version of “You Wonderful You” for Summer Stock. Spencer Tracy happened to visit the set on this day.
February 5, 1954: The second day of a week’s filming of the “Someone At Last” number for A Star Is Born on the “Interior Malibu Home” set. Time started: 10 a.m.; finished: 6:15 p.m.
During the month of January, Judy had been rehearsing in the evenings with her MGM musical mentor, Roger Edens, who devised much of the material.
To film the number, director George Cukor used a new technique for him – and possibly for a big-budget Hollywood film – by shooting the number like television with two cameras filming at the same time instead of just one that would be moved to a new position after each angle was shot. This added greatly to the overall effect of the number.
February 5, 1955: This news blurb notes that Judy recorded greetings in English and French for the British and French premieres of A Star Is Born. Those recordings are not known to exist.
February 5, 1956: This photo of Judy with Frank Sinatra at the Los Angeles premiere of The Man With The Golden Arm (December 26th) ran in the photo features of some newspapers. It was common for photos from events to show up in various papers for months (or more) after the event took place.
February 5, 1965: Judy’s appearance on the show “On Broadway Tonight,” which was taped on February 2nd, premiered on CBS-TV. Judy sang “When You’re Smiling”; “Almost Like Being In Love”/”This Can’t Be Love”; “I Wish You Love” (with the Allen Brothers); “The Music That Makes Me Dance”; and “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby.”
This was Judy’s first TV appearance taped in the US – and her first on CBS – since the end of her series in 1964. Judy allegedly received $7,500 for her appearance.
Also on February 5th, Judy went to a performance of the Broadway musical “Golden Boy” and was photographed backstage with the show’s stars Sammy Davis, Jr., and Paula Wayne.
February 5, 1966: Judy said The Wizard of Oz is too scary for kids!