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"The Harvey Girls"
MGM 1946

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"The Harvey Girls"

Turner Classic Movies Music
Rhino Movie Music
R2 72151
Not Given
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March 31, 1943: "Oklahoma!" opens on Broadway to instant success and acclaim. This did not go unnoticed by MGM Musical producer Arthur Freed. Freed's musical assistant Roger Edens had seen "Oklahoma!" before it opened. He advised Freed that a film musical with the same rustic elements would also be a big hit. A year before, MGM had bought the 1942 novel by Samuel Hopkins Adams "The Harvey Girls" as a vehicle for Lana Turner. Knowing it would be years before "Oklahoma!" would be available for the screen, Freed seized the opportunity to take "The Harvey Girls" and make it into a showcase for Judy Garland.

And showcase it was! Six screenwriters worked on the script; several noted character actors were given good supporting roles; a solid director: George Sidney (who just so happened to have directed Judy Garland's screen test for MGM 10 years before); and above all, a new fully integrated score was written by Harry Warren and Johnny Mercer. The film would go on to become a huge hit - chiefly due to its star: Judy Garland. Judy was at the pinnacle of her career at MGM. The year before production began on The Harvey Girls, Judy had scored a double hit with audiences and critics with the masterpiece Meet Me In St. Louis and her first dramatic film The Clock. She followed these with the filming of her wickedly satirical "Madame Crematon" for Ziegfeld Follies (also not released until 1946). Judy Garland had pulled off a feat rare in Hollywood: The transition from "Child Star" to that of a desirable "adult" leading lady. Judy Garland was, simply, a "Superstar" and the reigning queen of the MGM Lot.

Angela & JudyThe Harvey Girls proved (as if there were any doubt) that Judy Garland could handle anything. This time out, she had great songs, costumes, co-stars, a love interest, and comedy. The public ate it up! It was so profitable that it would be listed on Variety's list of "All Time Box Office Champions" for the next 40+ years. And of course, the song "On The Atchison, Topeka, And The Santa Fe" would win the Oscar as the best song of the year.

The story is about a young woman who travels West on the Atchison, Topeka and The Santa Fe Railroad to Sandrock, NM as a "mail order bride." The novel was based on the real life existence of the Fred Harvey Company and its chain of hotel/restaurants all along the railroad in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. These "Harvey Hotels" were always on the edge of civilization, and in many cases instrumental in the settling of the area. Harvey Hotels still exist today.

In our story, Susan Bradley (Judy) is on her way to Sandrock on the same train as a staff of Harvey Girls on their way to open a new hotel/restaurant. Upon arrival, Susan discovers her "finance" to be the butt of a practical joke played by a local big shot saloon owner Ned Trent (John Hodiak). Susan joins forces with the Harvey Girls, and the ensuing dramatics center around the struggle between good (the Harvey Girls) and bad (the Saloon Girls) - and the romance between Susan and Ned. In between there is time for comic relief provided by Ray Bolger and Virginia O'Brien, as well as songs, dances, and even a "girl fight." It's all great fun. Light, enjoyable entertainment with the polish and expertise that only the Freed Unit at MGM in their heyday could accomplish. Everyone involved was at the peak of their talents.

The Harvey Girls is a unique film in the Arthur Freed roster of hits. Like Meet Me In St. Louis, it's an original written directly for the screen with new songs written expressly to advance the plot or explain character motivation. But unlike most of the other films, it has a western background - and is a showcase for one star billed above the title. Beginning in the late 1940's, the Freed Unit would shift to films that either had their origins on Broadway, or were based on an existing catalog of songs from various famous composers and lyricists, albeit usually with an original story line - with an emphasis on dance to further the plot. The Harvey Girls is more character driven, with an emphasis on fun, This is the reason it survives today as a perennial favorite - due to all of its singular and special charms.

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Relaxing on the setFrom the PRODUCERS NOTES in the CD Booklet:
"It is with great pleasure that we premiere the original soundtrack album to one of the best MGM Musicals of all time, The Harvey Girls, featuring the timeless songs of Harry Warren and Johnny Mercer, perfectly rendered by the extraordinary Judy Garland and a stellar supporting cast.

The music for The Harvey Girls was recorded with several microphones placed strategically throughout the scoring stage, each creating discrete recordings called "angles" that captured the vocals and different sections of the orchestra. Each angle was then edited, using portions of many different 'takes' of each song or score piece. Finally, the edited vocal orchestral angles were mixed to monaural composite tracks ('comps') in preparation for final use in the film.

