On This Day In Judy Garland’s Life And Career – March 3

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“Sing Judy!  Dance Judy!  The World Is Waiting For Your Sunshine!” – “A Star Is Born” ad tagline, 1955 

March 3, 1938:  Judy was still in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, giving 5 to 6 shows a day at the Stanley Theater between showings of the Frank Morgan film Paradise For Three.  These clippings document Judy’s lunch date the previous day and her modeling a fur coat that she apparently purchased from the Jerome Wolk & Brother fur salon.  This was part of her Everybody Sing tour even though, for whatever reason, she was doing her show as noted above, between showings of the Frank Morgan film.

March 3, 1940:  “The First Sixteen Years” by Judy Garland (Part One of four).

What’s In A Name? ‘Plenty of Heartaches, Particularly If Your Name Is Misspelled On a Marquee,’ Says Judy Garland Whose Own Story of Her Life Begins in This Issue

At last it’s here! Judy Garland has been persuaded to writer her life story for Parade. Due to the numerous requests of Hartford Courant Parade of Youth readers, Judy has consented to furnish them with the story of her life. Following the series of articles written by Deanna Durbin, Parade was swamped with letters from readers who, recalling Judy’s visit to Hartford last summer when she acted as editor of Parade of Youth with Mickey Rooney, wanted to know why we couldn’t run a similar series of Miss Garland. Parade contacted the North American Newspaper Alliance and for the past seven weeks they have been communicating with Hollywood and Judy.  The following is the first in a series of four articles written by former honorary editor, Parader Judy Garland.


Hollywood, March 2: I wish it could have been snowing the day I was born, but then I don’t know why I should worry about that now because the sun was playing hot on the morning of June 10, in Grand Rapids, Minn., when I first said “hello” to this world.  I was really born in Grand Rapids, even if I did write Murfreesboro, Tenn., on my biography when I first went into movies. Hollywood meant clamor to me then and I thought Murfreesboro had an “oomph” sound.  In just about three weeks, though, I confessed that Grand Rapids was my real birthplace.

Even though I lived there only until I was three, we did have fun. “We,” was mother, dad, my two sisters Suzanne and Jimmy.  Jimmy’s name is really Virginia, but no one ever called her anything but Jimmy.  For that matter, my name is really Frances Gumm, but no one ever called me Frances.  I was “Baby” until we played on the same bill with George Jessel.

We were in Chicago, with our names on the marquee for the first time. We were so thrilled we went to the theater two hours before our opening time. Do you know what we saw on that marquee? “The Glum Sisters.”

I’ll never forget how heartbroken we were.  But Mr. Jessel, hiding a smile, suggested we changed our name so such a horrible mistake wouldn’t happen again.  He christened us Garland, after a New York drama critic, Robert Garland. Judy was my own idea.  But, I’m getting ahead of my story.

Let me see – I was born in Grand Rapids and lived there until I was three.  I also made my first theatrical appearance there. Dad owned the New Grand Theater and when Sue, Jimmy and I were good we were allowed to go through the stage entrance and talk to the performers.  Our worst punishment was to be deprived of this privilege.

Mother and Dad had a vaudeville act and soon Sue and Jimmy did, too.  They never appeared with Mom and Dad because our family didn’t believe in taking chances.  That is, when Mom and Dad were on the stage my sisters would sit out front and lead the applause.  You know, it just takes someone person to start an audience to clapping.  Then, Mom and Dad would return the compliment by applauding enthusiastically when the girls sang.

That was my first practical business training in theater technique.  But my debut came on my third birthday. It was amateur night and I wanted to sing “Jingle Bells.”  Finally, all agreed I could go on the stage.  Sue and Jimmy pinned sprigs of holly on my new white dress, and everything was fine.

The chorus ended as far as the orchestra was concerned, but not for me.  I started the song over again.  Again it ended.  Again I started it over.  After five verses and two choruses, Dad had to march out on the stage, pick me up and literally carry me off.  I never heard the end of that, for Sue and Jimmy said if he hadn’t done that I would have got “the hook.”  I don’t know, the audience certainly laughed, and everyone likes to laugh.  At least I do.

