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In the early 1960s, Judy Garland enjoyed a golden era that was an unprecedented career renaissance.
In 1960, Judy was counted out. She had just survived a horrible bout with hepatitis. It was so serious that doctors told her she would never perform again but she miraculously bounced back. By the middle of 1960, she was back on the concert trail with a renewed vigor and a profound change in her voice making it (as if it wasn’t amazing, to begin with), more electrifying than ever before.
1961 saw Judy reach her apex with her instantly legendary concert at Carnegie Hall. From there she conquered TV with her now-classic series, “The Judy Garland Show” while also becoming a favorite on the talk show circuit. In spite of the short success of her TV series and the four films she made before the middle of the decade (five films if you count her vocal-only one solo in Pepe), she always returned to her first true love, the stage.
Unfortunately, by the middle of the decade, Judy had suffered a near-death experience that almost destroyed her already weakened system, and did permanent damage to her voice. Ever the trouper, she carried on and in spite of the unwanted change in her voice she nevertheless still cast her mesmerizing spell on audiences around the world.
Much of the information and media on this page was provided by many wonderful Garland fans as well as from the collection of the author plus the many biographies and other books about Judy Garland, her peers, and film studies in general.
A big shout out to Scott Schechter’s still invaluable 2002 book “Judy Garland – The Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Legend” as well as newspaper online archives.
January 2, 1960: Judy was still convalescing from her bout with hepatitis when she signed a contract with Random House, to write her autobiography. Titled “The Judy Garland Story,” the book was to be a collaboration with Fred Finklehoffe. Finklehoffe had written the screenplays for some of Judy’s greatest films including Babes on Broadway, For Me And My Gal, Girl Crazy, and Meet Me In St. Louis. Judy was paid an advance of $35,000, and she and Finklehoffe recorded their sessions on audiotape some of which have survived, listen to some of those recordings here.
On September 26, 1960, Bennett Cerf of Random House wrote a letter printed in the fan publication “Garland Gazette” that said Random House had “not yet seen one line of [the] manuscript of the Judy Garland autobiography. I have been assured that we will have half of the manuscript within a month’s time.”
A partial manuscript was eventually produced, totaling 65 pages, and it contains frank observations and startling revelations, including the following: Judy knew she was an “unwanted” (unplanned) baby, and she received a great amount of psychological abuse from her mother and the man who became her stepfather who had taunted and laughed at Judy together, with Ethel (Judy’s mom) at one point telling Judy that she had been born with a defective brain. Although Judy admitted that she loved Ethel and that “she was always doing things . . . which made me love her so much, but at the same time I was afraid of her. At any time, in the middle of a great kindness or loud laughter, she was capable of saying something or doing something that would scare me to death.” Judy also talked candidly about her attempts to rid herself of the medications she was on; the men at the studio who made advances on her; and most astonishingly, about the abortion she had when she was twenty. However, the book would not continue after a certain stage, as Judy felt too good and happy to look back.
On January 5, 1960, Judy was released from the Doctor’s Hospital (see photo) in New York City and immediately returned home to California. Lucky for Judy (and her fans), she rallied and fully recovered. During this time she was also nearly free of all medications aside for a prescribed dose of Ritalin.
Judy rested with her only work being her recording the song “The Faraway Part of Town” for the movie Pepe (her first film work since 1954’s A Star Is Born) in April 1960. On June 8, 1960, Judy was back at the Capitol Records studios in Hollywood recording the album “That’s Entertainment!” This was Judy’s first major work since her bout with hepatitis and she’s in glorious voice.
On July 10, 1960, Judy attended, along with Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, Milton Berle, Tony Martin, George Jessel, and other celebrities, the Democratic fundraiser at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles. The fundraiser was for her friend, John F. Kennedy, who would soon become President. Some film footage exists, see the video below.
Judy traveled to England on July 14, 1960, then on August 3, she had the first of five sessions for Capitol (EMI in England) at their London studios. The recordings made between August 3, 1960, and August 8, 1960, were intended to be released as a two-LP set featuring new stereo studio recordings of many of her concert songs and other Garland standards. Those recordings became known as “The London Sessions.”
Most of the recordings stayed in the vaults due to “Judy at Carnegie Hall” being such a huge success in 1961. The label didn’t think an album that contained most of the same songs (although they were studio versions and not live) would not sell well or it might impede the sales of the Carnegie album.
Six tracks from these sessions appeared without explanation on the 1962 album, “The Garland Touch.” All of the recordings were released in 1972 on a special set released by the Capitol Record Club to members only, titled “Judy in London” which was re-released in 1980 on a Capitol Records “Special Markets” release.
In 1991, they were remastered and released to the general public all together for the first time as part of the CD boxed set “The One And Only” followed by a single CD release in 1992 simply titled “The London Sessions.” They have since been remastered again and released in 2011 on the 2-CD set “The London Studio Recordings 1957-1964.”
Newsreel footage featuring Judy at that Democratic fundraiser in Beverly Hills.
August 28, 1960
THE LONDON PALLADIUM, LONDON, ENGLAND
Judy’s return to the concert stage after her near-death bout with hepatitis in late 1959/early 1960.
This new concert was Judy’s first two-act solo concert – the first known two-act one-woman solo concert by a female pop vocalist. It became a standard format. Judy came up with the program herself – another testament to her musical genius. In 1962 she joked “I figured out my program myself on the inside of a pack of matches. She also selected her own clothes and even assisted with the design of the lighting. She opened the with “I Happen To Like This Town” (which was “I Happen To Like New York” with special London-centric lyrics) and closed the first act with “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” which was in tribute to Oscar Hammerstein, who had recently passed away. The rest of her program was the same as her famous April 23, 1961, “Judy at Carnegie Hall” legendary concert (see below).
September 4, 1960
THE LONDON PALLADIUM, LONDON, ENGLAND
Judy returned to the Palladium for one night only.
October 5, 1960
THE PALAIS de CHAILLOT, PARIS, FRANCE
Judy’s Paris debut. Ticket prices ranged from $2.00 to $10.00. This first night was not sold out but her return to the venue two nights later did not sell out. While in Paris, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor gave Judy parties and the Guinnesses gave her an after-show party in their penthouse.
October 23, 1960
THE BIRMINGHAM ODEON THEATER, BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND
October 26, 1960
A “KONCERT FOR KENNEDY,” WIESBADEN, GERMANY
Judy took a quick trip to help campaign for her good friend, John F. Kennedy, in Wiesbaden, Germany. Judy allegedly performed at more than one US. military installation in Germany although no details are available aside from a note in Scott Schechter’s “Day By Day Chronicle” book which states that in November of 1960 Judy performed “two concerts in Frankfurt” (Germany).
October 28, 1960
THE OLYMPIA THEATER, PARIS, FRANCE
The first of a two-night engagement at The Olympia. This is show was recorded for radio broadcast, and is the first recording of (most of) Judy’s one-woman, two-act concert. For her Paris concerts, Judy added a medley of “I Love Paris/April In Paris.”
Listen to “I Love Paris/April In Paris” here.
