“Judy Garland ‘could go on singing’ forever as far as we’re concerned, and her finale in this picture comes as close to what she really projects on stage as anything she’s ever done on the screen.” – Bob Freund, review of “I Could Go On Singing,” 1963
March 22, 1938: Judy sneaks out! An early show of rebellion, perhaps? Judy was in Detroit, Michigan, as part of her 1938 Everybody Sing tour. According to this article, Judy snuck out between showings of the film and her stage appearances between those showings to attend a wrestling match at Detroit’s Arena Gardens.
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Princess Valerie refused to watch her husband, Bob Gregory, English society wrestler, tangle with Bull Curry, of the New Hartford Currys, but the fear of seeing Mr. Gregory manhandled, bulldozed and kicked into submission didn’t bother Judy Garland in the slightest.
Miss Judy sneaked out to the Arena Gardens last night and had a grand time. Not only did half of the 3, 383 persons recognize her as her own famous self but the other half decided she was the Princess Valerie, the first time she had ever been two celebrities in one night.
While Miss Judy was jumping up and down every time Gregory seemed to be conquering the Bull, the Princess was shivering in a reception room. Someone had told her that the Bull weight 300 pounds and dearly loved to crush polite wrestlers.
As it turned out, Judy had the right hunch. The Princess need not have bothered her pretty blond head about her husband. He won. Curry took the first fall in 14:34 on his ring post head bash hold while the Englishman evened the match in 8:02 by riding Curry with his Australian surfboard.
The whole match was wild but the third saw it get too wild and Referee Let Philbin awarded the Englishman the victory on a foul. Robert, with true English sportsmanship, for five minutes refused to accept victory in such a manner, which Miss Judy thought was cute as did the crowd.
Gregory tore after the Bull and for five minutes the pair battled with fists until Referee Philbin finally stopped them with the aid of police.
In other matches Dick Costello won an unpopular decision over Pierre LaBelle, a Paris importation. The crowd howled for a rematch which Matchmaker Eddie Lewis, an obliging soul, probably will grant. In other matches, Cyclone Burns beat Wild Bill Brooks while Al Ventrez and Dick Merrill drew.
March 22, 1943: A busy day for Judy. She had a 10:20 a.m. call at MGM for filming Girl Crazy specifically scenes on the “Interior Post Office” set. Per the assistant director’s notes: “Company dismissed w/o [without] completing shot to allow JG to leave for broadcast tonight.” Dismissed: 4:30 p.m.
The broadcast that night was the CBS Radio “Screen Guild Players” adaptation of For Me And My Gal with Judy and Gene Kelly reprising their roles from the film, and Dick Powell as a last-minute replacement for George Murphy.
Listen to “How You Gonna Keep ‘Em Down On The Farm” from this broadcast here:
Listen to “After You’ve Gone” here:
Photos: Dick Powell, Judy, and Gene Kelly pose before the broadcast; two newspaper notices.
March 22, 1945: Decca Records released Judy’s single “This Heart Of Mine” on Decca Single #18660, with “Love” on the “B” side. Both songs were recorded on January 26, 1945.
Listen to “This Heart Of Mine” here:
Listen to the alternate take of “This Heart Of Mine” here:
Listen to “Love” here:
Label photos from The Rick Smith Collection. Above left, the original Decca single of “Love.” Above right, the version from the album compilation “The Judy Garland Souvenir Album.” Below, “This Heart Of Mine.” Thanks, Rick!
March 22, 1945: This photo was taken on the set of The Harvey Girls. Judy was due on the set at 10:00 a.m.; she arrived at 10:30 a.m.; dismissed: 5:10 p.m. Studio records indicate that she went home ill.
March 22, 1946: Judy sells Lux Soap while Ziegfeld Follies of 1946 was playing in theaters.
March 22, 1949: Production continued on Annie Get Your Gun with a day of wardrobe fittings which began at 11 a.m. and lasted to Noon, then a lunch break from 12:20 – 1:20 p.m. Rehearsal #9 was from 2 – 3:20 p.m. It’s unclear what was rehearsed, but it’s likely that the rehearsal consisted of more songs.
The wardrobe test photo above might have been taken on this day. It’s not dated, so the exact date is unknown but it’s safe to assume that it was taken in late March or early April 1949.