That was my first and last appearance at the New Grand Theater.  Shortly after that incident, we moved to California.

During our trip Wes, (we drove), the family appeared in several shows along the way – always in the two acts.  We also stopped at Duluth to visit my Uncle John Milne and his family.  Although I was only three then, I’ll never forget that visit. Uncle John has 14 children and did we have fun!  They have a big rambling house, gardens and six dogs and dozens of cats.

We still correspond and they save all my clippings for me, while I, in turn, save all my stamps from foreign mail for them.  To tell the truth, I never can remember which one of the fourteen is saving stamps, but I do know one of them does.

We finally arrived in California and the girls enrolled in public school in Lancaster, where we settled, and for the moment at least, forgot about professional careers.

We liked the west from the very beginning – especially I, because I developed quite a curs on the boy next door who was just ten.

I’ll always give him credit for starting me to dramatic school.  One day, I caught him crying. It seemed he had lost his 25 cent allowance for the week.

“I’ll sing for you,” I said.

But that didn’t console him.

“But I’ll sing and you can get the other neighborhood kids to come and pay a penny to listen,” I insisted.

Apparently mentioning money did the trick, for he consented.  I suppose I sang “Jingle Bells” again, but anyway we made 13 cents – and my hero walked off and bought another girl an ice cream cone with the money!

When the folks heard about that episode they decided if I insisted on giving concerts in public, I should have some dramatic and singing lessons.  So I enrolled in a new school which specialized in stage training for children.

This was in Lancaster, and after six months (I was then almost five) a group of us were chosen for a prologue at a Los Angeles theater. This was quite an event, for I was to be Cupid and sing a solo, “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love, Baby.” The preparation and celebration at home is never to be forgotten.

Continued next week…


March 3, 1940:  Judy was still being promoted as the epitome of teen fashion.

March 3, 1940:  An apparently studio-written blurb about Judy buying her first fur coat was published in various papers around the country.  At the same time, it was noted that Judy wore red fur to the recent premiere of The Grapes of Wrath (no photos exist).  She had also purchased a different fur with a leopard print while in Pittsburgh.  The premiere fur, perhaps this one in the photo, was most likely a studio-loaned fur which was standard practice at the time.

What’s interesting is how adept the studio was at feeding short news blurbs to the syndicates that detailed her fictional teen activities.

March 3, 1941: This aerial photo (1st photo shown here) was taken of MGM’s Backlot 3, early in its construction phase.  Noticeably visible is “Billy The Kid Street” as well as “Western Street” (on the right side of the lot).  On the left side is the hole dug for what became a huge lake most famously seen in 1951’s Show Boat.

“Billy the Kid Street” is where both Girl Crazy and The Harvey Girls were shot, not “Western Street” as assumed. I think the reason is that “Western Street” wasn’t “rough enough” looking to portray an edge-of-civilization western town.  “Western Street” is featured heavily in Raintree County.

The famous “St. Louis Street” wasn’t built until 1943 for Meet Me In St. Louis (released in 1944).  The street popped up in two more Garland films (Till The Clouds Roll By in 1946 and In The Good Old Summertime in 1949) but she wasn’t in either of the scenes in those films shot on the street.  The only time Judy was filmed on the street was for “St. Louis.”

The street cost $208,275 (in 1943 dollars) to build and was initially looked at as a white elephant.  The film’s producer, Arthur Freed, and director, Vincente Minnelli, had to convince the studio to build it.  They wanted to dress up the “New England Street” (aka “Andy Hardy Street”) to look like turn-of-the-century St. Louis.  But Minnelli convinced them that the success of the film was dependent on creating an entirely new and believable world.  The heart of the film was “there’s no place like home” so that had to be a world unto itself and not Andy Hardy’s home dressed up.  It worked!
“St. Louis Street” turned out to be one of the most popular and lucrative on the backlot, with other studios paying good money to use it.  It was featured in dozens of MGM (and other studios) films including The Long, Long Trailer, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, and even Hitchcock’s North By Northwest.  It’s also famously featured (as are other spots on the studio’s backlots) in several episodes of TV’s legendary “Twilight Zone” series and many other shows of the era.

