On This Day In Judy Garland’s Life And Career – February 15

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“The mere flash of [Judy’s] name on the screen created excitement, but then the little star went into action.  Zounds!” – “Los Angeles Herald-Examiner” on “Summer Stock,” 1950





February 15, 1938:  Here are a couple of fun ads for Everybody Sing.



This week in 1939:  The Wizard of Oz filming continued with the “Wizard’s Presentation” scenes.  These were the last scenes shot by director Victor Fleming before moving on to save another troubled production, Gone With The Wind.
 
King Vidor took over and filmed the Kansas scenes (including “Over the Rainbow”) and some retakes.
 
Fleming became the director on record for both films, winning the “Best Director” Oscar for Gone With The Wind.
 


February 15, 1941:  The storyline of Little Nellie Kelly, as published in the “Vancouver Sun” out of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Pages on Little Nellie Kelly here.



February 15, 1943: Filming on Girl Crazy continued with scenes shot on the ‘Exterior Corral” set.  Time called: 11:00 a.m.; dismissed: 5:40 p.m.

Photos above:  Judy with director Norman Taurog on the set around this time.

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



February 15, 1944:  Filming on Meet Me In St. Louis continued with more scenes shot on the “Exterior Smith Home and Street” set which was the newly completed “St. Louis Street” on MGM’s Backlot #3.  Time called: 11:00 a.m.; dismissed: 3:45 p.m.  It’s unknown if the scenes shot were those with Judy in her tennis outfit (“Summer 1903”) or those of Judy and the rest of the cast for the finale sequence (“Spring 1904”).

The gorgeous standing set was built for the film and some people at the studio thought it was a waste of money.  The set proved to be one of the most versatile on the backlot, appearing in many films (e.g., In The Good Old Summertime, The Long, Long Trailer) and later in TV shows (including a few episodes of “The Twilight Zone”).

Check out The Judy Room’s “Judy Garland on the MGM Backlot” section for more information about where Judy filmed scenes for her films on the MGM backlot.

The photos above include Judy with Lucille Bremer, producer Arthur Freed, Tom Drake, Margaret O’Brien, and Joan Carroll.

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



February 15, 1945:  A busy day for Judy.  She had a fitting for The Harvey Girls from 1:00 p.m. to 2:55 p.m., arriving for the fitting at 2:10 p.m.  She then had rehearsals with Kay Thompson.  She was due for that at 2:30 p.m. and arrived at 3:00 p.m.; dismissed at 4:00 p.m.

Photos above: Article about Angela Lansbury starring with Judy in The Harvey Girls; two clippings promoting Meet Me In St. Louis (which was still doing big business in theaters around the country).

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

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

Later in the evening, Judy recorded the radio show “Dick Tracy in B-Flat – or – For Goodness Sake Isn’t He Ever Going To Marry Tess Trueheart?” for the Armed Forces Radio Service Command Performance series.

Download the entire show here (zip file).

The incredible cast was as follows:

Bing Crosby………………………….Dick Tracy
Dinah Shore……………………Tess Trueheart
Harry Von Zel………………Old Judge Hooper
Jerry Colona………………………..Police Chief
Bob Hope………………………………….Flattop
Frank Morgan……………….Vitamin Flintheart
Jimmy Durante………………………..The Mole
Judy Garland…………………………Snowflake
The Andrews Sisters………..Summer Sisters
Frank Sinatra……………………………..Shaky
Cass Daley……………………….Gravel Gertie

The show was broadcast on April 19, 1945, or April 29, 1945, depending on which source you believe.

The recording was originally released on LP by Hollywood Soundstage (as well as other companies such as Sandy Hook Records) in the 1970s.  In the 1990s, Hollywood Soundstage released several of their albums on CD, with photos of the covers and backs of the albums used for the CD cover art.  The transfer to CD by Hollywood Soundstage is “iffy” at best.  An EMI 2002 CD release has better sound.



February 15, 1950:  Judy and Gene Kelly filmed the “You Wonderful You” reprise version for Summer Stock.

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



February 15, 1951:  Judy appeared on the CBS Radio show “The Hallmark Playhouse” performing a take on the classic fairy tale “Cinderella” in which she played a writer whose short stories are always rejected because they “sound too much like Cinderella.”

Listen to the show here:

Check out The Judy Room’s “Judy Sings! – On The Radio” pages here.



