On This Day In Judy Garland’s Life And Career – March 13

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“Judy Garland … has blossomed out into one of the motion picture profession’s most beautiful, most glamorous and entrancing young actresses.” – Harvey Bard, 1942





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March 13, 1935:  The last night of “The Garland Sister’s” (Judy and her sisters) engagement at the Paramount Theater in Los Angeles, California.  During the day, the sisters took part in a theater-sponsored show at Al Levy’s Famous Kitchen.  “In celebration there will be stellar entertainment through the courtesy of Paramount Theater.  The Garland Sisters, a trio of syncopated songsters featuring the sensational Baby Garland, will set the rafters doing the rhumba with their Rhythm and Ashley Dees will do impersonations of many of our most famous (and funniest) people.”

Judy was already 12-years-old yet she was still, at times, being billed as “Baby” Garland.  What’s notable here is that the sisters are clearly the main attraction.  There’s no doubt that Judy was stopping the show at the Paramount.



March 13, 1938:  “In Person – Judy Garland – World’s new darling in a gay Balaban & Katz Stage Review.”  Judy’s 1938 tour continued its success in Chicago at the Chicago Theater.  She arrived in the city on March 11th for a week’s engagement.



March 13, 1941:  She was exciting in “The Wizard of Oz,” surprising in talent in “Babes in Arms,” sparkling in vivacious youth in “Andy Hardy Meets Debutante,” and scintillating in personality in “Strike Up The Band.”  And now Judy’s Garland’s distinctive personality and singing come to her fans in her first big solo starring feature, “Little Nellie Kelly.”

Little Nellie Kelly was still opening in theaters around the country to good reviews.  Although we think of it as corny today, and even then it was corny, audiences and critics responded to its charms and of course, Judy’s scintillating and distinctive personality.

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



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March 13, 1942:  Judy and Gene Kelly were in rehearsals for For Me And My Gal.  MGM had a studio photographer take these photos for promotional use (of course!).

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

Photos provided by Kim Lundgreen.  Thanks, Kim!



March 13, 1942:  “Judy Goes To Town”

Note that the author mentions several of Judy’s alleged compositions.  We’ve heard “Love’s New Sweet Song” but are the rest actual compositions/lyrics written by Judy or are they fabricated?

JUDY GARLAND GOES TO TOWN

An Informal Interview with One of Hollywood’s Most Popular Stars

BY HARVEY BARD

Judy Garland, once the “ugly duckling” of the cinema, has blossomed out into one of the motion picture profession’s most beautiful, most glamorous and entrancing young actresses.  She has accomplished this via the rocky road of hard work, attention to her studies and her determined “do or die” spirit which is an integral part of her make-up.

Result of this wonderful, fighting attitude is a glamorous home, once owned by Wesley Ruggles, acquisition of a charming and gifted husband, David Rose, and top ranking with Mickey Rooney, Lana Turner, and Clark Gable as one of M-G-M’s most profitable sources of revenue. Not bad for a youngster, eh?

This Judy isn’t one of those spineless creatures who, parrot-fashion, lets someone else do her writing and steps to the microphone to intone it in what strikes her as a charming and “selling” manner.  Oh, no – she writes her own lines wherever possible; and brother, they’re good lines.  Especially in radio, she has been collaborating very successfully with True Boardman, herself once a top ether waves mime, now one of our better radio-writers.

Now Judy didn’t spring full-blown to this writing business.  On the contrary, she has for some time assiduously attended writing classes, learning the technique of new literary trends and the proper means of expressing herself in the much-vaunted King’s English.  Recognizing the value of her splendid name, several publishers have offered to publish her first literary work, sight unseen, but Judy scorns them.  When she blossoms forth as an authoress, believe you me, this young player will “click” because of merit alone – she’ll be good!

Another thing Judy is doing – she’s learning to play the piano under the expert if somewhat stringent tutelage of her young husband, David Rose.  He may be her dream-man at night, under a silver moon, but at the piano, says Judy, David Rose is a mean old tyrant.  But that’s as it should be, too, and our little, dark-haired, big-eyed actress is learning to play competency and well.

Oh, and as another outlet for her inexhaustible energies, Judy is composing music.  Not scat music either, but the kind of stuff George Gershwin turned out.  Have you heard her piano concerto, “Ode To An English Gentleman”?  It’s really good. Or her lyrics to “This Is the Night,” “One Love” or “Love’s New Sweet Song”?  You’ll like them – and if you’re ever at the Rose domicile, socially, get this budding composter and lyricist to play them for you.

Judy is employed at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer fifty weeks out of the year.  And we mean “Employed,” for she is busy making one picture after another, each requiring its special quoto [sic] of dance-steps, new songs, new business which requires rehearsals and creative envisioning.  She works like a Trojan but doesn’t mind, because Judy is building a career.

