work in progress
Judy Garland: Over the Rainbow
Actress and singer Judy Garland was born June 10, 1922, in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Garland signed a movie contract with MGM at the age of 13. In 1939, she scored one of her greatest on-screen successes with The Wizard of Oz. In 1950, MGM dropped her from her contract. In the 1960s, Judy Garland spent more time as a singer than an actress. She died in 1969 of an accidental overdose.
Actress and singer Judy Garland was born Frances Ethel Gumm on June 10, 1922, in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. The daughter of vaudeville professionals, she started her stage career as a child. Garland was called "Baby Gumm" and sang "Jingle Bells" at her first public performance at the age of two and a half. With her two older sisters, Susie and Jimmie, Garland soon began performing as part of the Gumm Sisters. In 1926, the Gumm family moved to California where Garland and her sisters studied acting and dancing. They played numerous gigs that their mother, Ethel, had arranged for them as their manager and agent. In the late 1920s, the Gumm sisters also appeared in several short films. The Gumm sisters transformed into the Garland sisters at the World's Fair in Chicago in 1934. Traveling with their mother, the sisters played at a theater with comedian George Jessel, who reportedly suggested they become the Garland sisters. Garland shed her nickname "Baby" in favor of a more mature and vibrant Judy. The following year, she would become a solo act, signing a movie contract with MGM at the age of 13. It was on a radio broadcast that November, however, that Garland debuted one of the songs most closely associated with her, "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart." Shortly after the program aired, Garland suffered a great personal loss when her father, Frank, died of spinal meningitis.
Despite her personal anguish, Garland continued on her path to film stardom. One of her first feature film roles was in Pigskin Parade (1936). Playing a girl-next-door type, Garland went on to co-star in Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938), with friend Mickey Rooney. The two proved to be a popular pairing, and they co-starred in several more Andy Hardy films. Not only was she working a lot, Garland was under pressure from the studio about her looks and her weight. She was given amphetamines to boost her energy and control her weight. Unfortunately, Garland would soon become reliant on this medication, along with needing other substances to help her sleep. Drug problems would plague her throughout her career. In 1939, Garland scored one of her greatest on-screen successes with The Wizard of Oz, which showcased her singing talents as well as her acting abilities. Garland received a special Academy Award for her portrayal of Dorothy, the girl from Kansas transported to Oz. She soon made several more musicals, including Strike Up the Band (1940), Babes of Broadway (1942), with Rooney, and For Me and My Gal (1943), with Gene Kelly.
Garland married for the first time at the age of 19. Her union with bandleader David Rose was decidedly short-lived, however. On the set of Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), another of Garland's signature films, she met director Vincent Minnelli. She officially divorced Rose in 1945 and soon wed Minnelli. The couple also welcomed a daughter, Liza, in 1946. Unfortunately, Garland's second marriage only lasted a little longer than her first. The Garland-Minnelli union was practically over by 1949 (they officially divorced in 1952). Around this time, Garland began to break down emotionally. Likely exhausted from years of constant work and from all the medications she used to keep herself going, she developed a reputation for being unreliable and unstable. In 1950, MGM dropped her from her contract because of her emotional and physical difficulties. Garland's career appeared to be spiraling downward.
SINGING AND ACTING:
In 1951, Garland started to rebuild her career with help from producer Sid Luft. She starred in her own show on Broadway at the Palace Theater, which drew large crowds and ran for more than 20 weeks. More than simply showcasing her powerful and expressive voice, the revue also proved that Garland was a dedicated performer, helping to dispel the earlier negative stories about her. She earned a special Tony Award for her work on the show and her contributions to vaudeville in 1952.
Garland married Luft in 1952, which was a stormy relationship by some reports. They had two children together—daughter Lorna in 1952 and son Joey in 1955. Whatever personal difficulty Garland and Luft had, he had a positive impact on her career and was instrumental in putting together one of her greatest films. Starring opposite James Mason, Garland gave an outstanding performance as a woman who obtains stardom at the price of love in A Star Is Born (1954). Her rendition of "The Man That Got Away" is considered one of her best performances on film, and she was nominated for an Academy Award.
