On This Day In Judy Garland’s Life And Career – February 16

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“Miss Garland is as lovable off-screen as she has ever been in a picture role.” – Jimmie Fidler, 1943

February 16, 1932:  “The Gumm Sisters” (Judy and her sisters) performed at the Five Friends Plan Dance at the Fox Film Studios in Los Angeles, California.

February 16, 1936, & February 16, 1937:  Two items that get some of the facts wrong about Judy’s life, career, and even her age.  These are early examples of the fiction generated by MGM’s always-prolific publicity department.


February 16, 1938:  Judy’s rise, and her career in general, as compared to that of Deanna Durbin for much of the 1930s and 1940s.  Also on this day, “Variety” published this “Thank You” from Judy to New York, Loew’s State, and MGM executives, for her recent premiere on the NY stage at Loew’s State Theatre, part of her Everybody Sing tour.

February 16, 1942:  Judy had been home from her USO tour for several weeks when this column by Frederick C. Othman was published about the tour and the cold that kept Judy bedridden for weeks.

Judy and her husband David Rose returned to Los Angeles, California, from the tour on February 2, 1942.  Judy had developed strep throat and so was taken immediately to the hospital.  Her physician said that she would be on bed rest for two weeks.

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


Move Star Sings For 200,000 Soldiers In Three Weeks

United Press Writer

HOLLYWOOD, Feb. 16 – Ever see a movie beauty with red eyes?  And a cold in the head?

Well, we did.  today.  Name of Judy Garland.  And we must report that she still looked pretty.

Miss G. was sitting in a blue bathrobe on her front porch, soaking up sunshine and watching her husband labor on the railroad.  Honest.

His name is Dave Rose.  He’s a band leader by night and a miniature railroad proprietor by day.  He has 1,000 feet of track circling his house.  On it runs a steam locomotive, with a string of open-top freight cars, with seats in ’em.  Carried 14 passengers.  Sign says “The Gar-Rose Railroad.”

Rose and wife like to take their friends train riding on a Sunday afternoon.  This is tough on the friends, but good for the dry cleaners, account of the soot from the smokestack.  The Gar-Rose railroad burns soft coal.

Toured Army Camps

Anyhow there was Miss Garland consuming sunshine and eggs.  The doc says she has got to eat more.  She used to weight 120 pounds and had curves like the railroad.  Now she weights 98 pounds and the curves are subdued.

As for the cold, Miss Garland picked that up during her recent tour of midwest army camps.  She also picked up a suitcase full of badges, commissions and souvenirs, including an arm-band which indicates she is the only honorary member of the female sex in the army military police.

She said that on her three-week trip she sang three times a day to some 200,000 soldiers.  She also made six radio broadcasts and in the course of her travels, told about Hollywood for the benefit of 25 different newspaper interviewers.

Fine Audiences

From Fort Custer, Mich., Miss Garland and Rose went to Fort Knox, Ky., Jefferson Barracks, Mo., Camp Robinson, Ark., and Camp Wolters, Tex.

She said soldiers made fine audiences.  They’d applaud if she’d just wave her hand.  When she’s sing, they’d yell for more.  It cost them 20 cents each to hear her.  Many a soldier cannot understand why he has to pay so much.  Twenty cents is a lot of money to a man who earns $21 a month.

She got a lot of sleep, traveling from one camp to another.  And that’s how she caught her cold.  Got her sore throat.  She stayed in bed for a week and is now convalescing.


Photo above:  Judy and David at the Brentwood Service Player’s Party in Brentwood, California, provided by Phyllis McCleary Turner.  Thanks, Phyllis!

February 16, 1942:  Babes on Broadway.

February 16, 1943:  Jimmie Fidler’s latest column addressed the recent separation of Judy and husband David Rose.  Typical of the times, Fidler notes that the reason for the separation is the fact that a woman, “particularly a young woman,” can’t have a career and be a wife at the same time!  Check out the last paragraph below, bolded by me.

When a couple of swell kids like Dave Rose and Judy Garland, after little more than a year of marriage, quarrel and separate, it makes you wonder.  What chance marriage in this strange adle-pated society that’s been built up here in Hollywood?  What’s wrong with this town, anyway?

I’ve watched the Garland-Rose romance from its inception.  Judy and Dave are close friends of my wife’s and mine.  They came to our parties; we go to theirs.  And I know they were head over heels in love when they married.  They weren’t school children, mistaking a passing fancy for the real thing; they were adults, absolutely sure of the step they were taking.

