“I’m a very lucky girl for the emotional rewards audiences pay me for my work. I don’t know what effect my voice has on them, but I do realize it is a different and unique response. Perhaps it is because the public has watched me grow up. People seem to be rooting for me before I walk on stage” – Judy Garland, 1959
March 28, 1930: “The Gumm Sisters” (Judy and her two sisters) performed for the Knights of Pythius, which is assumed to have taken place in their hometown of Lancaster, California.
March 28, 1938: Judy wrote a letter to MGM Studios boss L.B. Mayer’s personal assistant, Ida Koverman, apologizing for taking so long to write her and for how she had gone from a weeklong rest in New York City to the tour promoting Everybody Sing. Judy said that Manhattan “was as wonderful, as exciting, and as glamorous as ever” and concluded by sending love to Ida and Mayer, from herself, her mother, and Roger Edens (both were accompanying Judy on her tour). Koverman was an early champion of Judy’s at the studio and was one of the persons largely responsible for Judy’s first contract with the studio.
Photo: Judy’s first appearance on a New York stage, at Loew’s State, resulting in the first time her name appeared in lights in New York.
March 28, 1938: “Life” Magazine published photos from Judy’s recent trip to Colombus, Ohio, which was part of her Everybody Sing tour.
The focus of the “Life Goes To A Party” section was Judy being named “The Sweetheart of Sigma Chi” by the Alpha Gamma Chapter of the Sigma Chi Fraternity at Ohio State University.
March 28, 1938: This photo of Judy and others at Freddie Bartholomew’s birthday party is given this date although we know that Judy was still on her Everybody Sing tour, in fact on this day Judy and her mother arrived in Minneapolis, Minnesota, spending the night there before going up to Grand Rapids (Judy’s birthplace) the following day. Judy didn’t return to MGM until April 4th.
Freddie’s birthday was indeed March 28th so this photo might have been taken in 1937 rather than in 1938 or the party was on an earlier date. He certainly looks more like the “older” Freddie.
March 28, 1938: This letter written by Judy to Frank Perry was mailed on this date. It’s unknown exactly what date Judy wrote the letter but considering that on this day she and her mother had left the Palmer House hotel in Chicago and were on their way to Minneapolis, Minnesota, it was most likely written on March 27th and dropped off at the hotel front desk when they checked out on the 28th. The letter is a peek inside of Judy’s romantic teenaged mind at the time, showing that in spite of being a star she was still a teen! According to Judy’s letter, she was writing to Perry once or twice a day but this is the only known letter to have survived.
Thank you to Bobby Waters for sharing this!
My darling Perry—I love you. There!
Honey, I think I have good news for you, at least I hope it’s good news.
As you know, I have a broadcast to do in Kansas City, and I can do it whenever I like to. So I’m going to try and get it the same week you’re there.
Mom said when we get home if there isn’t a picture ready for me (I’m quite sure there won’t be), we’ll get some new songs, and go out for about 3 more weeks. So if you can possibly let us know a little ahead of time when you’ll be, we’ll try to get on the same […] you. Do you mind?
Allan Jones was passing through on his way to N. Y. yesterday, & he stopped in to see us. He’s a grand guy. Well sweetheart, I love you more every day. I don’t even want to look at anyone else.
That song “Until Tomorrow, Lets Say Adeiu,” keeps running through my mind. I keep thinking of how we used to sit together after every show. When I was in the Phi theater, I went in onto the stage and sat in our old place. It was an awful feeling, sitting there all alone without you dripping (but good) in front of me.
If I don’t see you before you go to England, I’ll die. But please darling, always remember this. When you come back, no matter how many years from now, if you still want me, I’ll be yours for the asking. And if we were older, and you asked me to be yours forever, I’d say yes in a minute. Thats how much I love you, and always will love you. My only hope is that you love me half as much as I love you. That’s a pretty big order. I can’t understand why you haven’t received more letters from me. I’ve written every day, sometimes twice a day. What’s with the mail?
Honey, please write to Mr. McGuinn if you can. He’s so crazy about you. Said he’d give anything if you were his son. He’s leaving tomorrow night.
Well darling, I’d better close. If I said all I wanted to say, it would look like something by Webster. So goo-by [sic] for now.
P. S. I may call you tonight. I hope you’ll be in and […] I’m getting to that!!!
P. S. I like the new name, especially the Michail. That’s my favorite.”
Photos: Frank Perry with Judy at a party after attending the Hollywood premiere of Marie Antoinette on July 8, 1938. The letter.
March 28, 1941: Judy took part in the Greek War Relief events at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City. No recordings or other information about the show is known although it is known that fundraisers for the Greek War Relief took place around the country throughout the weekend.