Sadly, both of MGM’s backlots were sold to developers and destroyed to make room for housing developments and such.  It’s a loss mourned by movie fans to this day. Imagine the kind of backlot tours they could have created! 🙁

Interactive maps, photos, screenshots (and more!) featuring all the locations on both of MGM’s fabled backlots where Judy’s films were shot (with or without her) can be found at The Judy Room’s “Judy Garland on the MGM Backlot” section at https://www.thejudyroom.com/judy-on-the-backlot/

A big thanks to Steven Bingen for sharing so much information from his files as featured in the fantastic book “M-G-M – Hollywood’s Greatest Backlot” co-written with Stephen X. Sylvester and Michael Troyan.
 The second and third images are the blueprint of the completed backlot as well as another aerial shot from the early 1950s (not the “Cotton Blossom” docked in the back), from the vantage point of looking from the right side of the first photo.  I have marked where Judy’s films were shot (most of her films were shot on Lot 2).

March 3, 1944:  More Meet Me In St. Louis work, including rehearsals for the “Dinner Sequence”; “Halloween Sequence” and “Xmas Card Game.”  The latter did not appear in the final film and it’s unknown if it was even filmed after these rehearsals.  Time called: 11 a.m.; arrived: 11:40 a.m.; dismissed: 3:15 p.m.

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

March 3, 1945:  This 4-page ad appeared in the “Showmen’s Trade Review” promoting Meet Me In St. Louis

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


March 3, 1947:  After a couple of days off (and not from being ill), Judy returned to MGM and more vocal rehearsals for the “Voodoo” number in The Pirate.  Time called: 2:00 p.m.; dismissed: 4:50 p.m.

Photo provided by Kim Lundgreen.  Thanks, Kim!

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

March 3, 1951:  This article notes that Judy would be heading to London to perform at the London Palladium.  It was the beginning of her legendary concert years.

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


March 3, 1954:  A Star Is Born filming continued with rehearsals for “Lose That Long Face” but without Judy.  Per the assistant director’s notes: “Miss Garland ill – Unable to report today for rehearsal – Gloria Se Werd (Dance-in) going to Miss Garland’s home to rehearse – 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.”

It’s sad that though Judy was ill, the studio still sent a person to her home to get more work out of her. That wouldn’t happen in today’s world!

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

March 3, 1955:  The UK premiere of A Star Is Born took place at the Warner Theatre in Leicester Square, London, England.  The event benefitted the Actors Orphanage and the Variety Heart Fund For Underprivileged Children.

Photo:  Premiere ticket and program cover; photo of a billboard advertising the film; two pages from the advertising campaign book.

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

March 3, 1957:  Here is a short blurb about the recent release (in 1956) of the soundtrack LP to The Wizard of Oz.

Check out The Judy Garland Online Discography’s Wizard of Oz Pages here.

March 3, 1958:  TV viewers in the Philadelphia area were treated to a showing of The Harvey Girls.


March 3, 1960:  Walter Winchell’s column featured this fun caricature of Judy.

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

March 3, 1962:  In the “Record Roundup” column, Robert Kauth makes note of MGM Records’ latest Garland compilation “The Judy Garland Story Vol 2 – The Hollywood Years!

This LP release was the first time MGM Records released some of Garland’s pre-soundtrack album performances (i.e., pre-1947 when MGM Records began the soundtrack album market).  These pre-1947 tracks were taken directly from the soundtracks of the films rather than the pre-recording sessions, with the notable exceptions of “You Can’t Get A Man With A Gun” and “Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen.”