November 27, 1960
THE DE MONTFORT HALL, LEICESTER, ENGLAND
December 1, 1960
THE ROYAL VARIETY SHOW, THE LONDON PALLADIUM, LONDON, ENGLAND
Judy performed a thirty five minute set, singing “When You’re Smiling,” “Do It Again,” “Come Rain Or Come Shine,” “The Man That Got Away,” San Francisco,” “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby,” “Judy’s Olio,” “Over The Rainbow,” and “Swanee.”
Photo: Judy in London circa 1960.
December 10, 1960
THE TUSCHINSKI THEATER, AMSTERDAM, HOLLAND
One of Judy’s legendary concerts, probably because the show, which began at midnight, was recorded and broadcast live on AVRO (Algemene Vereniging Radio Omroep [General Association of Radio Broadcasting]). Because the concert started at such a late hour, it was re-broadcast the following Tuesday (December 13th) from 8 – 10:30 p.m. The concert has always been popular with Garland fans as it’s almost identical to 1961’s legendary “Judy at Carnegie Hall.” It’s also one of the few audio documents that preserve this time in Judy’s career when she was enjoying a meteoric rise to new heights as a singer, performer, and legend.
The concert first appeared on bootleg records in the 1970’s, and then on a 1996 budget release. Neither of these were complete (they neglected to include “Over the Rainbow”!) nor were they derived from the original tapes. Finally in 2012 First Hand Records released a fantastic 2-CD set that featured the newly restored complete original presentation of the concert.
Judy arrived in Amsterdam on December 9th (see photos), staying at the Doelen Hotel, and attended a part in her honor that night.
January 9, 1961
THE DEAUVILLE HOTEL, MIAMI, FLORIDA
Judy and family returned to the U.S. on December 31, 1960, after spending Christmas in London.
This Miami engagement was one that Judy had planned before she ended up in the hospital in 1959. Judy was paid $10,000 for this one-night performance.
The first photo shows Judy with her kids, Joe Luft, Liza Minnelli, and Lorna Luft, on December 31, 1960, in New York getting ready to fly down to Miami for Judy’s engagement.
February 12, 1961
THE CONCORD HOTEL, THE CATSKILLS, NEW YORK
February 23, 1961
CITY AUDITORIUM, HOUSTON, TEXAS
BREAK – JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG
From March 8 through March 19, 1961, Judy was at the Universal Studios in Los Angeles filming her scenes for Judgment at Nuremberg. The film was Judy’s first since 1954’s A Star Is Born (excepting her one song only, but not appearance, for the soundtrack of 1960’s Pepe). Judy was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress (her second and last nomination) but lost to Rita Moreno’s performance in West Side Story.
April 6, 1961
KLEINHANS MUSIC HALL, BUFFALO, NEW YORK
Judy resumed her concert tour. She had taken a break to film her scenes for Judgment at Nuremberg from March 8th through 19th. On March 30th, tickets when on sale for her April 23, 1961, concert at Carnegie Hall and old out. The demand was so high that Carnegie Hall added a second date (May 21). That sold out quickly as well. According to Leonard Lyons’s column, Judy’s concert in Buffalo was a sellout.
April 8, 1961
CONSTITUTION HALL, WASHINGTON, D.C.
April 15, 1961
THE COLISEUM, CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA
April 17, 1961
THE COLISEUM, GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA
April 23, 1961
CARNEGIE HALL, NEW YORK, NEW YORK
This is the biggie. Judy’s now legendary concert at Carnegie Hall where she raised the roof and gave “two hours of just POW!” to the packed house that included just about every celebrity in New York at that time, many who were – according to Rex Reed – “reaching out to touch Judy Garland.” This night has been called “The greatest night in show business history” and listening to the album it’s no surprise.
Thanks to Capitol Records, the entire concert was preserved in audio format for posterity. The two-record set broke records and won five Grammy awards. It was originally just the songs until 2000 when the complete show (with all of Judy’s banter and anecdotal stories) was released, and what a revelation that was. The album has never been out of print and is to this day, just like the concert itself, the one-woman show by which all other one-woman shows given by “pop” singers are judged.
50th Anniversary Tribute Video
Color Home Movie Footage
April 29, 1961
THE ACADEMY OF MUSIC, PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA
This concert was a benefit for the Polio League of Philadelphia.
May 2, 1961
THE MOSQUE THEATER, NEWARK, NEW JERSEY
May 14, 1961
THE MUSIC HALL, CLEVELAND, OHIO
It was Mother’s Day, and in honor of that, Judy’s daughter Lorna and son joe joined her on stage.
May 21, 1961
CARNEGIE HALL, NEW YORK NEW YORK
Judy’s triumphant return to Carnegie Hall. She sang “Swanee” twice, the second time with daughter Liza Minnelli.
July 30, 1961
FOREST HILLS STADIUM, FOREST HILLS, NEW YORK
This was a return engagement for Judy. It was postponed from the night before due to rain. Judy added “Just In Time” to her concerts with this engagement. After the show, Judy had dinner with her managers, Fields and Begelman, until around 2:45 a.m., which was out on the patio of the Forest Hills Inn, which is where Judy was staying. udy sang “The Star Spangled Banner” and “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” to her managers at the table.
Program cover image provided by Bobby Waters. Thanks, Bobby!
September 3, 1961
THE CONVENTION HALL BALLROOM, ATLANTIC CITY, NEW JERSEY
Judy’s return engagement.
September 16, 1961
THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
During the day, prior to the concert, Judy attended a private screening of Judgment at Nuremberg, which is the first time she saw the film. At the concert, judy added “Never Will I Marry,” and “Oh, What A Little Moonlight Can Do,” (plus “Just In Time”) to her Carnegie Hall lineup, keeping the program fresh for her and her audience (most of whom no doubt had the Capitol album “Judy at Carnegie Hall” memorized). The concerts was a sell out, with 17,823 people who refused to leave event when it began to rain, heavily. The show grossed $72,412 which was a record for the venue up to that point.
After the show, 1,000 people waited backstage to see Judy before she left for supper at Romanoff’s. According to Eddie Sherman’s column, Judy was given an ovation when she entered the restaurant. He noted that “a well-known Hollywood columnist sitting in front of Judy’s sister during the concert thought the sister was a bit too demonstrative. The writer was silenced with: ‘Where were you when Judy needed you?’”
Program cover provided by Bobby Waters. Thanks, Bobby!
September 29, 1961
THE WESTCHESTER COUNTRY CLUB, WHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK
October 1, 1961
THE BUSHNELL AUDITORIUM, HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT
Judy brought her “Carnegie Hall” show to the Bushnell Auditorium in Hartford, Connecticut. No recordings were made, that we know of. Judy’s daughter Liza Minnelli attended the show. Judy returned to the Bushnell on October 20, 1967.
The “Hartford Courant” covered the details of Judy’s show, including the glowing review the next day. Also in the paper was a nice ad for that new two-record album set that everyone was buying, “Judy at Carnegie Hall.”
October 7, 1961
THE MOSQUE THEATER, NEWARK, NEW JERSEY
This was a return engagement. Judy first played the venue on May 2, 1961, and broke the house records.