February 15, 1951:  Two more clippings.  The first is Paul Jones’s column, “Television-Radio” in which he poses the question of whether Judy would make a comeback via television and radio.  She had been appearing on a few radio shows since her split with MGM just five months prior in September 1950 which proved to be successful and kept her in the public eye in spite of the sometimes negative press about her career being over.  Judy did have a comeback in 1951, spectacularly at The Palace Theater in New York eight months later.  This was the first-ever official “Judy Garland Festival.”

The second is part of Inez Gerhard’s column “Star Dust” in which he notes that Debbie Reynolds was on tap to be assigned the roles that might have gone to Judy had she stayed at MGM.  Gerhard was correct in stating that Reynolds had “a long, hard pull ahead of her if she is to take Judy’s place.”  Although she never took Judy’s place (who could?) Reynolds became a legend in her own right.

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



February 15, 1952:  Judy was in the final week of her astounding, record-breaking comeback at The Palace Theater in New York City.   MGM chose to capitalize on her newfound success by having a “Judy Garland Festival” (of just two films) at Loew’s State Theater in New York City beginning on this date.  It’s assumed that this was the first official Judy Garland film festival.

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

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Page on Babes in Arms here.

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



February 15, 1959:  Judy was set to perform at The Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami, Florida.  She played the venue, to sell out crowds, from February 17, 1959, to March 1, 1959.  The second clipping is a notice of an upcoming airing of The Pirate in San Francisco, California.  The notice points out that Cole Porter is America’s answer to England’s Noel Coward.

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

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



February-15,-1963-MICKEY-SUBS-Reno_Gazette_Journal

February 15, 1963:  Judy was still suffering from a bad case of the flu, and exhaustion, and had to bow out of her scheduled shows at Harrah’s Resort in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.  Her old pal Mickey Rooney came in to replace her and complete the rest of the engagement.

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



February-15,-1965-ON-BROADWAY-TONIGHT-San_Antonio_Express

February 15, 1965:  “On Broadway Tonight” had premiered on February 5, 1965, but was rerun in smaller markets for a few weeks afterward.  This airing was in the San Antonio, Texas, market.

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



February-15,-1966-EARL-WILSO-JUDY-AT-ARTHUR-Courier_Post

February 15, 1966:  Columnist Earl Wilson reported that Judy had recently been seen at the popular nightclub spot, “Arthur,” with Lionel Bart.  Bart was the composer, lyricist, and playwright for “Oliver!” which was the insanely successful musical adaptation of “Oliver Twist” by Charles Dickens.  Judy loved the show, especially the song “Consider Yourself” which she would sing with her kids as well as with them on the Christmas episode of her TV series.  She also performed an amazing, spine-tingling rendition of the show’s big ballad, “As Long As He Needs Me” on the same series.

Also on this date, Mike Connolly’s column in the “Hollywood Reporter” announced that Judy had been signed to do a dramatic role in an upcoming episode of “Chrysler Theater.”  He also stated that Judy’s daughter Lorna and son Joey were signed by a talent agency, under the names “Lorna Herron” and “Joe Wiley.”  Judy never appeared on the show.

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



February 15, 1969:  Apparently NBC was having a hard time finding a sponsor for their next airing of The Wizard of Oz on TV.  The network took over from CBS in 1968 showing the film on April 20, 1968.  The next showing (obviously they found a new sponsor) was March 9, 1969.

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





 

7 comments

  1. Those outdoor shots of Judy on the set of “Girl Crazy” are curious, as the entire number was filmed on a soundstage. Odd.

    I’m a fan of the ’60’s sci-fi show “The Outer Limits.” In an early episode, “The Man Who Was Never Born”, a lot of action takes place on the front porch of the “Smith” Victorian home. Lost of shots, too, of the house directly across the street. Even thought it’s set and shot in 1963, everything looks exactly the same as it does in the 1944 film.

    How BIZARRE that Judy’s bitterness towards Luft in 1966 would compel her have Lorna professionally known as Lorna
    Herron (!) and Joe as Joseph Wiley (his middle name). Garland would be done with Mark in Herron in two months, and in
    less than a year she’d be professionally relying on Sid once again!

    1. I enjoy catching locations on MGM’s backlot in those TV shows of the 50s and 60s. They sure got a lot of use!

      That IS strange about the names. Luckily that didn’t last long. 🙂

  2. Since Busby Berkeley filmed the I Got Rhythm finale, it is interesting and surprising to me to see Norman Taurog, the director, there with Judy in her white fringed cowgirl outfit.

    1. My assumption is that he directed a non-musical scene or two that were part of the entire sequence but deleted. It’s a mystery!

  3. MEET ME IN ST LOUIS played first-run at the Astor, not Loew’s State, which was still playing vaudeville and usually a second run feature at that time.

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