On This Day In Judy Garland’s Life And Career – March 11

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“Judy Garland is belting out the best show she’s ever given on Miami beach … She sang a full hour of tunes, some with her own trademark … her voice danced.” – “The Miami Herald,” 1965





March 11, 1938:  Judy’s 1938 tour took her to Chicago which is where, just a few years earlier, she and her sisters appeared at the World’s Fair and changed their name from “The Gumm Sisters” to “The Garland Sisters.”  Frances became “Judy” not long after.  Here’s she’s seen arriving at Dearborn train station.



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March 11, 1942:  Judy had a break in dance rehearsals for For Me And My Gal to make sound and photo tests for the film.  Time called: 11:00 a.m.; dismissed: 7:15 p.m.

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Pages on For Me And My Gal here.



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March 11, 1944:  Judy had a night shoot for Meet Me In St. Louis.  The assistant director’s notes state:  “Time Call changed to 10:30 at her [Judy’s] request.  Dismissed: 2:30 a.m.

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



March 11, 1947:  Harrison Carroll’s column details Judy’s return to MGM to film The Pirate after giving birth to daughter Liza Minnelli.  Carroll notes Judy’s health issues.

Behind the Scenes in Hollywood
By HARRISON CARROLL

For a year and a half, while Judy Garland was away from the cameras, while rumors have circulated about her health.

Over gin rummy tables and in the cozy booths of Hollywood restaurants, where more gossiped is dished out than food, it was whispered that she would never return to the screen.

Well, Judy is back at M-G-M making “The Pirate” and she tells me she feels fine.  She looks more like a little girl than a married woman and mother of a baby daughter as she sits in her portable dressing room wearing a voluminous nightgown, a la the fashions of 1830.

Her director husband, Vincente Minnelli, is lining up a shot so we have time for a nice chat.

“Do I look like I am wasting away to a shadow?”  Demands Judy.  “The fact is, I weight 110 pounds and I’d be just as happy to love five of them.”

“I simply was tired from work and from having a baby. I needed to get my strength back. Some of the rumors circulated about me were too ridiculous for words.  One radio commentator said my weight was down to 55 pounds.”

I asked Judy if she was nervous facing the camera after a layoff.

“I’m all right now,” she says, “but the first day was plain murder. We started out with me singing to a play-back.  That was all right. But hone Vincente said “ ‘We’ve run out of sound-track, you’ve got to talk,’  I almost fainted.  I’d have given anything at that moment for somebody to play my acting role like Larry parks did for Al Jolson.”  [Note: Parks had recently scored a huge hit playing Jolson in a biopic, lip syncing to Jolson’s voice, the first time anything like that had been done in a major film.]

The studio records show that on this day Judy rehearsed the “Voodoo” number with the MGM Studio Orchestra and Chorus.  The prerecording was made on April 10th). Time called: 2 p.m.; dismissed: 4:30 p.m.

Also on this day, Judy pulled out of singing “On The Atchison, Topeka, And The Santa Fe” at the Academy Awards due to the pressures of filming The Pirate.  The number won the Oscar for “Best Song.”

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



March 11, 1947:  The “drop” date for the very first MGM Records album, the soundtrack to Till The Clouds Roll By.

Record critics welcomed the new label and the “Clouds” set was given good reviews. MGM was off and running with a new revenue stream while also creating a new market, the original soundtrack album.  MGM Records released soundtracks to just about all of their musicals, and a few dramatic films, in the next 20+ years.  All of Judy’s MGM musicals from 1946 through the end of her tenure with the studio in 1950 had MGM Records soundtracks created to compliment them.

Originally the soundtracks were four 78 rpm discs with two sides each meaning only eight songs from the films could be included.  This means that there was a lot of editing of the musical numbers to fit the short time constraints of the 78s and also some cherry picking of the “best” numbers from films with more than eight numbers, as most of them were.  It wouldn’t be until the long-playing records were developed that MGM began to include more songs from their recent musicals, Kiss Me Kate (1953), was one of the first in the long-playing format.

Oddly enough, MGM Records never released updated and expanded versions of their originally-78rpm-albums in the LP era.  They were content to re-release the existing soundtracks, over and over again.  In the late 1980s and early 1990s CBS Special Products (later Sony Music Entertainment Inc./Sony Music Special Products), released expanded soundtracks which were taken directly from the actual film soundtracks and not the pre-recording sessions.

Finally, in the mid-1990s, Rhino Records, working with Turner Entertainment, began to release expanded “complete” soundtracks to MGM musicals utilizing the surviving pre-recordings as their main source of content.

Recent technology in audio restoration software has resulted in the revisiting of some of these pre-recordings.  The results are phenomenal.  Hopefully, Warner Bros., who now owns the Rhino soundtracks, will revisit all of the soundtracks and remaster them with today’s technology giving us the ultimate in audio clarity and sonic enjoyment.

The most recent example of what our new technology is capable of is the FANTASTIC two-CD set “Soundtracks” from Mint Audio Records.  The set features not just a great compilation of Judy’s film performances, but also several new-to-CD versions of Garland film favorites including some MGM Records album versions, film versions, and stereo versions previously unavailable on CD.  This is the compilation that fans of Judy’s film soundtracks have been waiting for!  More details on each recording and how some of the audio magic of these tracks was accomplished, can be found here.

Check out The Judy Garland Online Discography’s “Till The Clouds Roll By” pages here.



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March 11, 1948:  Judy had a rehearsal for the filming of the “A Fella With An Umbrella” for Easter Parade.  Judy arrived at 2:00 p.m.; dismissed: 3:05 p.m.