Printed on this day was this article in which Jackie Gleason says that Judy’s claims of singing jazz are wrong. Gleason was referencing Judy’s concert at Carnegie Hall in which she stated that she liked to sing jazz and proceeded to. Or not, according to Gleason.
October 13, 1961: The success of the Carnegie Hall album prompted Capitol Records to have Judy go into their New York studios (she was currently touring the east coast), and record two singles for release as a “45.” The two songs Judy recorded were “Comes Once In A Lifetime” and “Sweet Danger.” The brilliant Mort Lindsey was the arranger and conducted the session.
“Comes Once In A Lifetime”
October 29, 1961
THE FORUM, MONTREAL, QUEBEC, CANADA
In November 1961, Judy spent three weeks in Los Angeles recording the voice of the cat, “Mewsette,” for the full-length animated musical feature Gay Purr-ee. The film featured a new scored by Harold Arlen and E.Y. “Yip” Harburg. This was the duo’s first original score for a Judy Garland film since they composted their brilliant and legendary score for The Wizard of Oz in 1938.
Judy was paid $50,000 and 10% of the gross. It was released in December 1962.
November 20, 1961
THE BEVERLY HILTON HOTEL, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
Jack Benny was honored.
November 24, 1961
THE DEAUVILLE HOTEL, MIAMI, FLORIDA
November 25, 1961
CONVENTION HALL, MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA
In his review, Dick Hoekstra, noted that after Judy sang “Rock-A-Bye My [sic] Baby” JudY left the stage resulting in “some two or three thousand people [leaving] the Convention Hall” resulting in their hearing “Over the Rainbow” from the parking lot!
December 9, 1961
THE ARMORY, WASHINGTON, D.C.
This was the final concert on Judy’s 1961 concert tour. The rest of December 1961 saw Judy busy with the world premiere of Judgment at Nuremberg in Berlin, German, where she traveled to attend. “Show Business Illustrated” magazine named Judy the “Show Business Personality of the Year” for 1961, s well as “Female Vocalist of the Year” and “Best Popular Album of the Year” (“Judy at Carnegie Hall“).
BREAK – TV SPECIAL AND A CHILD IS WAITING
On January 2 through January 4, 1962, Judy was in rehearsals in Burbank, California for her first TV special in six years, “The Judy Garland Show” (originally titled “Miss Show Business”), now commonly known as “Judy, Frank, and Dean” because Judy’s guests were Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. The taping took place on January 5, 8, and 9, 1962. The special premiered on CBS-TV on February 25, 1962. It was nominated for four Emmy Awards: Best Program of the Year, Outstanding Variety or Music Program, Outstanding Performance in a Variety or Music Program (Judy), and Best Art Direction. Oddly enough it didn’t win any in spite of the great reviews and the special’s popularity.
“The Man That Got Away”
“Judy’s Olio” & “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby”
March 5, 1962: The Golden Globes awarded Judy the Cecil B. DeMille Award “for outstanding contributions to entertainment throughout the world.” As of this date, Judy Garland is still the youngest recipient of this award (she was 39-years-old at the time).
Listen to audio of Judy’s acceptance speech here:
Photos: Judy at the Globes with Sid Luft, Marilyn Monroe, Janet Leigh, and Maximilian Schell.
April 23, 1962: On the one-year anniversary of “Judy at Carnegie Hall” Judy reminisced about the concert on the live radio show “Make Believe Ballroom” broadcast out of New York:
April 26, 1962
MANHATTAN CENTER, NEW YORK
Judy returned to the live stage for this “live recording session” for an intended Capitol Records album titled “Judy Takes Broadway.” The session and album were planned to be the follow-up to the phenomenal success of 1961’s “Judy at Carnegie Hall.” Unfortunately, Judy was suffering from laryngitis and was unable to complete the album, the contents of which remained out of print (aside from bootleg records) until June 28, 1989, when Capitol released it as “Judy Garland Live!”
The show began at midnight, with Judy singing until 1:30 a.m. with a star-studded audience in attendance (including Marilyn Monroe and a 19-year-old Barbra Streisand). Judy sang “Sail Away”; “Something’s Coming”; “Just In Time”; “Some People”; “Never Will I Marry”; “Joey, Joey, Joey”; and “The Party’s Over.” She also attempted “Do What You Do” and “Why Can’t I?” after the concert and after the audience had left. She was unable to complete any takes of these two songs.
The outtake of “Why Can’t I?” premiered on the 2002 CD set “Judy Garland – The Capitol Years – 1955-1965.”
I COULD GO ON SINGING
Just two days after the Manhattan Center sessions, Judy flew to London, England to begin work on what became her final film, I Could Go On Singing which was this point was still titled The Lonely Stage.
I Could Go On Singing featured the story of an American concert hall singer (Judy) who comes to London for a concert engagement and attempts to reconnect with the son she left in the care of his father (her ex-husband) to pursue her career. The film is notable not just as Judy’s final film but also because of the concert sequences stage at the London Palladium where Judy had several of her real-life concert triumphs.
September 18 – 29, 1962
THE SAHARA HOTEL, LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
Judy returned to the U.S. in mid-August and went on a crash diet which brought on a kidney attack that, thankfully, was not life-threatening.
Judy was paid $40,000 per week for this engagement, which was originally four weeks but was extended an additional two. Judy’s show began each night at 2:30 a.m. which even at that time was a sellout. The running time of the show was 65 minutes. Mort Lindsey conducted the twenty-seven piece orchestra.
Judy opened an initial four-week engagement at the Sahara Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. She was paid $40k per week and the four weeks were extended to six due to the huge success and demand to see her.
Mort Lindsey conducted the twenty-seven piece orchestra. Showtime was 2:30 a.m.! Even at that hour, she packed the house. The show’s running time was 65 minutes. Judy opened with “Hello, Bluebird” and closed with Chicago.
On opening night, Capitol Records presided Glenn Wallichs presented Judy with a Gold Record for her 2-LP set “Judy at Carnegie Hall.” However, he had to wait for the 2:18 standing ovation to be over before making the presentation.
During this engagement, Judy gave an interview backstage and chatted about daughter Liza Minnelli. You can listen to that interview below or listen to it while watching the vintage 1962 footage of Vegas, including the marquee for this appearance, in the video.
Listen to the backstage interview here:
January 30, 1963, to February 3, 1963: Judy, along with Phil Silvers and Robert Goulet, taped her special for CBS TV titled “Judy Garland and Her Guests Phil Silvers and Robert Goulet in New York. The show aired on March 19, 1963, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. and received stellar reviews.
The special was nominated for an Emmy award for Outstanding Music Program but lost to “Julie and Carol at Carnegie Hall.”
“I Happen To LIke New York”
“Almost Like Being In Love/This Can’t Be Love”
February 7, 1963
HARRAH’S RESORT, LAKE TAHOE, NEVADA
Judy opened a scheduled three-week engagement of her “mini-concert” (approximately an hour long) similar to her show at the Sahara in Las Vegas in 1962. Mort Lindsey was again Judy’s conductor.
Judy’s song list (in order): “Hello, Bluebird,” “Almost Like Being N Love”/”This Can’t Be Love,” “Do It Again,” “Never Will I Marry,” “As Long As He Needs Me,” “Judy’s Olio,” “By Myself,” “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby,” “San Francisco.” This was the debut of Judy’s version of “As Long As He Needs Me.”
