WORLD PREMIERE! – YOU COULDN’T BE CUTER – JUDY GARLAND
15-year-old Judy Garland performed the novelty song “You Couldn’t Be Cuter” as part of her weekly appearance on the “Good News of 1938” radio show, broadcast live by NBC Radio on April 28, 1938,.
This previously unknown and unreleased performance of “You Couldn’t Be Cuter” is the only performance from this April 28, 1938, episode that is known to exist.
“You Couldn’t Be Cuter” was written for the film Joy of Living (1938) by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields. Irene Dunne introduced it in the film.
This Judy Garland version of “You Couldn’t Be Cuter” is a previously unknown performance and recording. The only details about the content of the radio show comes from newspaper archives. None of them list this song and only a few mentioned that Judy would perform “Thanks for the Memory.”
According to the surviving newspaper notices of the time, this April 28, 1938, edition of “Good News of 1938” featured a “surprise” emcee, Robert Young, who was set to play the lead “in a dramatic sketch with Maureen O’Sullivan” as part of the broadcast. Una Merkel did a comedy “sequence” and Fanny Brice was to “exchange punches” with Max Baer, the former heavyweight champion of the world in a skit “The Love Battle of the Century.” Baer was also set to take “expert boxing ‘instruction’ from Frank Morgan.” Betty Jaynes and Douglas MacPhail returned “for one of their musical highlights” and “Baby Snooks [Fanny Brice)]will invade the neighborhood beauty parlor.” It was reported in a few notices that Judy was going to present “a classic rendition of a modern swing song” (“Thanks for the Memory”). That performance is not known to exist. No notices mentioned “You Couldn’t Be Cuter,” making this gem even more of a delight since no one knew that Judy ever performed the song let alone that a recording of it existed. Until now! As usual, and even at this young age, Judy Garland delightfully makes the song her own.
A big thanks to collector David Plotkin for sharing this gem from his collection and providing the digital transfer; John H. Haley, Harmony Restorations, LLC, for his expert restoration and remastering; and Lawrence Schulman for his guidance and assistance with photos.
Check out The Judy Room’s “Judy Sing! On The Radio” section for more Garland radio performances here.
Check out The Judy Garland Online Discography’s “Miscellaneous” section for details about Judy’s radio performances available on CD and other home media formats.
Fantastic! I have loved this song since I first heard it in the BBC production of Pennies From Heaven. The recording by Lew Stone’s band with the great Al Bowlly was used. Like everything else she sang Judy made this her own. Thank you to everyone who made this possible.
Well, it didn’t exactly knock me to the ground (but it plays like Gershwin compared to “Hold That Bulldog!”). No, the song isn’t important, but finding tracks of Garland we’ve never heard always IS!!
Thanks, Scott, and to all who contributed! Always grateful.
You’re welcome! I’m just the delivery boy. It’s thanks to collectors like David Plotkin (can’t thank him enough!) and the audio engineering magic of John H. Haley that we’re able to enjoy these rare recordings. This is a treat because prior to this disc being discovered, no one even knew that she sang the song. That info was lost to time. 🙂
Thanks for those kind words, Scott. And I want to add my thanks to Dave Plotkin, who discovered this unknown treasure on a transcription disc. While this is not a typical song for Judy Garland, she really owns it. And as for the song itself, I really won’t complain about a song composed by Jerome Kern with lyrics by Dorothy Fields. It was a joy to restore this little gem. And I am also grateful for The Judy Room as a perfect place for such great things to be shared.
Great…Thank You. I hope it will be released on a CD sometime in the future.