March 22, 1950: Hedda Hopper reported that Judy would be singing “Old Man River” in MGM’s Technicolor remake of Show Boat, “while walking along the levees of the old Mississippi.” Hopper also noted that Judy would do an additional number for Summer Stock with “eight men.” Judy didn’t appear in Show Boat and although producer Arthur Freed wanted Judy for the role of “Julie” it’s doubtful they would have given “Old Man River” to her to sing, due to its place in the plot and the fact that it was so identified with the male character of “Joe” as brilliantly brought to life by Paul Robeson in both the original stage production and the 1936 film version.
March 22, 1951: Judy, Fred Astaire, and Peter Lawford recreated their roles from the 1948 film hit Easter Parade on ABC Radio’s Gulf Screen Guild Theater radio show. “Judy’s Number One Fan” Wayne Martin was on hand for the broadcast (see photos). It’s unclear if he was the one who gave Judy that huge bouquet of roses.
Judy was also in the news for the granting of her divorce from Vincente Minnelli. It would take a year for the divorce to become final, but even at this early stage the talk was about Judy possibly marrying “Movie Producer” Sid Luft. Luft had recently been divorced by actress Lynn Bari (December 1950) “on grounds he spent too much time in nightclubs.”
Photos: Judy and Fred Astaire at the broadcast; Judy with her flowers; Judy and Wayne Martin; Two newspaper ads for the show; Three notices about Judy’s divorce from Vincente Minnelli.
March 22, 1952: Judy’s recent announcement that she and “manager” Sid Luft were set to be married made the news around the country. Judy and Sid arrived in Nassau, Bahamas, from Palm Beach, Florida, the previous day which was the same day her divorce from Vincente Minnelli became final.
March 22, 1955: Judy and Bing Crosby on the cover of “Look” magazine. The two had just received Best Actress and Best Actor for the magazine’s annual “Look Magazine” awards on March 8th.
The photos here and the video show a very pregnant Judy. She was 8 months pregnant with son Joe.
March 22, 1955: Here’s another article about the Oscar front runners, plus a mail-in ballot for readers to make their picks. Wouldn’t it be great if we could send in this ballot and change the results?
March 22, 1959: Here’s an ad, and order form, for Judy’s upcoming appearance at The Stanley Opera House in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 27th.
March 22, 1962: “Stage-Frightened Judy Garland Enjoys Yet Another Big Recovery.” Columnist Rick Du Brow wrote about Judy’s career resurgence.
March 22, 1963: Bob Freund wrote this glowing review of I Could Go On Singing, which was Judy’s final film.
March 22, 1964: “Episode Twenty-Five” of “The Judy Garland Show” aired on CBS-TV.
The show was taped on March 6, 1964, and featured a “mini-concert” by Judy along with her guest Robert Cole and his Trio.
Judy sang: “Sail Away”; “Comes Once In A Lifetime”; “I Am Loved”; “Life Is Just A Bowl Of Cherries”; “Why Can’t I?”; “I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues”; “Joey, Joey, Joey”; “Love”; Get Happy”; “As Long As He Needs Me”; “Poor Butterfly” (with Cole); “and “Old Man River.”
March 22, 1965: Judy was on her second day on the set of the film “Harlow” (a biopic of the life of Jean Harlow) when she withdrew from the production. Filming was scheduled to start on March 31st. The reason given for her withdrawal was “prior commitments.” Eleanor Parker replaced her only to then leave the film as well. She was replaced by Ginger Rogers.
Find out more about the unfinished Garland projects, as well as other projects she was wanted for, at The Judy Room’s “The Films That Got Away” section,
March 22, 1969: Judy, Mickey Deans, and Johnnie Ray arrived in Malmo, Sweden, where Judy would give her concert the following night (March 23rd) at either the King Kroner Club or the Kronprinsen. Deans and concert promoter Arne Stivell and his Music Artists of Europe company filmed this concert as part of a documentary to be called A Day In The Life of Judy Garland. Allegedly a recording of this concert was made although the film footage would be dubbed with the sound from Judy’s next concert in Copenhagen.
Photos: Judy boarding the ferry in Denmark with Captain Christiansen, whom she and Deans had dinner with; the last two are of Judy and Johnnie Ray arriving in Malmo.
Photos provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim!