On This Day In Judy Garland’s Life And Career – March 30

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“Among the girls it’s Judy Garland, born in a vaudeville trunk, versus Grace Kelly, born in a Philadelphia mansion.  Miss Garland, a great child star, is Hollywood’s heartbreak kid.  An Oscar would climax an amazing Hollywood story, the kind of story sentimental Hollywood likes.” – James Bacon, 1955

March 30, 1931:  “The Gumm Sisters” (Judy and her two sisters) performed at the Kiwanis Club, Kiwanis Hall, in Lancaster, California.

March 30, 1937:  Judy continued her success as a weekly regular on the “Jack Oakie’s College” radio show for CBS Radio.  Judy also sang  “Goodnight My Love” with a new intro probably written by Roger Edens, and “Slap That Bass” closing the show with it, and with some help from Oakie and the studio chorus.  No recording of this show is known to exist.

Download the complete transcript of this show here (PDF).

March 30, 1937:  This photo of Judy and other child stars at a recent gala preview of MGM’s Captains Courageous was published.  To confuse things, the newspaper item uses the word “premiere” instead of “preview.”  The film did not premiere until May 14, 1937, which is well documented by the “Los Angeles Times” and other papers.  Judy and Mickey Rooney went to that premiere together.

The photos that are shown here of Judy with “the gang” are from a special preview screening of the film.  The result is that more often than not, photos from this event are mistaken as being photos from the May 14th premiere but after researching both events it’s clear that the photos here were in fact from that late March preview showing.

March 30, 1938:  “Variety” noted (in an article dated March 29) that Judy had been on the stage of the Oriental Theatre in Chicago for three days (actually it was two nights), and then she flew “to the Coast for the Metro air show.”  It must have been a fast turnaround trip, as Judy was back in Chicago in time to take the train to Minneapolis, Minnesota, arriving late the night of March 30.


March 30, 1939:  Judy Garland double-breasted reefer coats?  Hmmmmmm.  🙂

March 30, 1940:  More MGM Judy Garland fiction.  According to this article, Judy sold her flower shop as a step in building a hospital for “needy” people.

March 30, 1940:  This wonderful 12-page ad was placed by MGM in the trade magazine “Motion Picture Herald.”

March 30, 1943:  Filming continued on Girl Crazy.  Time called: 10:45 a.m.; dismissed: 5:10 p.m. Scenes listed as being filmed were those on the “Interior Dorm” and “Interior Dean’s Home.”  The first photo shown here was taken on this day.

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Pages about Girl Crazy here.


March 30, 1943:  Judy appeared on the cover of the Swedish “Tempo” magazine.


March 30, 1944:  Meet Me In St. Louis filming continued.  Well, not really.  Judy had a call to be on the set at 10:00 a.m.; she was ready at 11:08 a.m.  Judy then went home ill at 12:15 p.m.

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

March 30, 1945:  Here’s a fun article about the “Hot Slang of 1903.”  It’s a peach of an article!

On this day at MGM, The Harvey Girls continued filming with scenes shot on the “Exterior Harvey House” and “Exterior Alhambra” sets, which were shot on the “Western Street” on MGM’s Backlot #3, dressed up to look like the fictional town of “Sandrock.”

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

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


March 30, 1947:  Jay Scott’s photo column, “Candidly Hollywood,” featured this recent photo of Judy.   The photo is actually one taken on the night of January 27, 1947, when Judy and her husband Vincente Minnelli attended the Los Angeles premiere of Till The Clouds Roll By.  Judy guest-starred in the film playing Broadway legend Marilyn Miller, Vincente directed her scenes and musical numbers.

Check out The Judy Room’s Spotlight on Till The Clouds Roll By here.


March 30, 1949:  MGM recording session for Annie Get Your Gun.  Judy pre-recorded the song “Let’s Go West Again” which was written specifically for her by Irving Berlin.  After Judy left the project it was pre-recorded by Betty Hutton but ultimately cut from the film.  Judy’s co-star, Howard Keel, recorded his solo of “My Defenses Are Down” during this session.

Time called: 11:30 a.m., due on set 1 p.m.; Judy arrived at 1 p.m.; dismissed at 1:45 p.m.  It only took Judy 45 minutes to pre-record the song with the orchestra.

Listen to “Let’s Go West Again” here:

Listen to “My Defenses Are Down” (Keel solo) here:

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

March 30, 1951:  A new chapter in Judy’s life began when she set sail on the “Ile de France” for Europe and her opening at the London Palladium which heralded not only her great comeback but also her “Concert Years.”

Photos:  Judy with fans before leaving New York; Judy poses on deck; newspaper notices (published the following day).

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

March 30, 1952:  The “Los Angeles Times” noted Judy’s upcoming debut at the L.A. Philharmonic, which took place on April 24, 1952.

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

March 30, 1952:  Judy was awarded a special Antoinette Perry (Tony) Award, for her Unique Contribution to Theatre 1951-52” at a special ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, in commemoration of her smash 19-week run at the Palace Theatre.

At some later date, Judy had the Beverly Hills jeweler “Trabert & Hoeffler” mount the heavy, silver-plate 3” diameter coin-shaped award as the hinged lid of a .545 sterling silver reproduction of a ca. 1700 John Dixwell original drinking cup.  She reportedly kept the award on prominent display in her library throughout the remainder of her life.  It was acquired by the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, directly from her third husband, Sid Luft.  In 2011 it was sold at auction for $30,000.