March 28, 1943: Judy was finally being presented as a true glamour girl and stunning beauty. Note the ad at the lower left that features a pre-stardom Lauren Bacall. Bacall was a model in NYC, and very successful. Almost 10 years later, she and husband Humphrey Bogart were neighbors and great friends to Judy and her husband Sid Luft. They were all also members of the original “Rat Pack.”
March 28, 1943: Here is a photo story that told the plot of Judy’s latest film, Presenting Lily Mars. Note the use of a photo from the deleted original finale number, “Paging Mr. Greenback” as the end of the article. Eagle-eyed fans probably wondered what happened to the number shown in this story when they saw the film.
Also on this day (evening), Judy sang “The Wings Of Freedom (There’ll Never Be Another England)” on the “Free World Theater” radio show on NBC Radio. Kenny Baker and The King’s Men also performed. Ronald Coleman was the master of ceremonies. No recording of the show is known to exist.
March 28, 1944: Meet Me In St Louis filming continued with scenes shot on the “Interior Dining Room” and “Exterior Halloween” sets. Time called: 10 a.m.; Judy arrived, but was not ready, at 10:15 a.m.; dismissed: 4:35 p.m.
March 28, 1945: This ad promoting the huge success of Meet Me In St. Louis was published in the “Film Daily” trade magazine.
This day was also the first of two during which Judy was ill and did not work on The Harvey Girls. On the 28th she arrived but went home sick, staying home on the next day but returning on the 30th.
March 28, 1947: This Daily Music Report for The Pirate shows that the day’s recording session was devoted to more of Gene Kelly’s solo and dance, “Nina” (Kelly pre-recorded the first part of the number on March 19, 1947). However, Judy is listed as one of the performers for the revised Part 2 of the song, along with a misspelled “Kelley.” It’s possible that Judy might have originally been a part of the end of the number. In the final film, Judy and Kelly’s characters first meet in the scene after this song and dance but perhaps it was originally planned to have them meet at the end of the number? Or this could be a mistake by the person who typed up the report. The only known recording from this day that has survived is “Scene No. 2021” which is “Nina” Part 1 (Bar 1 to 139). Nothing that may have included a quick vocal by Judy has survived.
According to Scott Schechter’s book “Judy Garland – The Day-By-Day Chronicle of a Legend,” this day included an “Orchestrate ‘Voodoo'” music session. Judy had a 10:00 a.m. call; she arrived at 11:25 a..; dismissed: 1:25 p.m.”
“Voodoo” wasn’t pre-recorded until April 10th so this is most likely an error in information between the Daily Music Report and studio memos that chronicled Judy’s every move.
Listen to “Nina” Scene No. 2021″ Take 3 here:
Listen to the complete edited version here:
Note that the first half of the number is in stereo, which really brings out the lovely Conrad Salinger orchestrations.
March 28, 1948: This edition of Feg Murray’s “Seein’ Stars” featured a mention of Easter Parade along with this great drawing of Fred Astaire. Although there’s no image of Judy and she’s barely mentioned, it’s included here because of the film and it’s a fun image.
March 28, 1949: Recording session for Annie Get Your Gun. Judy and co-star Howard Keel pre-recorded “They Say It’s Wonderful” (the duet and Judy’s reprise). Judy pre-recorded her reprise of Keel’s “The Girl That I Marry” after he pre-recorded his solo version. Judy arrived at 1:30 p.m. and was dismissed at 3:15 p.m.
Listen to “They Say It’s Wonderful” here:
Listen to “They Say It’s Wonderful” (Judy’s reprise) here:
Listen to “The Girl That I Marry” (Judy’s reprise) here:
March 28, 1951: Judy’s latest appearance on “The Bing Crosby Show” was broadcast. Judy and Bing Crosby pre-recorded the show on March 14, 1951. Judy sang “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody” and, with Bing, “Limehouse Blues,” “April in Paris,” “Isle Of Capri,” and “The Story of Sorrento.”
Listen to “Rock-A-Bye” here:
Listen to the complete show here:
March 28, 1951: Louella Parsons reported on a recent party at which Judy sang. Imagine being one of the lucky party guests who got to see that or one of the many other parties that Judy so generously shared her gifts at. Incredible!
March 28, 1955: Judy experienced premature labor and was rushed to the Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Los Angeles, California.
March 28, 1959: Columnist Vernon Scott details Judy’s upcoming debut at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House. It was the first engagement of Judy’s “Opera House Tour.” She was the first pop singer to appear at the Met. She was, of course, a smash hit when she opened on May 11, 1959.
March 28, 1968: These photos were taken of Judy and Tom Green celebrating Judy’s song Joey’s 13th birthday. That’s Joey with Judy in the second photo.
March 28, 1969: Judy and Johnnie Ray teamed up.