Judy canceled the February 11th show but returned on the 12th. On the 13th she collapsed before going on stage and on the morning of the 14th she was taken by ambulance to the hospital at Carson City. That afternoon she went to the hospital administrator saying she was fine and she returned to Tahoe for a “quiet Valentine’s Day party” with her children. Judy’s visit to the hospital resulted in the hospital hiring extra staff to handle the flood of calls that came in from Judys ans and the media!
On February 15, 1963, in spite of Judy announcing that she was feeling better, the Harrah’s management let her out of her contract. It was obvious that she was suffering from total exhaustion. Judy’s pal mickey Rooney came in to complete the engagement. Judy saying in Tahoe an extra day with husband Sid Luft with whom she had been separated from. Luft had come in on the 13th and he and Judy reconciled. they left Tahoe on the 17th for a few days in Las Vegas then to San Francisco for a “reconciliation/honeymoon” at the Fairmont Hotel.
A BREAK IN THE CONCERT SCHEDULE AND “THE JUDY GARLAND SHOW”
After Judy had her “reconciliation/honeymoon” with previously estranged husband Sid Luft at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, she and Sid flew to London, England. They arrived in Manchester, England, rather than London due to weather on the night of March 4, 1963. The couple spent the night in Manchester then went to London by train on March 5th.
On March 6, 1963, Judy attended the last world premiere of a Judy Garland movie, the premiere of I Could Go On Singing at the Plaza Theater in London. On March 10, Judy took part in the “Sunday Night at the London Palladium” live TV show. She sang “Almost Like Being In Love/This Can’t Be Love,” Comes Once In A Lifetime,” “I Could Go On Singing,” and her greatest performance of “Smile.” The show was broadcast in the U.S. on “The Ed Sullivan Show” on April 14, 1963. Photos below.
Judy returned to the U.S. on March 11, 1963, staying at the St. Regis Hotel in New York. On the 12th she hosted a party for daughter Liza Minnelli’s seventeenth birthday. Liza had just broken her leg.
On the 14th Judy took an overdose of sleeping pills at her suite at the St. Regis Hotel. Her hairdresser and friend, Oval Paine, found her and contacted a doctor who treated Judy in her suite. The incident made the papers. Judy was well enough to take a trip to the Caribbean for two weeks but came back in time to see the second night of Liza’s off-Broadway debut in a revival of “Best Foot Forward.” The opening was on April 2nd, but Judy and family didn’t make it back from the Caribbean in time that night, although it’s been said that Judy purposely missed the opening night to avoid taking the spotlight away from Liza’s big opening. Judy spent the rest of April, May, and early June continuing the preparation for her series, “The Judy Garland Show.”
Photos below: Judy and family enjoy a BBQ in the Caribbean on March, 23, 1963; Judy in the audience at the second night of daughter Liza Minnelli’s off-Broadway debut in “Best Foot Forward”; Snapshot of Judy at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in NYC after giving a “mini-concert” for the CBS television execs and affiliates.
“THE JUDY GARLAND SHOW”
In late May 1963, Judy Garland went out to Los Angeles to begin work on her TV series debut, “The Judy Garland Show” produced by CBS-TV. The show was videotaped at CBS Television City in Hollywood.
The taping of the first episode on June 24, 1963, was a star-studded event. In the audience were such stars as Lucille Ball, Natalie Wood, Dick Van Dyke, Jack Benny, Clint Eastwood, Agnes Moorhead, Van Heflin, and both of Hollywood’s great columnists, Hedda Hopper and Louella Parsons, among others.
Judy’s guest for her first show was her old chum Mickey Rooney. Although the show was the first one taped, it was not the first to air. It was originally broadcast on December 8, 1963.
“The Judy Garland Show” premiered on September 29, 1963 at 9 p.m. eastern standard time. The premiere episode was actually the seventh to be taped, “Episode Seven.” Judy’s guest was Donald O’Connor. Although the show was off to a great start, it was almost doomed from the beginning. It was aired against the powerhouse #1 show at that time, “Bonanza” which handicapped it from the start. To further complicate matters, the initial format of the show wasn’t popular with viewers. Judy’s ‘second banana” Jerry Van Dyke (brother of Dick Van Dyke), proved to be a mistake.
The CBS network execs seem to have it in for Judy. They changed the format, changed directors and other key personnel, and lost all interest in doing anything to save it. On the flip side, critics audiences liked the show, especially once it hit its stride. If the network had moved air date to a different night of the week and had any confidence it it, the show would have lasted more than one season of 26 episodes. Over the years the show, which had some of the best production values of the time, has become a classic. To Judy’s credit, she worked hard to make it a success and never faltered. All of the episodes and most of the outtakes survive and have been released in pristine quality on DVD.
Throughout the 26 episodes Judy is given the chance to perform many songs she hadn’t performed before as well as crowd favorites from the great Garland catalog. She was also paired with the best in show business, including: Lena Horne, Peggy Lee, Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett, Vic Damone, Chita Rivera, Diahann Carroll, Martha Raye, Jack Jones, Count Basie, Jane Powell, June Allyson, Ethel Merman, Peter Lawford, Rich Little, Louis Jourdan, Steve Lawrence, Ray Bolger, The Smothers Brothers, Steve Allen, Mel Torme, Dick Shawn, and daughter Liza Minnelli.
A FEW HIGHLIGHTS
“As Long As He Needs Me”
“A Couple of Swells”
“Old Man River”
“Just In Time”
“Be A Clown/Once In A Lifetime”
“Happy Days Are Here Again/Get Happy”
May 13, 1964
SYDNEY STADIUM, SYDNEY AUSTRALIA
Judy’s return to the stage (her first professional engagement since her TV series ended), occurred when she took the stages at the Sydney Stadium in Sydney, Australia. Her last work on the series was on March 26, 1964, after which she had some much-needed rest, including a stint in the hospital for exhaustion beginning April 15, 1964.
The Sydney concert was a huge success, garnering great reviews. Judy performed for an audience of approximately 10,000! A review from the May 14, 1964, edition of The Sydney Morning Herald provides some great details about the concert (clipping below).
May 16, 1964
SYDNEY STADIUM, SYDNEY AUSTRALIA
Judy’s second concert at the Sydney Stadium in Sydney, Australia, was an even bigger success than her premiere night at the venue on May 13th. A recording made from the audience survives, see links below. After the concert, a promoter insulted Judy by calling her a “freak” singer because of what she had done to her audience. He meant it as a compliment, but Judy slapped his face after asking him to repeat what he had said, and everything began to unravel.
Listen to “That’s Entertainment!” here:
Photo: Judy at the press conference in Sydney, Australia, just prior to her Australian concert tour, May 11, 1964.
May 20, 1964
FESTIVAL HALL, MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
Judy’s Australian tour took her to the Festival Hall in Melbourne. Unfortunately, Judy was an hour late and fighting vocal issues. The result was an angry audience. She only made it through half of the show before leaving the stage. The reviews were brutal. Sadly the whole experience would be remembered as a low point in Judy’s life and career in spite of the triumphs in Sydney just days before.