To see more items from that auction, check out The Judy Room’s 2011 Year in Review (PDF).

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

March 30, 1955:  NBC-TV planned to televise Judy live from her hospital room, during the Academy Awards broadcast on NBC-TV.  She had just given birth to her son Joe the previous day.

Everyone was so sure that Judy would win Best Actress for A Star Is Born, the network went to the trouble and expense of setting up a special scaffolding outside her hospital room window, as well as taking over her room itself, to ensure that they captured her acceptance speech.  Unfortunately, Judy did not win, losing to Grace Kelly’s performance in The Country Girl.

A Star Is Born was also nominated for Best Actor (James Mason); Best Song (“The Man That Got Away”); Best Score; Best Costume Design; and Best Art Direction. It didn’t win any.  Aside from Judy’s loss, it’s incredible to think that “Three Coins In The Fountain” won Best Song over “The Man That Got Away.”

Later, Judy would share her funny story about how the TV crew packed up and left without saying a word after the announcement was made.  Always the optimist, Judy was able to turn this significant loss into a funny anecdote.

Today, the film is considered a masterpiece and most people have never heard of (or even seen) The Country Girl.

Photos: The scaffolding outside Judy’s hospital room; newspaper clippings.

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


March 30, 1958:  If you’ve ever wondered who dubbed Judy in the German language versions of her films, well now you know.  It was Marion Degler.  I’ve seen the German dubbed version of Easter Parade on German TV and Ms. Degler did a good job.  The songs were not dubbed but included subtitles so everyone still got to hear Judy sing.

March 30, 1958:  Judy managed to get through the first two songs of her act at the Town and Country on this night, then announced that she had been fired and left the stage.  Judy had developed severe colitis shortly after opening at the venue but had somehow managed to get through her shows until this night when the manager of the club fired her.

Judy claimed that she was assaulted by the club’s manager, Ben Maksik, as she left the stage.  Maksik told reporters that he had paid Judy an advance of $40k although Judy denied it claiming she hadn’t seen any money from the engagement.  Meanwhile, New York state put a lien on her salary for $5,500 in back taxes.  Maksik claimed that Judy told him she wouldn’t appear unless she received the balance of the salary for the rest of the engagement.  She was receiving $25k per week and wanted the $50k balance before going on.  He then tried to persuade her to not go on stage because he could see that she was sick.  Judy got through the first two songs then announced that she had a “terrible case of laryngitis” and walked off saying she had been fired.

Photos:  Three shots of Judy backstage (captions below) plus newspaper clippings detailing the event.

Photo captions:

Photo 1:  Singer Judy Garland wipes away a tear in her dressing room at the Town and Country Club in Brooklyn where she walked off stage last night after singing her second number – ‘Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries.’ She told her audience of 1,700 that she had laryngitis and added ‘It doesn’t really matter though, I’ve just been fired.’ Ben Maksik, whose nightspot is one of the country’s largest, vowed it was ‘the last walkout Judy will stage in my place.’ He said he paid about $40,000 to Judy and her husband Sid Luft in advance before Judy arrived in New York. Luft, whom Miss Garland is suing for divorce was at the club when the walkout occurred and said he didn’t like the way things were going with Judy’s contract and had called on Brooklyn District Attorney Silver about it Saturday.

Photo 2:  Singer Judy Garland walked out on a full house at the Town and Country Club 3/30 in a dispute that apparently involved money, her unhappy love life and a large dash of temperament. She went on 50 minutes late, sang two songs, and then told the audience she could not finish because she had laryngitis. ‘But it doesn’t matter anyhow, because I’ve just been fired.’ Miss Garland is shown in her dressing room after the show, where she told newsmen she was broke.

Photo 3:  Singer Judy Garland points to her shoulder [note the photo does not sow Judy pointing] as she tells a reporter that it was bruised when she was allegedly struck by Ben Maksik, owner of the town and country club in Brooklyn, where singer walked off stage after singing her second number last night. Judy who told the audience that she had been fired by Maksik, said she intends to charge him with assault and battery, her engagement at the club ended 15 days early, the singer says she intends to go to Jamaica, B.W.I., to rest with her three children.

Photo 4:  Newspaper article detailing the events.

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

March 30, 1964:  Capitol Records released “Just For Openers” which featured 12 tracks from Judy’s TV series, “The Judy Garland Show,” recorded through the sound system but in mono, not stereo.

The LP was the only legitimate album of material from the show released during Judy’s lifetime.  It was also the first of a planned series of albums of performances from the series, but subsequent albums were never produced.

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

Judy and Joe circa 1965

March 30, 1965:  Judy gave a birthday party at the Beverly Hills Hotel for her son Joey’s 10th birthday, and for Peter Lawford’s son, Chris, who also turned 10 on the same day, March 29th.  Chris starred on the ABC-TV soap “All My Children” in 1995.

Judy then took them to a movie.  I don’t have any photos of the party, so here is a snapshot of Judy and Joey that was taken in 1965.  Maybe it was taken on this night when they went to the movies?  It’s possible.

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