Those were the first words posted on the first Judy Room website homepage back in June of 1999. That site originally consisted of a few pages of photos of the actual Judy “Room” in my townhouse (click here to see the original Judy “Room”). At that time personal websites were new and all the rage, prompting friends and family to encourage me to share the photos of my room with the online world. I thought it would be fun too, so I went to one of those web hosting sites that gave you a rather long URL, the “Go Network,” and got the following web address: www.homepages.go.com/~ozianscott. This and the “redirect” site address of http://welcome.to/thejudyroom.com were the URLs until October 1999 when it finally became the standalone URL www.thejudyroom.com.
For the record, the very first web appearance of the Judy “Room” was in the fall of 1997 when Jim Johnson, webmaster of The Judy Garland Database, was kind enough to post scans of some photos of my room on his site. These stayed on his site until I created the “real” site in 1999.
Even in 1999, there were only a handful of Garland sites on the web, and most people had to “hard code” their pages – meaning there were no programs like Dreamweaver to make website building easier. There was Adobe Page Mill, which at the time was “ok,” and “Front Page”, which was just as clunky. Being a real amateur, it took me a lot of time and effort to make even the most simple effects and designs. And all on a dial-up connection! Remember dial-up connections?? But thanks to other webmasters out there, like Jim Johnson at The Judy Garland Database, I was able to learn from their support and help what was effective and what wasn’t. Taking the lead from the Database, as well as The Judy List and The Judy Garland Page and later, The Live Performances, the site began to grow in an effort to celebrate the amazing legacy of Judy Garland and to hopefully give back just a little of what she gave (and continues to give) to me over the years.
From the very beginning, the Timelines and Essential Garland sections were the secondary centerpieces of the site after The Judy Room. Both were completed by the end of 1999. The timelines are still a part of the site but are now expanded and located at the sister site, The Judy Room’s blog “JudyGarlandNews.com” and the “On This Day” section which features lengthy entries about what was going on in Judy Garland’s personal and professional lives on each day of the year. In 2002 Scott Schechter published his wonderful book Judy Garland – The Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Legend which he allowed me to quote in The Judy Room Timelines. This book is still a definite “must-have” for Garland fans. The Essential Garland pages morphed into what is now the Media Section.
Also early on, and because the centerpiece of the site was my “Judy Room,” I thought it would be fun to showcase other fan’s collections. Sadly, only two people out there in “Garfandom” shared their collections, but this feature survived for several years before being removed when the focus of the site changed.
The first big endeavor for the site after the timelines was The Judy Room Email Newsletter, which has been replaced with the News Blog (www.JudyGarlandNews.com). This was a direct result of the site becoming more focused on upcoming products and the discography. In 2005 the newsletter extended to a hard copy “Year In Review” that is currently printed and mailed out at the beginning of each year.
In 2001 the first incarnation of the Meet Me In St. Louis section was posted. This would morph in 2003 to a “Monthly Feature” that quickly became a “Spotlight On” feature because the monthly deadline of these detailed sub-sections proved to be unworkable! With the help of several wonderful Garland collectors out there, and their generous time and efforts in scanning so many rare materials, these sections became quite extensive and are now wonderful online resources.
Over the years many fans, historians, archivists, authors, experts, even “Judy geeks” have graciously and selflessly given their input, help, and guidance to the contents of the site. Without the help of all of these people, The Judy Room wouldn’t be what it is today. I can truly say that this site is a site built by the fans, and for the fans, of the amazing Judy Garland.
I hope you enjoy looking over these archive pages and seeing how the site has progressed and, I hope, gotten better! Here’s to the future celebrating the life and legacy of the one and only Judy Garland!
Thank you all!!!
Scott Brogan – The Judy Room Webmaster