While very few angles for The Harvey Girls were available, most of the orchestral and vocal comps did survive the aging process and were used to master most selections on this album. Individual angles were available for the Oscar-winning 'On The Atchison, Topeka, And The Santa Fe,' the joyous 'Swing Your Partner Round And Round,' and the wonderful outtake 'March Of The Doagies,' enabling us to mix these selections in true stereo. Neither comps nor angles were available for a portion of 'Training Montage (The Train Must Be Fed)' or 'Wait And See' reprise #2, so it was necessary to replace missing sections with the music and effects track of the fine-grain print master. Due to the natural aging process of all production elements, the listener will note occasional variations in fidelity. Selections are presented in their original order and by name as they appear in the conductor's score."

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Music conducted by ..Lennie Hayton
Music and Lyrics by ..Harry Warren & Johnny Mercer
Additional Music and Lyrics by ..Kay Thompson, Ralph Blane, Conrad Salinger
Additional Arrangements and Orchestrations by
..Conrad Salinger, Bob Franklyn, Ted Duncan, David Raksin, Roger Edens, Wally Heglin, Daniele Amphitheatrof, Paul Marquardt, Joseph Nussbaum
Vocal Arrangements by:
..Kay Thompson

All music recorded in Culver City, California

Recordings in stereo noted by an asterisk * ...................... JUDY GARLAND tracks in BLUE

Main Title MGM Studio Orchestra 6.30.1945 2:28
In The Valley (Where The Evening Sun Goes Down) Judy Garland 02.16.1945 2:25
Wait And See Virginia Reece (for Angela Lansbury), with Roger Edens at the Piano 02.15.1945 1:48
On The Atchison, Topeka, And The Santa Fe* Judy Garland, Cyd Charisse, Virginia O'Brien, Marjorie Main, Ray Bolger, [click here for continuation] 01.05.1945, 01.06.1945, 01.08.1945, 04.08.1945, and 06.30.1945 8:37
Training Montage (The Train Must Be Fed) Edward Earle, Selena Royle, Marjorie Main, Joe Karnes, Elva Kellogg, Judy Garland, Virginia O'Brien, Cyd Charisse, and the MGM Studio Chorus 01.13.1945 and 06.30.1945 1:52
Oh, You Kid (extended version) Virginia Reece (for Angela Lansbury) 02.15.1945 3:10
Judy Gets The Meat MGM Studio Orchestra 06.30.1945 1:05
Honky Tonk MGM Studio Orchestra 06.30.1945 :54
Wait And See reprise #1 (extended version) Kenny Baker, with Lud Donkowski/Luther Rountree/Frank Saputo on guitar 02.16.1945 1:48
It's A Great Big World Judy Garland, Virginia O'Brien, and Marion Doenges (for Cyd Charisse) 01.05.1945** 6:19
The Wild, Wild West Virginia O'Brien 01.29.1945, 06.30.1945, and 08.03.1945 3:08
Judy Goes To The Valley MGM Studio Orchestra 06.30.1945 :40
My Intuition (outtake) Judy Garland and John Hodiak 02.16.1945 & 06.30.1945 3:27
Wait And See reprise #2 Kenny Baker and Marion Doenges (for Cyd Charisse) 02.16.1945 and 08.03.1945 4:05
Judy's Fight MGM Studio Orchestra 06.30.1945 1:49
Ray Bolger Dance (On The Atchison, Topeka, And The Santa Fe) MGM Studio Orchestra 02.15.1945 and 06.30.1945 3:11
Swing Your Partner Round And Round* Judy Garland, Marjorie Main and the MGM Studio Chorus 02.19.1945 and 06.30.1945 5:55
March Of The Doagies (outtake)* Judy Garland, Joe Karnes, Frank Laine, Don Ellis, Eugene Dorian, Ralph Blane, Don Williams, and the MGM Studio Chorus 02.17.1945 2:48
In The Valley (Where The Evening Sun Goes Down) reprise (outtake)* Kenny Baker, Judy Garland, and the MGM Studio Chorus 02.17.1945 2:55
The Fire/Morning After MGM Studio Orchestra 08.03.1945 3:05
Coda/New End Title MGM Studio Orchestra and Chorus 06.30.1945 and 08.03.1945 2:34
In The Valley (Where The Evening Sun Goes Down) (vocal/piano demo) Judy Garland and Kay Thompson with Roger Edens at the piano 04.23.1945 1:29
March Of The Doagies (reprise/outtake) Judy Garland and the MGM Studio Chorus 02.17.1945 1:07
Hayride (outtake) Ray Bolger, Judy Garland, and the MGM Studio Chorus 02.19.1945 5:14
End Title (alternate version) MGM Studio Orchestra and Chorus 06.30.1945 1:35

Continuation of the participants in the recording of "On The Atchison, Topeka, And The Santa Fe": Benny Carter, The Seckler Group, The Williams Brothers (Andy, Bob, and Don), Alice Ludes, Dorothy McCarthy, Lee Botch, Jud Conlon, Ralph Blane, Loulie Jean Norman, Dorothy Jackson, Judy Matson, Mary Moder, Ruth Clark, Jimmie Garland, Dorothy Wilkerson, Vivian Edwards, Joe Karnes, Kenneth Rundquist, Claude Martin, Arnet Amos, Elva Kellogg, and the MGM Studio Chorus

** "Introduction to Great Big World" Performed by the MGM Studio Orchestra, recorded on 06.30.1945

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Judy & JohnThe Harvey Girls was completed on June 4, 1945 but did not premiere until January 1946 due to the amount of product that MGM had on the market and/or slated ahead of the film.