TYPHOON VIOLA IN HONG KONG AND BRUSH WITH DEATH
After the disaster in Melbourne, Judy and Mark Herron flew to Sydney then to Hong Kong where they checked into the Mandarin Hotel.
A few days later, on May 28, Typhoon Viola hit Hong Kong which made the hotel sway and shake. At some point in the early morning hours of May 29, with the typhoon still raging, Judy took an overdose of pills. She was found by Herron who rushed her, through the typhoon, three blocks to the Catholic Hospital, the Canossa Hospital. Judy’s stomach was pumped and in the process, the tubes damaged her vocal cords. She was in a coma for 15 hours. A valve in her oxygen tent broke and before it was fixed Judy hadn’t moved so a nurse claimed that Judy had died. The news spread around the world like wildfire. Luckily Judy survived, but just barely. She had pleurisy in both lungs and her throat and heart were damaged. Because of the damage to her vocal cords, she was told not to sing for a year.
When Judy came out of her coma she learned that her sister, “Susie” (Mary Jane Gumm), had committed suicide the previous Tuesday (May 26th) in Las Vegas. The newspapers reported that she died from “a chronic infection of the pancreas” as told by her friend, John Morrissey, at whose home she succeeded in taking her life. Sister “Jimmie” (Dorothy Virginia Gumm) later stated: “It was a sordid domestic mess. Living in Las Vegas, that’s not a particularly tranquil atmosphere – the gambling, the girls, the temptations – that was the end for her. She went the sleeping pill route. Somehow the Garland females can’t stand the loss of love.” Judy did not address it publicly but it’s assumed that, naturally, she took the news badly. As with her relationship with her mother, Judy’s relationships with her two sisters were complicated and although she had some contact with Susie in the early 1960s Jimmie had broken ties with Judy over Judy’s behavior towards their mother, Ethel, and towards Susie.
Judy’s doctor in California, Lee Siegel, flew to Hong Kong on May 30th accompanied by her road manager/CMA agent Karl Brent. Judy was released from the hospital on June 1st. She stayed in Hong Kong convalescing for the early part of June. In early June Judy was well enough to go to the Starlight Room in Hong Kong where she saw “The Allen Brothers” featuring Peter Allen for the first time. Judy also sang that night in spite of the fact that she was still recuperating from the vocal cord damage. Singing just a week or so out from that damaging incident most likely damaged her voice even more.
On June 11, Judy and Herron boarded the President Roosevelt ocean liner bound for Tokyo. While onboard, they were allegedly married by a Buddhist priest in spite of the fact that Judy’s divorce from Sid Luft wasn’t final, and wouldn’t be finale until late 1965. She and Herron married (for real) on November 14, 1965. To further complicate things. on June 11th Judy joked that she and Herron were married on June 6th on the Norwegian freighter “Bodo” which was docked in Hong Kong while Judy was there. Judy said, “Mark and I were married five days ago” at a party she attended at a hotel nightclub. The news hit the papers on the 12th. Also hitting the papers was the fact that Judy had told the marriage story as “a gag” and her press agent, Guy MacElwaine, said the story circulated because the press overheard Judy’s joke about it and took her seriously.
When Judy and Herron arrived in Yokohama, Japan, Judy gave a press conference. On June 25, Judy and Herron left Tokyo by plane for Denmark via a stopover in Anchorage, Alaska where Judy told the press “I am very happy – We are very happy!” The couple arrived in London on June 30th.
Images: Telegram to Judy from Bobby Kennedy wishing her well, and Judy’s response; Judy and Mark Herron leaving the hospital after Judy was released on June 1, 1964.
July 23, 1964
“NIGHT OF 100 STARS,” LONDON PALLADIUM, ENGLAND
This benefit at the London Palladium became Judy’s big “comeback” after the recent bad experiences in Australia and Hong Kong. Judy was set to only take a few bows but after three ovations and demands from the audience,
July 23, 1964: Judy appeared at the “Night of 100 Stars” benefit at the London Palladium. She was scheduled to only take a bow but after three ovations and demands from the audience that she perform so she sang both “Over the Rainbow” and “Swanee.”
It was a triumph for Judy. She received the biggest reception of all the stars that night, included The Beatles. Beatle John Lennon designed the program cover (see above).
Listen to “Over the Rainbow” from this performance here:
Photo provided by Kim Lundgreen. Thanks, Kim!
FINAL STUDIO RECORDING SESSIONS
On August 6 and 12, 1964, Judy went into the Capitol/EMI Records studios in London to record what became her final sessions of studio recordings for release on record. All were songs from Lionel Bart’s show, “Maggie May.”
On the 6th Judy recorded “The Land of Promises” and “It’s Yourself.” She arrived at 9:15 p.m. and did a run-through of the two songs. After a “tea break,” she recorded the songs from 10 – 11 p.m., requiring only four takes per song.
On August 12 Judy recorded the title tune (“Maggie May”) and “There’s Only One Union.”
The 45rpm EP (Extended Play) record was only released in the United Kingdom. The songs were also released on a rare 33 1/3rpm 7″ album titled “Judy Sings Lionel Bart’s ‘Blitz’,” A few of the songs ended up on CD compilations in the late 1990s, but were never officially released, all four together, on CD until 2002’s “Classic Judy Garland – The Capitol Years – 1955-1965.”
Allegedly there is a log sheet for November 4, 1964, that lists a master for the song “Joey, Joey” allegedly recorded on that date although no recording or other information is known.
Of note also is that Judy and daughter Liza Minnelli went into the Capitol/EMI studios in London on November 23, 1964, to re-record some vocal tracks for the “Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli ‘Live’ at the London Palladium.” All that was used from this session was the ending of “Hello, Dolly!”
The Land of Promises
Take 1 of Maggie May
There’s Only One Union
On September 23, 1964, Judy attended the premiere of “Maggie May” with Mark Herron. The duo attended the opening night party.
Here’s a radio interview that Judy did for BBC Radio on September 25, 1964, along with Lionel Bart, Mark Herron, and Shirley Bassey. Earlier in the day, Judy had returned home from a short two-day stay in the hospital recuperating from “an acute abdominal condition” she was suffering from which started two nights before after the post-premiere party for Bart’s “Maggie May.”
Listen to the interview here:
Photo: Judy with Mark Herron, Lionel Bart, and actor Kenneth Haigh at the “Maggie May” opening night party.
November 8, 1964
PALLADIUM, LONDON, ENGLAND
“JUDY GARLAND AND LIZA MINNELLI AT THE PALLADIUM”
The first of a two-night engagement at the London Palladium for Judy and daughter Liza Minnelli.
After a four-hour afternoon orchestra/rehearsal call, which had Judy singing from 2:30 to after 6 p.m., Judy and daughter Liza Minnelli gave their first concert at the London Palladium, “Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli at the London Palladium.”