In the 1960s, Judy Garland spent more time as a singer than an actress, but she still managed to earn another Academy Award nomination. She played a woman who had been persecuted by the Nazis in 1961's Judgment at Nuremberg. That same year, Garland won Grammy Awards for Best Solo Vocal Performance and Album of the Year, for Judy at Carnegie Hall. Despite all of her success as a singer, these were the only Grammy wins of her career.
Garland also tried her hand at series television. From 1963 to 1964, she starred in The Judy Garland Show. The program went through many changes in its short run, but its strongest moments featured Garland showcasing her singing ability. Her two daughters, Lorna Luft and Liza Minnelli, made appearances on the show, as did her old co-star, Rooney. Jazz and pop vocalist Mel Tormé served as the program's musical adviser. For her work on the show, Garland earned an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Performance in a Variety or Musical Program in 1964.
FINAL YEARS AND DEATH:
Although her television series ended, Garland was still in demand as an entertainer, playing gigs around the world. But her personal life was as troubled as ever. After many separations, Garland divorced Luft in 1965 after a bitter battle over child custody. She quickly remarried—this time to actor Mark Herron. But that union lasted only a few months before dissolving. The pair officially divorced in 1967, the same year Garland made a critically acclaimed return to Broadway for At Home at the Palace.
The next year, Garland went to London. She was in personal and financial trouble by this time. During performances at London's Talk of the Town nightclub, Garland was clearly not in good shape on stage.
Garland wed former bandleader and club manager Mickey Deans in March 1969. However, just a few months later, on June 22, 1969, she died in London of what was reported to be an accidental overdose.
The legacy of Garland has been carried on by her daughters Liza Minnelli and Lorna Luft, both of whom are singers and have had varying degrees of success. Lorna wrote about her life with Garland in her 1998 autobiography, Me and My Shadows: A Family Memoir. It became the basis for the 2001 television mini-series Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows. Both of the featured actresses—Tammy Blanchard as young Judy and Judy Davis as more mature Judy—took home Emmy Awards for their portrayals of the famed entertainer.
Nearly 50 years after her death, Garland continues to maintain a devoted following. There are countless fan sites online as well as published biographies that explore almost every aspect of her life—from her brilliant talent, her professional successes and failures, and her myriad of personal struggles. In celebration of the late star, the Judy Garland Museum at her birthplace holds an annual festival. In March 2018, it was announced that principal photography had begun on the biopic Judy, with Renée Zellweger starring as the iconic actress and performer.
A Garland of Garland
"Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart" is a 1934 popular song with words and music by James F. Hanley. It was introduced by Hal Le Roy and Eunice Healey in the Broadway revue Thumbs Up! The most notable recordings were made by Judy Garland, who recorded it numerous times, including in the 1938 film Listen, Darling when she was 16 years old and for Decca Records in 1939)
You Made Me Love You
"You Made Me Love You (I Didn't Want to Do It)" is a popular song. The music was written by James V. Monaco, the lyrics by Joseph McCarthy and the song was published in 1913. It was introduced by Al Jolson in the Broadway revue The Honeymoon Express (1913) and used in the 1973 revival of the musical Irene. One of the earliest recordings of the song was by Al Jolson which was recorded on June 4, 1913. It was released on Columbia A-1374 and was a huge hit. Jolson recorded the song again on March 20, 1946 and it was released on Decca 23613. Jolson also performed the song on the soundtrack of the 1946 film The Jolson Story. Meanwhile, Roger Edens wrote additional lyrics to the song for Judy Garland. The new lyrics cast Garland in the role of a teenage fan of Clark Gable. Garland sang the song to Gable at a birthday party thrown for him by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. MGM executives were so charmed by her rendition that she and the song were added to the film Broadway Melody of 1938. Garland recorded the "Gable" version on September 24, 1937, when she was 15. It was released on Decca 1463. MGM released the song as a b-side in 1939, opposite Garland's recording of "Over the Rainbow" for The Wizard of Oz.