Rose is one of the most charming young men I’ve ever known.  Miss Garland is as lovable off-screen as she has ever been in a picture role.  Both are tremendously interested in music.  The one is the perfect complement for the other.  Yet one year of marriage and they’ve headed for the divorce courts!  It just doesn’t make sense.

It seems to me there can be only one logical explanation and that one is exceedingly old-fashioned.  A woman – particularly a young woman – can’t make things jell when she tries to be a wife and careerist at the same time.  One thing or the other – the career or the marriage – must take precedence.  Hollywood’s young people haven’t achieved the philosophy – call it emotional dullness, if you prefer – that’s needed to make compromises.

February 16, 1943:  Judy was busy at MGM filming Girl Crazy on the “Billy the Kid” street on the studio’s Backlot #3.  Time called: 2:00 p.m.; dismissed: 6:00 p.m.  Judy also posed for publicity stills in her “I Got Rhythm” costume, most likely that morning before filming on MGM’s Lot #3 (the “Western Street”).

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.

Photos provided by Kim Lundgreen.  Thanks, Kim!

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


February 16, 1944:  Judy had a 10:00 a.m. call for “cover” – protection in case another scene or set wasn’t able to be filmed – but was not needed for work on Meet Me In St. Louis on this day after all.

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

February 16, 1945:  MGM recording session.  Judy pre-recorded “My Intuition” for The Harvey Girls with costar John Hodiak and “In The Valley.”  Time called: 1:30 p.m.; time on sound stage: 1:30 p.m.; dismissed: 4:40 p.m.

The Music Daily Report for this day doesn’t list Judy or John Hodiak although this is the only date “My Intuition” and “In The Valley” were recorded.  The scene numbers called out at the beginning of the surviving pre-recordings match this daily report.  The omission of the details is most likely a simple clerical error by the person who took the notes and/or the person who typed them up.

Listen to “In The Valley” Take 5 (Judy’s solo) here:

Listen to “My Intuition” Take 5 here:

Listen to the remastered version of “My Intuition” here:

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

February 16, 1946:  Although the Christmas holiday was long past, that didn’t stop MGM from running this ad in the trade magazine “Motion Picture Herald.”  Also in the magazine was a report on the recent grosses of The Harvey Girls.

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

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Pages on Ziegfeld Follies of 1946 here.

February 16, 1946:  The Harvey Girls.


February 16, 1948:  Here’s an ad placed by MGM in the trade magazine, the “Independent Exhibitor’s Film Bulletin.”

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

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

February 16, 1948:  Columnist Hedda Hopper noted Judy’s upcoming busy schedule.  That’s Ms. Hopper in the photo.

February 16, 1949:  Words and Music.

February 16, 1949:  Columnists Hedda Hopper and Bob Thomas both referenced the recent MGM 25th Anniversary luncheon held at MGM.

February 16, 1950:  Here is another column from Jimmie Fidler.  This time he addresses Judy’s recent issues with, and “temperamental” behavior at, MGM.  Judy was currently struggling through the filming of Summer Stock.

Fidler gave Judy the benefit of the doubt by noting if she was suffering from a real ailment she hadn’t yet been treated properly.  In spite of that seeming sympathy, Fidler goes on to chastise stars (Judy) for being unprofessional.


If all the Hollywoodites who were NOT astonished by the new outbreak of trouble between Judy Garland and her MGM bosses were laid side to side, they’d make a corduroy road from here to San Francisco.  It’s been apparent to most observers for a long, long time that Miss Garland, either because of some chronic illness or because of a permanently impaired viewpoint, is incapable of giving her fellow workers any real co-operation.  Personally, and I base my opinion on cores of eye-witness stories about her tantrums and rebellions, I favor the distorted viewpoint theory.

In either case it’s difficult to sympathize with MGM, for it walked into the current set of woes with its eyes open.  The bosses of that studio must have known (1) that if Judy is suffering from some deep-seated nervous ailment, she hadn’t had treatment enough to effect a cure, or (2) that if that “ailment” is temperament, she hadn’t received punishment enough to change her spots.  

One of these days, perhaps, Hollywood producers, through sheer necessity, are going to become realists enough to face the fact that a star’s “talents” aren’t worth a hoot unless the star is willing and able to give real co-operation in the filming of pictures.  The movie industry, for the past five or six years, has been wasting untold millions in its effort to placate rebellious, “temperamental,” stellar nincompoops who seem to have no realization of the fact that their fat pay checks should be EARNED.

Photo:  Gene Kelly, Judy, and Phil Silvers in a Summer Stock promotional photo from MGM provided by Kim Lundgreen.  Thanks, Kim!  Also included is an advertisement for the recent re-release of The Wizard of Oz which was re-released in 1949 but still playing in early 1950.