The show featured 50 songs, with 15 of those being Garland solos including: “Once In A Lifetime”; “Maggie May”; “As Long As He Needs Me”; “Just In Time”; “It’s Yourself”; “Smile”; “Never Will I Marry”; “What Now, My Love?”; “The Music That Makes Me Dance”; “Joey, Joey, Joey”; “Make Someone Happy”; “The Man That Got Away’; “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby”; “San Franciso”; and “Over The Rainbow.” Judy and Liza had over 20 duets including two medleys from Judy’s recent TV series that she had performed with Barbra Streisand.
The concert was a smash hit and was recorded by Capitol Records as was the second concert on November 15th. The two-record set was another Garland hit for Capitol Records. Here are The Judy Garland Online Discography’s pages on “Judy and Liza at the Palladium” including a link to Lawrence Schulman’s excellent article about the 2-LP set, its reissues, and the drama surrounding efforts to get a complete version – or nearly complete – released publicly.
The following files represent as complete as we can get (thus far) of the recording, plus extras:
A FEW HIGHLIGHTS:
Never Will I Marry (2nd Night – Improved Sound Quality)
If I Were In Your Shoes (Liza Solo – Remastered Version)
Maybe This Time (Liza Solo – Remastered Version)
November 15, 1964
PALLADIUM, LONDON, ENGLAND
“JUDY GARLAND AND LIZA MINNELLI AT THE PALLADIUM”
Judy and daughter Liza Minnelli’s second concert at the London Palladium. There was such a huge demand for tickets for the first concert on November 8, 1964, this second concert was scheduled. Both nights were hits with both audiences and critics.
ITV British Television videotaped this second show. The telecast five weeks later used only 55 minutes of the 130-minute concert. Those 55 minutes of video are all that are known to have survived.
The second and third videos below feature audio from this second night, restored by John H. Haley, and paired with the ITV footage.
On November 23, 1964, Judy and Liza recorded vocal tracks for the “Judy Garland And Liza Minnelli ‘Live’ At The London Palladium” album in Capitol’s London studios. They recorded their vocals over the orchestra tracks that were made during the November 15th concert recording. Judy dubbed “Just Once In A Lifetime” (one take); “His Is The Only Music That Makes Me Dance” (two takes); and together Judy and Liza dubbed “Hello, Dolly” (one take); “Don’t Rain On My Parade” (three takes); “San Francisco” (three takes); and “Chicago” (two takes – this song used orchestra tracks from the first concert). Liza dubbed new solos of her “Mama” tribute and “Who’s Sorry Now?”.
Per Scott Schechter’s book “Judy Garland The Day-By-Day Chronicle Of A Legend,” Part of the reason for recording these new takes is that much of the second concert audiotapes were ruined by a buzzing sound that bled through from some of the television cameras that were videotaping the show that night. For all this effort, the only thing that would be used from this session on the album was the ending of “Hello, Dolly,” that occurs after the dialogue between Judy and Liza and the audience.”
“Happy Days Are Here Again/Get Happy”
“His Is The Only Music That Makes Me Dance”
ANOTHER BREAK IN THE CONCERT SCHEDULE
After the success of the Palladium concerts, on November 25, 1964, Judy taped a guest appearance on NBC-TV’s “The Jack Paar Program” at the Prince Charles Theater, Fielding’s Music Hall in London, England. The taping took place at 8:45 p.m. Judy sang “Never Will I Marry” and “What Now, My Love?” The show aired on December 11, 1964.
Per Scott Schechter’s book “The Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Legend”: “Unfortunately, Judy was not in top form, appearing somewhat medicated in her delivery – although incredibly funny – and the airing on December 11, 1964, had the opposite effect of the Carnegie Hall concert and album. Thus, many people were actually turned off of Judy Garland. It was something that would happen frequently when she appeared on television during her last few years. It was becoming increasingly difficult to find her in good voice, appearing in good form, and looking lovely all at the same time…”
On November 29, 1964, Judy attended a meeting of her British fan club at the Russell Hotel in Lonon, from 3 to 7 p.m. Before leaving the meeting Judy sang “Make Someone Happy” and with the Allen Brothers, “I Wish You Love.”
While there, Judy watched a screening of Gay Purr-ee. She mentioned that her favorite films were Meet Me In St. Louis, The Clock, and For Me And My Gal. Of the latter, she quipped “Even though it is so corny!”
Judy said some re-recording was done at EMI studios for the Palladium concert album because the television cameras had affected the sound at times.
While watching a print of The Harvey Girls the film jumped a bit prompting Judy to joke “This film must have been made by Warner Brothers!” She also joked: “We always HAD to have RED hair in color films. It took forever.”
While pulling away in the car – after being interviewed by the TV Times – Judy smiled and made her “big fat close-up” pose from A Star Is Born.
Listen to recordings from this meeting here:
Make Someone Happy
I Wish You Love
On either November 30 or December 1, 1964, Judy and Mark Herron flew to Athens, Greece, for a six-day holiday. After they returned the couple socialized and then on December 19, 1964, Judy and Herron, along with the Allen Brothers, flew back to New York. Judy’s daughter Liza Minnelli met the group at the airport. On Christmas Day, Judy was reunited with daughter Lorna Luft and son Joe Luft, who flew to New York from California.
Photos: Judy at the Club’s meeting; Judy and Mark Herron in Athens.
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On January 11, 1965, Judy arrived back in Los Angeles for the first time since May 2, 1964. An audio recording of the television report of Lorna and Joe meeting her at the plane exists, listen to it here:
At this time it had been announced that Judy would do four concerts in South Africa in either the spring, or June, or July; one each in Durban, Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Port Elizabeth. Morton Gould was Judy’s requested pianist, along with a twenty-seven-piece orchestra. Judy’s salary for the concerts was said to be “colossal … the highest price paid in South Africa,” and later revealed to be $110,000 for the four concerts, or $27,500 each. Tickets were to have a $20 top price, unheard of in 1965. Judy never performed in South Africa.
Around this time, Judy and Mark Herron were seen with Denise and Vincente Minnelli at the Daisy, a nightclub in Hollywood.
It’s also reported that on January 11, 1965, Judy borrowed $25,000 from the Bank of America National Trust and Savings Association in Hollywood, with the understanding that she repay it by March 5. Judy borrowed the money because she was having financial difficulties. This might have happened a day or two after Judy arrived in LA as she wouldn’t have had much time to accomplish this on the actual date of her arrival.
On February 2, 1965, Judy taped an appearance on the CBS-TV show “On Broadway Tonight” in New York, at CBS Studio 50. Judy arrived at 4 p.m. in her limo with manager Karl Brent, Mark Herron, and her maid Snowy, along with her chauffeur. Liza was also at the studio, along with Peter Allen and his stage partner Chris. Sammy Davis, Jr. and Peter Lawford also stopped in from Studio 52 where they were taping a show. Judy sang “When You’re Smiling”; “Almost Like Being In Love”/”This Can’t Be Love”; “I Wish You Love” (with the Allen Brothers); “The Music That Makes Me Dance”; and “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby.”
This was Judy’s first TV appearance taped in the US – and her first on CBS – since the end of her series in 1964. The show aired on February 5th and was a success. Judy allegedly received $7,500 for her appearance. On the night of the airing, Judy went to a performance of the Broadway musical “Golden Boy” and was photographed backstage with the show’s stars Sammy Davis, Jr., and Paula Wayne.