Judy Garland would marry Vincente Minnelli just eleven days after principle photography was completed for The Harvey Girls.

This was Judy's last starring role in a musical until after the birth of daughter Liza Minnelli in 1946 (Judy would film her guest spots in Till The Clouds Roll By in 1945 and would not return until 1947 to film The Pirate).

"On The Atchison, Topeka, And The Santa Fe" on the Oscar for Best Song of 1946. Strangely, Judy rarely ever sang it after leaving MGM.

Director George Sidney has since marvelled at the genius of Judy Garland. Judy had a reputation for being one of the quickest learners in all of Hollywood. She could hear a song once or twice, then sing it back as if she had been practicing for days. Same with dancing, both Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire recalled how she was the quickest study they had ever worrked with. On this occasion, Sidney been rehearsing the staging of "On The Atchison, Topeka, And The Santa Fe" for most of the day (on Lot 3 of the MGM Studios). Judy came on the set, watched a "dance-in" go through the number a couple of times, then said "I'm ready" and did the number in one take. "...she did it like she had been rehearsing it for six months. It was sheer genius!" said Sidney. If you watch, her entrance through her part of the song is one shot without any cuts.

The recording listed above of the Judy Garland/Kay Thompson duet of "In The Valley (When The Evening Sun Goes Down)" is the only known recording of these two lifelong friends singing together. Kay Thompson's immense talents and unique vocal style would have an influence on Judy throughout her life. Kay would open up doors of musicality for Judy that she didn't know existed. In fact, Judy would be closer to Kay than she ever was or would be with another woman. They were the best of friends. Kay would leave the Freed Unit just a few years later, to form her own famous nightclub act. Kay is also the author of the "Eloise" books, and is the Godmother of Liza Minnelli.

Ray Bolger, of course, co-starred with Judy six years earlier as The Scarecrow in The Wizard Of Oz. They were lifelong friends and obviously got along wonderfully - as evidenced when watching him as her guest on her T.V. Series almost 20 years later. Ray's dance to "On The Atchison, Topeka, And The Santa Fe" is, in my opinion, one of the most underrated dances ever put on film.

Angela Lansbury was fresh off her success in Gaslight (and Oscar nomination for Supporting Actress) when she was cast in The Harvey Girls. She later remarked about how much she learned from watching Judy work - and would joke about how she received "hate mail" after the film came out, from fans who chided her for being so "mean to Judy"!!!

Cyd Charisse was just beginning to make waves when she made The Harvey Girls. It would be another 6 years before she would achive a much deserved "real" star status. Ms. Charisse is one of the most beautiful, elegant dancers ever to appear on screen. She married Tony Martin in the 1950's and they're still married today.

Virginia O'Brien was a popular "novelty" singer/actress of the 1940's - famous for her "deadpan" straight faced, no-nonsense delivery of songs. The legend is that when she auditioned on Broadway, she was so nervous she couldn't smile. The director liked her and hired her to perform just as she did in the audition. This eventually worked against her, and she was never taken seriously as a singer or actress - and she was sadly under-utiilized by MGM. For the latter part of shooting The Harvey Girls, she was pregnant. So her scenes had to be shot quickly - this is why you don't see her in the latter part of the film.

The surviving original pre-recording sessions can be heard on the alternate audio tracks of the laser disc Judy Garland The Golden Years At MGM. (INTERESTING NOTE: On the laser disc, several numbers are in stereo that are NOT in stereo on this disc).

NOTE: The version of the song "On The Atchison, Topeka, And The Santa Fe" as heard on this release, is slightly different than in some subsequent Rhino compilations as well in the actual film. In several of these compilations, including the stellar Judy Garland In Hollywood: Her Greatest Movie Hits the ending of the song has been remixed.

Also available on DVD with all the pre-recording sessions on the alternate tracks:
"The Harvey Girls" DVD
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CD Tray
A look at the inside of the case.