Did you see “Babes On Broadway”?  Didn’t she carry the love interest beautifully?  And did you notice that new rube dance called “The Lowdown Hoedown,” note her acting in the playlet called “The convict’s [sic] Return,” applaud her impersonations of Blanche Ring and Sarah Bernhardt, and hum with her through half a dozed destined-to-be-popular songs?  Oh, yes – Judy is busy, cutting, not a rug, but a career.  Judy’s going to town!

Article provided by Bobby Waters.  Thanks, Bobby!



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March 13, 1944:  Judy was out sick and unable to work on the proposed night “Halloween” scenes for Meet Me In St. Louis.  The assistant director’s notes state that she was “Unable to work tonight on account of her own illness.”  I find that an odd way to phrase that.  It’s as if she might be out at some point due to someone else’s illness!

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



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March 13, 1945:  The Harvey Girls filming consisted of scenes on the “Interior R.R. [Railroad] Coach.”  Time called: 10 a.m.; arrived: 10:35 a.m.; dismissed: 5:25 p.m.

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



March 13, 1946:  The news of Judy and Vincente Minnelli’s daughter, Liza’s, birth made the papers, naturally.  The Tampa Bay Times reported on St. Petersburg’s (Florida) happiest man, 84-year-old V.C. Minnelli, who was Liza’s grandfather (Vincente’s father).  “I’m very happy that I lived to see this day.  I’m happy that I can welcome my granddaughter to the family.”



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March 13, 1947:  More “Voodoo” rehearsals for The Pirate.  This time it was a short day.  Judy had a call for 2:00 p.m.; dismissed: 4:30 p.m.

Poster art created by Meg Myers.  Thanks, Meg!

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



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March 13, 1954:  More filming of the “Lose That Long Face” number for A Star Is Born.  Time started: 11:20 a.m.; finished: 6:00 p.m.

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



March 13, 1955:  The Oscar race was heating up as it got closer to the actual night (March 30, 1955).  Judy was a favorite to win, of course, but so was Grace Kelly.  It appears that Kelly had the lead in many of the columns and reader’s polls.  It would have been nice if they were wrong on that instead of being wrong on the other favorite, Bing Crosby (who lost to Marlon Brando).

Still, the Army named Judy as their best actress for the year in the “Stars & Stripes” magazine.

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



March 13, 1956:  Newspapers reported that Judy had broken a bone in her right foot while playing with her children, sometime “last week.”  The exact date is unknown but Judy was fine having been treated at home and wearing a walking cast.



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March 13, 1958:  Lee Besler reported that Judy’s “Life Reads Like a King-sized Sob Story,” a common refrain from some authors and columnists (and reporters, and more).



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March 13, 1960:  Famous Faces.



March 29, 1964:  Two newspaper notices about the airing of the final episode of Judy’s series, “The Judy Garland Show,” including this really nice artwork.

This last episode was comprised of the thirty minutes/nine songs from March 13; five songs from “Episode Twenty-Two,” taped February 14 (with Jack Jones); and one song – “By Myself” – that was deleted from “Episode Twenty-Five” due to time constraints; to fill out the hour.

The series was a big hit with critics and audiences in spite of its low ratings (having to go against the juggernaut of “Bonanza” – a stupid decision on the Network’s part) and was nominated for four Emmy’s: Outstanding Variety Program (“The Danny Kaye” show won); Judy and her guest Barbra Streisand were both nominated, separately, for “Outstanding Performance in a Variety or Music Program or Series” (both losing to Danny Kaye); and “Best Art Direction & Scenic Design” (lost to “Hallmark Hall of Fame”).

Thankfully, the series and most of the outtakes survive and are available on DVD and YouTube for everyone to enjoy.



March 13 & 14, 1964:  Videotaping of the last episode of “The Judy Garland Show”, “Episode Twenty-Six”, at CBS Television City, Stage 43, Hollywood, California.

The taping of the next-to-closing song began first, at 8 p.m. to 8:20 p.m., with Judy completing two takes and a pickup of a new song, “Where Is The Clown”, which was sung by an off-camera chorus while Judy, in clown makeup and costume, pantomimed the song.  At about 10 p.m. Judy appeared in front of the assembled audience for the first time, and taped the closing number while still in the clown outfit, “Here’s To Us” from the Broadway musical “Little Me.”  Judy loved the song so much that she considered singing it in her concerts.  It was one of the songs played at her funeral.

At 1 a.m. (morning of Saturday, March 14), Judy appeared in her gown to tape the concert portion with about 50 fans in the audience. Judy sang: “After You’ve Gone”; “The Nearness Of You”; “Time After Time”; “That Old Feeling”; “Carolina In The Morning”; “When You’re Smiling; “Almost Like Being In Love”/”This Can’t Be Love”; “Suppertime”; and “The Last Dance.”  Most of the songs required several takes, taking three hours to complete the program.  Judy then left the stage at about 4 a.m.

Judy’s friend Tony Bennett came to offer his support and help get Judy through the emotions of taping the final episode.  From 5:45 to 5:54 a.m. Judy taped three spoken intros to the song “Something Cool,” then attempted the song but faltered midway after getting less than two minutes into the song, then walked off the stage.

The final show aired March 29, 1964.





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