Photos: Judy with Lorna and Joe Luft on January 11, 1965; Judy with Sammy Davis, Jr., and Paula Wayne.
Videos below: Judy’s appearance on “On Broadway Tonight” on CBS-TV taped on February 2, 1965, and aired on February 5, 1965.
“When You’re Smiling”
“I Wish You Love”
“Rock-A-Bye Your Baby”
February 8, 1965
THE O’KEEFE CENTER, TORONTO, CANADA
Judy’s first concert with The Allen Brothers.
The Allen Brothers opened the show at 8:40 p.m., with thirty minutes of songs. Comedian Nipsey Russell was next for twenty minutes. After a twenty-minute intermission, Judy’s overture was played at 10:02 p.m. with Mort Lindsey conducting.
Judy’s songs were: “When You’re Smiling”; “Almost Like Being In Love/This Can’t Be Love”; “The Music That Makes Me Dance”; “Smile”; “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot/He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands”; “I Wish You Love” (with The Allen Brothers, who then sang “Don’t Let The Rain Come Down” and “Toreador” while Judy changes; she came on during “Toreador” and danced with Peter); “Joey, Joey, Joey”; “You Made Me Love You/For Me And My Gal/The Trolley Song”; “By Myself”; “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby”; “Swanee”; “Chicago” and “Over The Rainbow.”
Judy was having some vocal problems during the first two nights due to the flu. She canceled her matinee and evening show o the 10th on order of her doctor, L.A. Kane. The flu had given her laryngitis.
For the second night’s show on February 8, and before she took time off due to her flu, Judy changed her program, opening with “Sweet Chariot/He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands”; then “When You’re Smiling”; “Almost Like Being In Love/This Can’t Be Love”; “The Music That Makes Me Dance”; and adding the song “Just IN time”; “You Made me Love You/For Me And My Gal/The Trolley Song”; “Smile”; “Make Someone Happy” (added); “By Myself”; “The Man That Got Away” (added); “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby”; and “Chicago.” Judy did not sing “Over The Rainbow” or “Swanee” for this performance due to her flu.
On February 11, she returned for her second show at the venu arriving at 7 p.m. She began her portion of the show at 9:50 p.m., and her program was now in a set order for the remaining shows: “Sweet Chariot/He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands”; “When You’re Smiling”; “Almost Like Being In Love/This Can’t Be Love”; “Smile”; “Just In Time”; “You Made me Love You/For Me And My Gal/The Trolley Song”; “Make Someone Happy”; “By Myself”; “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby”; “Chicago”; “The Man That Got Away”; “Over The Rainbow.”
Judy completed the engagement on February 13 with two shows, one matinee and one evening show. Liza had flown in to see the final evening show. The gross for the engagement was $98,000 for the six shows at $6.00 the top ticket price. The theater held 3,200 people. Judy was paid a flat fee, plus a percentage of the gross and her shows were, of course SRO.
Judy was actually filling in for Nat “King” Cole, who had to cancel due to illness.
Download audio of this night, and Judy’s performances from the 11th & 13th (zip files) from the following links. NOTE: The recordings are from audiotapes taken by fans in the audience. The sound quality isn’t the greatest, but they’re all we have!
March 11 – 20, 1965
THE FONTAINEBLEAU HOTEL, MIAMI, FLORIDA
Judy returned to the Fontainebleau (she had originally played the venue in 1959) and was a hit, being in incredible voice. Mort Lindsey was conducting the Allen Brothers were still her opening act. On March 12, daughter Liza flew in (it was Liza’s 19th birthday) to see her mom and her fiance, Steve Allen.
During a press conference at her hotel for this engagement, Judy said, “I’m kind of a pratt fall comedian, actually. I enjoy being able to laugh. I have three beautiful children. I’m a good cook. Life has been very good to me. There’s nothing tragic about my life. I enjoy it. And I’m grateful for what I have. I’d just like to be happy. To be relaxed. To be myself. A woman. I have great respect for an audience. They pay their money. They take time away from things they have to do at home. I’d like to do a play. A straight play. I’ve never done a play before. That way I could settle down in one plays – If people come to see it!”
Roger Edens had flown in from California to rehearse and go over arrangements with Judy, most likely for the medley he was putting together for her to sing at the Oscars on April 5th.
On March 20th after finishing her show Judy rushed over to the Eden Roc Hotel to substitute for Debbie Reynolds who had collapsed and couldn’t go on. So much for Judy being unreliable. Imagine having the stamina to do TWO shows in one night at the intensity of Judy Garland!
March 21, 1965: After her shows in Florida, Judy flew back to Los Angeles to begin work on the film Harlow, the film biopic about Jean Harlow starring Carol Lynley as Harlow.
She was immediately driven from the airport to the studio where she was photographed with actor Barry Sullivan, and daughter Lorna and son Joe looking at the poster art for the film.
The following day, March 22, 1965, Judy withdrew from the production. Filming was scheduled to start on March 31st. The reason given for her withdrawal was “prior commitments.” Eleanor Parker replaced her then left the project as well, being replaced by Ginger Rogers.
Judy allegedly said to Lynley: “Honey, I’m not drunk, I’m not on drugs, and I’m telling you this is a piece of junk, and I’m getting out!” The film was, indeed, a piece of junk.
SIDE NOTE: Judy and her family moved to Los Angeles and then Lancaster (California) in the late 1920s. Allegedly while on a trip to Los Angeles, Judy’s father Frank, and some friends, went to see the premiere festivities of (the real) Harlow’s first big film, Hell’s Angels, at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood. Frank was able to get up to Harlow’s car and opened the door for her when she got out, prompting one of his friends to jokingly shout at him, “Who do you think you are? Rin Tin Tin?” There are photos and newsreel footage of the premiere but none of Harlow getting out of her car so it’s impossible to verify this story.
Find out more about the many films Judy was a part of, or wanted for, at The Judy Room’s “The Films That Got Away” section.
April 5, 1965: Judy appeared on the Academy Awards broadcast from Los Angeles, California, on ABC-TV. She was introduced by Gene Kelly and sang a medley of Cole Porter songs in tribute to the songwriter, arranged by Roger Edens. It was the last notable work Edens did with Judy aside from a brief arrangement of “My Kind Of Town, Houston Is”/”Houston” medley for her December 17, 1965, concert in Houston, Texas. Edens played the piano for Judy’s audition at MGM in 1935 and was her musical mentor throughout her career and was one of the few people who had known Judy that long.
On April 9, 1965, Judy and family flew to Honolulu for a week’s faction. On the 14th the cottage they were renting on Diamond Head Road caught fire at about 3:40 p.m. Luckily it was a small fire and no one was hurt. The cause of the fire was faulty wiring.
April 22, 1965
THE COLISEUM, CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA
Judy returned to the Memorial Auditorium at the Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina. She had previously appeared there on April 17, 1961, which was the last concert before her legendary show at New York’s Carnegie Hall. This 1965 show was a Democratic Gala which raised money for the state’s Democratic party.
The ads had ticket buyers, who paid $10 top, make their checks payable to “An Evening With Judy Garland.” The concert was scheduled to start at 8:45 p.m. but began at 9:20 p.m. The Allen Brothers again was Judy’s opening act.