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Produced by Marilee Bradford, Bradley Flangan, and John Fricke

Art Direction by Coco Shinomiya and Tornado Design

Design by Tornato Design

Mixing, Editing, Audio Restoration, and CD Mastering Services by Doug Schwartz, Audio Mechanics, Los Angeles, CA

Additional Mixing Services by Ted Hall, Pacific Ocean Post, Santa Monica, CA

Transfer Services by Chace Productions, Burbank, CA

Photographs and Artwork courtesy of John Fricke and Turner Entertainment Co.

Production Assistance by Woolsey Ackerman, Bruce Baggot, Tom Eckmier, Norma "Big Red" Edwards, Nancy "Lightnin'" Hopkins, and Dena Pacitti

Special Thanks to Scott Benson, Patty Fricke, Jack Hansen, Gina Henschen, Craig Kamins, Roger Mayer, Dorothy Tuttle Nitch, Brent Phillips, Dorothy Gilmore Raye, John Schaefer, Charles Shultz, Rick Skye, and Mary Beth Verhunce

Liner notes by John Fricke (NOTE: Once again, the liner notes to this disc are some of the best ever written)

A Very Special Thanks to George Feltenstein and Allan Fisch for their archival assistance

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Judy Garland





and Preston Foster - Virginia O'Brien - Kenny Baker - Marjorie Main - Chill Wills


SCREENPLAY BY Edmond Beloin, Nathaniel Curtis, Harry Crane, James O'Hanlon, and Samson Raphaelson


WORDS AND MUSIC BY Johnny Mercer and Harry Warren

PRODUCED BY Arthur Freed - DIRECTED BY George Sidney

Production No. 1348
Prodution dates: January 12, 1945 - June 4, 1945

Judy on the setFilm was previewed on July 12, 1945 in Inglewood, California, USA

Initial release date: January 18, 1946 Capitol Theater, New York City, New York, USA
Running time: 101 minutes

Cost: $2,524,315.06
To give an idea of some of the costs involved in the film:
Total Cast Payroll: $443,7666.67
Writer's Payroll: $132,962.00
Costumes: $75,942.3
Construction and decoration (on the MGM Backlot) of the "Sandrock Street" (exterior and interior of both the Harvey House and the Alhambra Saloon): $395,969.40
Cost of extras for the Harvey House burning scene: $7,440.00

Initial domestic gross: $5,175,000.00+

Produced by Arthur Freed
Associate Producer Roger Edens
Directed by George Sidney
Screenplay by Edmund Beloin, Nathaniel Curtis, Harry Crane, James O'Hanlon, Samson Raphaelson
(based on a story by Samuel Hopkins Adams, based on an original story by Eleanore Griffin and William Rankin,
with additional dialogue by Kay Van Riper, Guy Bolton, Hagar Wilde)
Technicolor Consultants: Natalie Kalmus, Henri Jaffa
Art Direction by Cedric Gibbons, William Ferrari
Set Decorators: Edwin B. Willis, Mildred Griffiths
Costume Supervisor: Irene
Costumes by Helen Rose
Men's Costumes by Valles
Makeup by Jack Dawn
Music and Lyrics by Johnny Mercer and Harry Warren
Musical Direction Lennie Hayton
Orchestrations by Conrad Salinger
Musical Arrangements by Kay Thompson
Musical Numbers Staged by Robert Alton
Sound: Douglas Shearer
Special Effects by Warren Newcombe
Photography by George Folsey
Editor Albert Akst
Judy on the set


Judy Garland ... Susan Bradley
John Hodiak ... Ned Trent
Ray Bolger ... Chris Maule
Preston Foster ... Judge Sam Purvis
Virginia O'Brien ... Alma
Angela Lansbury ... Em
Marjorie Main ... Sonora Cassidy
Chill Wills ... H.H. Hartsey
Kenny Baker ... Terry O'Halloran
Selena Royle ... Miss Bliss
Cyd Charisse ... Deborah
Ruth Brady ... Ethel
Catherine McLeod ... Louise
Jack Lambert ... Marty Peters
Edward Earle ... Jed Adams
Virginia Hunter ... Jane
William "Bill" Phillips, Norman Leavitt ... Cowboys
Ray Teal ... Conductor
Horace (Stephen) McNally ... Golddust McClean
Jack Clifford ... Fireman
Vernon Dent ... Engineer
Paul "Tiny" Newlan ... Station Agent
Jim Toney ... Mule Skinner
Morris Ankrum ... Reverend Claggett

Lucille Casey, Mary Jo Ellis, Dorothy Gilmore,
Gloria Hope, Mary Jean French,
Daphne Moore, Joan Thorson, Dorothy Tuttle ... Harvey Girls

Hazel Brooks, Kay English, Hane Hall, Vera Lee,
Peggy Maley, Erin O'Kelly, Dorothy Van Nuys,
Eve Whitney, Dallas Worth ... Dance Hall Girls

Ben Carter ... John Henry
Byron Harvey Jr, Beverly Tyler ... Bits

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