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

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

February 16, 1953:  Judy performed the role of “Liza Elliott” in the CBS Radio “Lux Radio Theater” adaptation of “Lady in the Dark.”  Judy sang “How Lovely To Be Me”; “This Is New”; “The Rights of Womankind”; and “My Ship.”

The show, which was Judy’s last major radio performance, was recorded and has since been released on LP.

The film version of the show starred Ginger Rogers and was released in 1944.  The third photo here is a snapshot of Judy and Hedy Lamarr at the premiere of the film.

Listen to the entire show here (zip file).

Listen to “My Ship” here:

Listen to “How Lovely To Be Me” here:

Listen to “This Is New” here:

Photos: Judy performing “Lady in the Dark”; Judy and John Lund in the studio; newspaper clippings.

This silent home movie footage features Judy arriving at the studio to rehearse on February 2 (possibly February 9, 1953) and again on the broadcast date (February 16), along with Lund.  Also seen in the footage are Lucille Ball, Louella Parsons, Rory Calhoun, David Wayne, and Susan Hayward.  The stars were arriving for their own shows.  Parsons was probably there to get some fodder for her gossip column!  The audio here features Judy singing “My Ship” from the broadcast.

February 16, 1954:  Columnist James Devane reported on the recent 30th-anniversary celebration at MGM which included the now famous (infamous?) Lana Turner version of Judy’s Ziegfeld Follies sketch, “A Great Lady Has An Interview.”  Watch Lana’s version here.

Here is Judy’s version (pre-recorded and filmed in 1944):


February 16, 1954:  A Star Is Born was an Oscar favorite in advance of the upcoming awards ceremony.  “This picture is nominated for all kinds of Academy Awards … We urge you not to miss it!

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

February 16, 1959:  Capitol Records released the stereo version of their new Judy Garland album, “Judy in Love.”  The mono version had already been released, on November 3, 1958.  The brilliant Nelson Riddle provided flawless orchestrations with his orchestra.  The cover art is flawless as well.

“Judy in Love” is the only Garland album released by Capitol in which one of the tracks is different on the mono and stereo releases. “Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart” has a slightly different ending on each release.

Check out The Judy Garland Online Discography’s “Judy in Love” pages here.

Also on February 16, 1959:  The stereo version of “Garland at the Grove” was released by the label.  The LP was the first “Judy in Concert” record ever released, recorded during the last night’s performance of Judy’s run at the venue on August 5, 1958.

The mono version had been released on February 2, 1959.  In those days it was common for albums to be released in both mono and stereo as many mono record players couldn’t handle stereo LPs.

An expanded and remastered version of the album was released on CD on March 4, 2008, and is available on iTunes.

February 16, 1963:  Judy stayed in Lake Tahoe for an extra day with Sid Luft.  Judy had canceled her engagement at Harrah’s due to having a bad case of the flu.

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

February 16, 1964:  “The Judy Garland Show – Episode Twenty-One” aired on CBS-TV.

The show had been videotaped on January 31, 1964.  Judy’s guests were Diahann Carroll and Mel Torme.

Judy sang: a brief bit of “Stranger In Town” to introduce Mel; Judy and Mel sang “The Trolley Song”; and Judy and Diahann sang a “Richard Rodgers/Harold Arlen” medley.

Judy’s “Mini-Concert” consisted of “Hey Look Me Over”; “Smile”; “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love”; “After You’ve Gone”; “Alone Together”; and “Come Rain or Come Shine.”

For the “Born In A Trunk” segment, Judy sang “Don’t Ever Leave Me” and “Great Day.”  Judy also taped the last of the “Ken Murray and His Hollywood Home Movies” segments.

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


  1. Wow, thanks for those lovely pics of Judy and David Rose. She tried so hard to make it work, but with their opposite schedules, and the war….they didn’t stand a chance.

    I admit to a weakness for Lana Turner – in the right role (and “The Great Lady” WASN’T it. But in all fairness, many fans and critics didn’t care for Judy’s either (Including my mom!).

    Another thanks (and no offense intended) for giving us a day off from “Everybody Sing” (never cared for that one).

    1. 🙂 You won’t like tomorrow’s entry – more “Everybody Sing”!

      I adore Lana Turner. She certainly wasn’t Judy Garland, but she was wonderful in her own right in the right role. MGM knew how to groom and market her perfect.

    1. Yep! That’s a fun one as well, it’s very “Ann Miller,” although I still like Judy’s the best. But more of Ann is never a bad thing. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

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