I first discovered Judy’s voice on the way back from a caravan trip with my parents. We stopped at a service station and there was a large box
of tapes, yes I am old enough to have tapes in the car!!. It was buy one get one for half price. I chose Doris Day, as I loved Doris Day’s movies, her voice and in fact one of her films ‘That Touch Of Mink’ was the first video I bought for our new video player from Woolworths! I could not decide which one to get next and my dad recommended the Judy Garland tape. I even remember asking if she was a musical singer! Oh the shame!!!
As we continued the journey I played Doris Day’s tape first and sang along to her famous songs such as ‘Secret Love’ and ‘Please Don’t Eat The Daisies’. We were nearly home when it was time to change the tape. I put Judy into the tape deck and I was transfixed. I knew there and then that I had to find out more about this incredible voice. What was the person like who could sing this way? This started me on my journey of discovery of the wonderful Judy Garland.
It was not as easy in those days. You could not just google or You Tube somebody. It meant a lot of leg work, going to the library, scouring the television to see if there was any films on the television with her in. Luckily having a video recorder meant I could tape films that came onto the television.
I decided to start a collection, I do love a collection! Again this is not as easy as it is now, with Ebay. To build a collection I had to search many shops, write lots of letters and use a lot of luck!! It was a lot of fun and the gratification felt when you found an affordable item was immense.
Throughout the years my collection has grown and I still get the same feeling when I find something to add to my collection.
People often have quite strong opinions of Judy Garland. Some see her as a tragic figure, some think she was too talented, some think she was not talented enough. Some people think she had problems through no fault of her own and others think she made her own problems. It is well documented her problems throughout her life but these should not over shadow the enormous talent she had.
I am not really able to comment constructively on this issue as I adore her and would defend her forever and always!!
To have any opinion at all you need to have a little knowledge on Judy Garland: June 10th 1922, saw Frances Ethel Gumm being born to Ethel and Frank Gumm in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, weighing seven pounds.
In 1925 Frances performed with her older sisters in the vaudeville act ‘The Gumm Sisters’. In 1934 the act was changed to ‘The Garland Sisters’ and so in 1935, Frances also changed her first name and Judy Garland was born!
In 1935, Judy Garland was also contracted to the film studio MGM. Her first big break came as Betsy Booth in the Andy Hardy series, playing alongside Mickey Rooney. In 1939, Judy’s most famous role came to the screen, playing Dorothy Gale in ‘The Wizard Of Oz’ https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032138/ This is the film that sent Judy Garland shooting to stardom.
Judy Garland was married five times. On July 28th 1941, Judy married her first husband David Rose. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Rose_(songwriter)
She met her second husband Vincente Minnelli, https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0591486/ during the production of ‘Meet Me In St Louis’ of which he was the director. They married on June 15th 1945 and their daughter Liza May Minnelli was born March 12th 1946.
Judy starred in many films during her MGM contract including Easter Parade, The Pirate, Harvey Girls, Presenting Lily Mars and Summer Stock, to name just a few.
Judy moved away from MGM and her next film for Warner Brothers Studio is my ultimate favourite ‘A Star Is Born’.
Judy was nominated for an Oscar for the portrayal of a young woman, trying to become an actress but falling in love and marrying an alcoholic, troubled star, played brilliantly by James Mason. You may have seen the most current remake of this film starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.
On March 29th 1955, the family became complete when Judy and Sid’s son Joey Luft was born. https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0525180/
Judy Garland’s last film was in 1963 ‘ I Could Go On Singing’ https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057168/
She then moved towards television shows and variety shows, some of which have only recently come to light. This showed off her fabulous voice but also her wonderful comedy talent.
The story of Judy’s final concerts in London are portrayed in the 2019 film ‘Judy’ staring Renee Zellwegger. I wrote a blog post about the film after going to see it last year. https://lornaliza1blog.wordpress.com/2019/10/07/judy-film-my-thoughts-judy-judygarland-reneezellweger-cinema-filmblogger/
Judy had two more marriages Mark Herron and Mickey Deans.
It was whilst married to Mickey Deans that on June 22nd 1969,
Judy Garland passed away in London UK.
The Rest Of Us Will Be Forgotten. Never Judy!
As you probably gather I could talk about Judy all day, so if you would like to give your views or talk about any of her films or songs that please I would love you to get in touch!
When It Rains Look For Rainbows
Sparkle Hugs and Glitter Kisses xx
All photographs, unless stated, are the copyright of Lorna Liza