What is interesting is that they chose two outtakes:  “Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen” cut from Love Finds Andy Hardy, and the 1949 prerecording of “You Can’t Get A Man With A Gun” from Annie Get Your Gun (1950).

The liner notes are again written by Robert Kotlowitz, Senior Editor, “Show.”  He mistakenly notes Judy’s performance of “Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen” as being in the film Love Finds Andy Hardy and not the outtake that it really is.

The packaging is the same as the first volume, in the “gate-fold” style, with another nice collage of photos.  The cover photo is again of Judy post-MGM, obviously, MGM Records was capitalizing on Judy’s career renaissance of the early 1960s by trying to appeal to the public’s then-current image of her.

Check out The Judy Garland Online Discography’s “The Judy Garland Story Vol 2 – The Hollywood Years!” here.


March 3, 1963:  This article appeared in “This Week Magazine” promoting Judy’s return to musicals, I Could Go On Singing.

Scan provided by Kim Lundgreen.  Thanks, Kim!

March 3, 1964:  Columnist Mike Connolly reported that although Judy’s TV series, “The Judy Garland Show,” was not being renewed for a second season, Capitol Records was going to release an album of songs from the soundtrack of the show, featuring Vic Damone.  Damone had recently appeared as a guest star on the show and sang a “West Side Story” medley with Judy.  Connolly reported that Damone was set for a return to the show because the proposed album was short by 8 minutes.

That Garland/Damone album didn’t happen but Capitol did release an album of songs from the show, without Damone, in 1964.  Titled “Just for Openers” it was the first and only official LP release of songs from the series.

Check out The Judy Garland Online Discography’s “Just For Openers” pages here.

March 3, 1967:  Judy attended Liza’s wedding to Peter Allen in New York, escorted by her ex-husband (and Liza’s dad) Vincente Minnelli.  The ceremony was held at Stevie and Richard Friedberg’s apartment (Stevie was Liza’s manager).  Afterward, a reception was held at Liza’s business manager’s apartment, Marty Bregman.  Other guests included: Yul Brynner, Tony Bennett, Elizabeth Ashley, Diahann Carroll, Gwen Verdon, Bob Fosse, Phil Silvers, Jule Styne, John Kander, and both Freddie Fields and David Begelman.

Note: The first photo is a snapshot of Liza and Peter on a separate date.

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

March 3, 1984:  CBS-TV sent out this photo with this information on the back, for publication in newspapers promoting the upcoming annual showing of The Wizard of Oz.


  1. A Star is Born: I get a possible different read on the stand-in going to rehearse at Judy’s that night. I feel this could’ve been B.S. orchestrated by Sid (producer) to Jack Warner, who was eating a TON of costs on “Star” at this point. MGM was one thing; Warner’s another. Judy had FAR more power at this point, and if she called in sick I highly doubt she worked that night unless she WANTED to (she was known to enjoy nighttime hours).

    Liza’s wedding: I know we’re going back 50-plus years, but I remain baffled at the denial of SO MANY GAY MEN in female celebrities lives then, and the tremendous heartache of the women’s denial, and the men’s dishonesty. Vincente himself couldn’t have been so dumb as to not recognize personally what Liza was walking into. Even Peter Allen’s friends are so obviously gay. Thank God the world has evolved so much. This dynamic was so phony and extremely unhealthy for all involved.

    1. So true about Liza and Peter. It was always so interesting that Judy pushed for Liza to get married. why? By that point, she was 45 and already married and divorced 4 times! Why push your 21 year old daughter into it?! And yes, all the gay men bobbing in and out. So obvious! Maybe it wasn’t. But I don’t see how it wasn’t.

      Amusing to see Yul Brynner there — whom Judy had had an affair with, I think, during her marriage to Minnelli.

      I never cared for Judy’s outfit there and she seems so much older than she was. When you think about how pretty she was just 22 years earlier in her mother’s backyard when she married Minnelli…so much had happened, The whole thing kinda makes me sad.

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