Over the Rainbow
"Over the Rainbow" is a ballad, with music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by Yip Harburg. It was written for the movie The Wizard of Oz and was sung by 17-year-old Judy Garland, in her starring role as Dorothy Gale. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and became Garland's signature song, as well as one of the most enduring standards of the 20th century.
"Embraceable You" is a popular jazz song, with music by George Gershwin and lyrics by Ira Gershwin. The song was originally written in 1928 for an unpublished operetta named East Is West. It was eventually published in 1930 and included in the Broadway musical Girl Crazy where it was performed by Ginger Rogers in a song and dance routine choreographed by Fred Astaire. It has been adapted three times for film, most notably in 1943 with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland. In that version, the roles played by Ginger Rogers and Ethel Merman were combined into one, played by Garland.
But Not For Me
"But Not for Me" is a popular song, composed by George Gershwin, with lyrics by Ira Gershwin. It was written for their musical Girl Crazy (1930) and introduced in the original production by Ginger Rogers. It is also in the 1992 musical based on Girl Crazy, Crazy for You. In 1959 Ella Fitzgerald included a version of the song on her landmark album Ella Fitzgerald Sings the George and Ira Gershwin Songbook. The rendition won the 1960 Grammy Award for Best Female Vocal Performance. Judy Garland sang it in the 1943 film version of the musical
I Got Rhythm
"I Got Rhythm" is a piece composed by George Gershwin with lyrics by Ira Gershwin. It was originally written as a slow song for Treasure Girl (1928) and found another, faster setting in Girl Crazy in 1930. It quickly became a jazz standard. Its chord progression, known as the "rhythm changes", is the foundation for many other popular jazz tunes such as Charlie Parker's and Dizzy Gillespie's bebop standard "Anthropology (Thrivin' on a Riff).” Ethel Merman sang the song in the original Broadway production and Broadway lore holds that George Gershwin, after seeing her opening reviews, warned her never to take a singing lesson. In the 1943 film version of the show, the characters played by Ginger Rogers and Ethel Merman in the Broadway show were combined into one character played by Judy Garland. She performs the song with the Tommy Dorsey Band.
The Boy Next Door
"The Boy Next Door" is a 1944 popular song by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane. It was introduced in the musical film Meet Me in St. Louis, where it was performed by Judy Garland. In 1954 Vic Damone sang it in the first minutes of the film Athena. It has subsequently become a popular standard, performed by many artists. It is sometimes performed and recorded under the title "The Girl Next Door.”
Have Yourself a Merry Little Xmas
"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” a song written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane, was introduced by Judy Garland in the 1944 MGM musical Meet Me in St. Louis. In 2007, ASCAP ranked "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" the third most performed Christmas song during the preceding five years, and in 2004 it finished at No. 76 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs rankings of the top tunes in American cinema. The song first appeared in a scene in which a family is distraught by the father's plans to move to New York City for a job promotion, leaving behind their beloved home in St. Louis, Missouri, just before the long-anticipated 1904 World's Fair begins. In a scene set on Christmas Eve, Judy Garland's character, Esther, sings the song to cheer up her despondent five-year-old sister, Tootie, played by Margaret O'Brien.
The Trolley Song
"The Trolley Song" was written by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane and made famous by Judy Garland in the 1944 film Meet Me in St. Louis. In a 1989 NPR interview, Blane said the song was inspired by a picture of a trolley car that was in a book he'd found at the Beverly Hills Public Library and was captioned "'Clang, Clang, Clang,' Went the Trolley." Blane and Martin were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 1945 Academy Awards, for "The Trolley Song" but lost to "Swinging on a Star" from Going My Way. "The Trolley Song" was ranked #26 by the American Film Institute in 2004 on the AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs list. The song as conducted by Georgie Stoll for Meet Me in St. Louis has a very complex, evocative arrangement by Conrad Salinger featuring harmonized choruses, wordless vocals, and short highlights or flourishes from a wide range of orchestral instruments. When the song was recorded on the set of Meet Me in St Louis, it was done in a single shot.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ln3sNwccHxI(c) Wikipedia
"On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe" is a popular song which refers to the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway (AT&SF). It was featured in the 1946 film, The Harvey Girls, where it was sung by Judy Garland, with support from Ben Carter, Marjorie Main, Virginia O'Brien, Ray Bolger, and the MGM Chorus. It won the Academy Award for Best Original Song that year. The music was written by Harry Warren, and the lyrics by Johnny Mercer. The song was published in 1944, but the most popular recordings were made the following year. Charting versions were recorded by Mercer, Bing Crosby, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, and Judy Garland and the Merry Macs. Despite mentions in the lyrics of the song, the actual AT&SF never reached Laramie, Wyoming, or Philadelphia, Pennsylvania without using partner services of through sleepers with other railroads like the Baltimore & Ohio and Pennsylvania Railroad.