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



March 11, 1949:  “Rehearsal #4” for Annie Get Your Gun with Judy and co-star Howard Keel rehearsing: “You Can’t Get A Man With A Gun” (Garland solo); “Anything You Can Do” (duet); “They Say It’s Wonderful” (duet); “The Girl That I Marry” (one solo each). Judy arrived at 11:30 a.m.; lunch from 1:20 p.m. – 2:20 p.m.; dismissed at 5:15 p.m.

Photo above:  Another 1960s bootleg record of Judy’s prerecordings.  This one was cleverly made to look like an MGM Records release when, in fact, it wasn’t.

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Pages on Annie Get Your Gun here.



March 11, 1952:  This photo (above left) was taken of Judy with two men during her post-Palace vacation in West Palm Beach, Florida with Sid Luft.  Judy took part in the Annual Society Baseball Game at the Poinciana Field in Palm Beach, Florida, along with fellow star Peter Lawford and Connie Mack and Jimmy Dykes from the major leagues.  Also included is a publication of the recent photo of Judy and Sid at the Polo Fields.



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March 11, 1954:  The second day of filming the “Lose That Long Face” number for A Star Is Born.  Time started: 10:00 a.m..; finished: 6:00 p.m.

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



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March 11, 1963:  Here’s a photo that claims to be a recent one of Judy backstage at the Palladium, but she looks more like she’s on the set of I Could Go On Singing.

Also on this day, Judy flew back to New York from London and checked into the St. Regis Hotel.



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March 11, 1965:  Judy opened a ten-day engagement at The Fountainbleau Hotel in Miami, Florida.  Although there are no recordings of the show it’s known that Judy was at the top of her game.  The reviews were ecstatic.

During a press conference at her hotel for this engagement, Judy said, “I’m kind of a pratt fall comedian, actually.  I enjoy being able to laugh.  I have three beautiful children.  I’m a good cook.  Life has been very good to me.  There’s nothing tragic about my life.  I enjoy it.  And I’m grateful for what I have.  I’d just like to be happy.  To be relaxed.  To be myself.  A woman.  I have great respect for an audience.  They pay their money.  They take time away from things they have to do at home.  I’d like to do a play.  A straight play.  I’ve never done a play before.  That way I could settle down in one plays – If people come to see it!”

Roger Eden had flown in from California to rehearse and go over arrangements with Judy, most likely for the medley he was putting together for her to sing at the Oscars on April 5.  Mort Lindsey was conducting for her in Miami.  Liza came in from New York on March 12 – her nineteenth birthday – to see her mother – and to see her fiance (Peter Allen), of course, as the Allen Brothers were still opening for Judy.  Judy’s act was basically the same as the previous month’s engagement in Toronto, with the addition of “What Now My Love?” which always stopped the show.  Judy didn’t have the orchestration for the song with her the previous month in Toronto.



March 11, 1968:  Judy and her Scarecrow, Ray Bolger, cross paths for the last time at the Empire Room of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, following his opening there.



March 11, 2016:  The UK release of  “Judy Garland Sings Harold Arlen.”  The CD featured the premiere release of the previously unreleased extended version of “Lose That Long Face” from A Star Is Born.

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





10 comments

  1. I love when Judy Garland dances with the two kids on the outtakes of song “Lose that Long Face “. Among the many stupid things the studios did in those days, my instincts tell me they cut that song because the power heads didn’t like Judy dancing with minorities. Judy was ahead of her time, too much for certain people at that time. I am so happy the footage was found and put in the restored Star is Born in the early eighties. I was fortunate to attend the premiere of the restored version in Oakland California and also met James Mason during that premiere. I wish that those kids could be located and talk about their experience working with Judy. If they are still living. Does anyone know their names?

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  2. I believe it was Haver’s book about the restoration in which he said that the kids were at the premiere of the restored version in New York in 1983. I don’t recall their names offhand. But they did get to, finally, see their work on the big screen.

    The studio cut the number when they hacked the film. My bet is that you’re right, the fact that she’s dancing with two black kids probably made it easy for them to yank it.

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  3. That’s great that the kids got to see their work. I was very young at the premiere, if I had known they were there it would have been great to meet them. I will try to research to find out their names.

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  4. Those two cute kids were in that number a lot, not just the portion cut out and later put back.

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  5. You’re right Curvin, and you can feel the affection those kids had for Judy and Judy for the kids. Too much for the power heads at the time. Like I said Judy was ahead of her time. Even in the movie “A Child is Waiting ” she touched me very deeply with her empathy for mentally challenged people. She was a woman who cut through the BS as much as she could.

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  6. Judy had a REHEARSAL for “A Fella With an Umbrella” on 3/11/48??? I thought that number was completed months before, and EP was already in previews by this point.

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  7. Wow! What we LEARN here. I’ve always thought Judy looked so THIN in this number. And, of course, by spring of ’48, she was really underweight, which is why she barely completed “I Wish I were in Love Again” for Words and Music in May, and why she lost her health completely and had to drop out of “The Barkleys of Broadway.” Still, the bulk of the number was shot in November ’47. Pretty nice editing. Judy seemed to gain a bit of weight around the holidays, then got thin again, at the end of the shoot. This is the first picture where her weight really goes up and down (note her heavier frame in “When the Midnight Choo-Choo Leaves For Alabam”). Thanks! (Too bad she had to work on LIza’s birthday!).

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  8. I love the photo of Judy receiving the bouquet of flowers at Deerborn train station in Chicago. I live in California now but I am originally from Illinois. The first time I saw “The Wizard of Oz ” on the big screen was in Chicago at the historic Biograph theater in Chicago. They were showing old movies there and showed “Wizard of Oz”. It was Great and they had a excellent print of the movie. I saw it recently in theaters again here in California for the classics series. Every one knows “The Wizard of Oz was named most influential movie of all-time. No surprise to most people!

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