"Get Happy" is a song composed by Harold Arlen, with lyrics written by Ted Koehler. It echoes themes of a Christian evangelical revivalist meeting song. It was the first song they wrote together, and was introduced by Ruth Etting in The Nine-Fifteen Revue in 1930. The song is most associated with Judy Garland, who performed it in her last MGM film Summer Stock (1950) and in live concert performances throughout the rest of her life. The version from Summer Stock finished at #61 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema. Garland sang this song with Barbra Streisand in a mash-up that also included "Happy Days Are Here Again" on The Judy Garland Show in 1963.
The Man That Got Away
"The Man that Got Away" is a popular song written for the 1954 version of the film A Star Is Born. The music was written by Harold Arlen, and the lyrics by Ira Gershwin. In 1955, it was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song. (It lost to “Three Coins in a Fountain.”) In 2004, Judy Garland's performance of the song was selected by the American Film Institute as the eleventh greatest song in American cinema history. The best-known recording of this song was made by Judy Garland with the Warner Brothers Orchestra under the direction of Ray Heindorf using an arrangement by Skip Martin. Judy's performance of the song in A Star is Born is unusual for being filmed in one continuous shot. In the finished take, Garland (as Esther Blodgett) performs the song in a nightclub during a musicians-only session after closing time. The chairs are up on the tables for floor cleaning, the air is filled with cigarette smoke, and Garland's character, without an audience other than her musician friends, is encouraged by the pianist to rise from her seat on the piano bench and "take it from the top." "The Man That Got Away" is arguably the most important single musical sequence in the entire film. Garland later sang this song as a regular part of her concert repertoire for the rest of her career, including a show-stopping version on her own television variety program in 1963.
"Rock-a-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody" is a popular song written by Jean Schwartz, with lyrics by Sam M. Lewis and Joe Young. The song was introduced by Al Jolson in the Broadway musical Sinbad and published in 1918. Probably the best-known version of the song was by Al Jolson who recorded it on March 13, 1918 and whose version reached #1 the same year. Judy Garland included the song in her album Miss Show Business (1955) and her 1960 recording appeared in the compilation album The London Sessions. She performed the song at her landmark 1961 Carnegie Hall concert and on a CBS television special in 1962.
ENCORE: Happy Days Are Here Again/Get Happy
The Judy Garland Show is an American musical variety television series that aired on CBS on Sunday nights during the 1963–1964 television season. Despite a sometimes stormy relationship with Judy Garland, CBS had found success with several television specials featuring the star. Garland, who for years had been reluctant to commit to a weekly series, saw the show as her best chance to pull herself out of severe financial difficulties. Production difficulties beset the series almost from the beginning. The series had three different producers in the course of its 26 episodes and went through a number of other key personnel changes. With the change in producers also came changes to the show's format, which started as comedy and variety but switched to an almost purely concert format. While Garland herself was popular with critics, the initial variety format and her co-star, Jerry Van Dyke, were not. The show competed with NBC's Bonanza, then the fourth most popular program on television, and consistently performed poorly in the ratings. Although fans rallied in an attempt to save the show, CBS cancelled it after a single season (out of an originally planned four-season run). Barbra Streisand appeared on the October 6, 1963 show and garnered an Emmy Award nomination for her work with Garland.