After the overture which was played by a 30-piece orchestra Judy sang: “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands”; “When. You’re Smiling”; “The Music That Makes Me Dance”; “Almost LIke Being In Love/This Can’t Be Love”; “Just In Time”; “What Now My Love?”; “You Made Me Love You/For Me And My Gal/The Trolley Song”‘ By Myself” and “Over The Rainbow.” The concert was a short 40 minutes ending at 10:20 p.m. It had been announced beforehand that the show would only be about an hour long.
No recording of this appearance is known to exist.
May 7, 1965
ARIE CROWN THEATRE, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS
Judy returned to the Arie Crown Theater in Chicago, Illinois. She had previously appeared at the venue in 1962. Although she was plagued with vocal issues she still received good reviews and the show was a success. It was scheduled for 10 p.m. and the top ticket price was $10 (!!). Judy was paid $29,000 for this performance. The Allen Brothers provided an 18-minute opening act before Judy’s one-hour show.
The Allen Brothers gave an 18 minute opening. Judy’s songs included: “My Kind Of Town, Chicago Is”; “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands”; “When You’re Smiling”; “Almost Like Being In Love/This Can’t Be Love”; “”Do It Again”; “What Now My Love”; “San Francisco”; Intermission; “That’s Entertainment”; “The Man That Got Away”; “Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart”; “Just In Time”; “You Made Me Love You/For Me And My Gal/ The Trolley Song”; “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby”; “Chicago”; and “Over The Rainbow.” Judy was on for an hour, total.
May 29, 1965
CINCINNATI GARDENS, CINCINNATI, OHIO
Judy was in concert at the Cincinnati Gardens in Cincinnati, Ohio. Judy completed the first act in fine vocal form but had to cancel the second half when her doctor announced – with Judy on-stage – that she could not continue, as she had a virus infection and a temperature of 102. Judy had reportedly been paid $20,000 for the concert, according to one report: a $5,000 advance, then the remaining $15,000 apparently an hour before the concert; another report had Judy earning a guaranteed $40,000 against 60% of the gross; 4,500 people had paid from $3.75 to $7.50. Judy’s songs in the 32-minute first half were: “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands”; “When You’re Smiling”; “Almost Like Being In Love”/”This Can’t Be Love”; “What Now My Love?” (standing ovation); “Do It Again”; and “San Francisco,” all backed by a 30-piece orchestra.
Margaret Josten of The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that prior to the intermission “Miss Garland was visibly annoyed several times … by fans running to the stage to pop flashbulbs in her face. The guards worked overtime keeping them back. Finally, at intermission, it was announced that Judy would be very happy if nobody else tried it.”
Newspapers reported that the crowd was not happy that Judy canceled the rest of the concert, with approximately 1,000 people demanding their money back and then they “besieged her dressing room, not allowing the singer to leave until more police arrived.”
June 15 through June 28, 1965
THE THUNDERBIRD HOTEL, LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
Judy was released from UCLA Hospital (she had suffered an allergic reaction to prescription medications on June 12th) and immediately flew to Las Vegas for her opening night at The Thunderbird Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. That afternoon, Judy suffered convulsions from the newly prescribed medicine but she recovered. Due to arriving right from UCLA she didn’t have a chance to rehearse on opening day but it didn’t matter. Judy was a hit!
The venue was SRO on opening night, a maximum of 750 people who gave her several standing ovations. Judy’s songs: “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands”; “When You’re Smiling’: “Almost LIke Being IN Love/This Can’t Be Love”; “Smile”; “Just IN Time”; “What Now My Love?”; “You Made Me Love You/For Me And My Gal/The Trolley Song”; “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby”; “By Myself”; “Chicago”; “The Man That Got Away” and “Over The Rainbow.”
Judy’s two-week engagement outdrew every other hotel on the strip and garnered, again, amazing reviews. Judy’s shows started at 10:30 p.m. and she was backed by the Allen Brothers and a 31-piece orchestra under the direction of Nick Perito.
The opening night was a filled-to-capacity house of 900 people who gave her several ovations and as one report noted, even the waiters stood and cheered, “and waiters haven’t been known to cheer in recent years, oldtimers here noted.”
As noted in the papers, the Thunderbird was served with a writ from the Sheriff’s Office for $4,000. The writ was the result of a claim from attorney William Morse who represented Judy in 1962 during her consideration of a Nevada divorce from husband Sid Luft. Morse claimed that Judy paid him $3,000 by check then stopped payment on that check. A district court judgment was awarded the lawyers the $3,000 plus $1,000 for attorney fees. The writ required that the Thunderbird withhold the money from Judy’s salary. In spite of the legal issues the engagement was a big success.
While Judy was in Vegas, she called into a radio show hosted by Jack Wagner and gave a quick promo/interview about the “Judy Garland and Liza Minnelli ‘Live’ at the London Palladium” album. Listen to that radio spot here:
A recording of the first night’s performance (June 15) was made from the audience. Download a zip file of that recording here.
NOTE: The version of “Over the Rainbow” included here cuts out at the very end. Unfortunately, it’s the only version from this show that I have.
July 17, 1965
THE FOREST HILLS STADIUM, FOREST HILLS, NEW YORK
According to Variety, Judy broke a record for the longest standing ovation: Thirty minutes at the conclusion of her 20-song, 90-minute concert in front of 10,000 people. The concert grossed $55,000. Backstage after the show, Judy told some fans that she was going to record a studio version of “What Now, My Love” “next week” but that never happened.
Peter Lind Hayes interviewed Judy via phone after the show in the early morning hours of July 18th. Judy and Mark Herron were at their hotel, the Regency, in Forest Hills, New York.
Listen to that phone interview here:
Download, the entire concert here (zip file). This zip file includes the interview as well.
August 31 through September 5, 1965
THE CIRCLE STAR THEATER, SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA
Judy’s first appearance “in the round.” She sang: “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands”; “Almost Like Being In Love/This Can’t Be Love”; “Judy’s Olio”; “What Now My Love?”; “Just In Time”; “By Myself”; “San Francisco”; “Over The Rainbow”; and “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby.” Lorna and Joe joined her onstage for a few performances.
“Daily Variety” reported that Judy brought in $105,000 for the eight sold-out performances, $15,302 for opening night.
September 13 & 14, 1965
THE GREEK THEATER, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
A planned week-long engagement at The Greek Theater in Los Angeles. Judy received raves for the opening night. Mort Lindsey conducted the 33-piece orchestra, 13 of which were strings. She was guaranteed $35,000 for the week, plus 65% of the gross above $70,000; there was an advance sale of $40,000.
Luckily a recording of this opening night exists, taken from the soundboard. Listen to that recording here (zip file).
Judy’s second night at The Greek Theater in Los Angeles was also her last. The rest of the engagement was canceled because she had tripped over her dog and broken her arm. In spite of this, she did this second show with help from Mickey Rooney, Martha Raye, and Johnny Mathis. Judy only sang five songs: “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands”; “Just In Time”; “San Francisco”; “Together” (with Raye); and “Over The Rainbow.”
Photos: Judy and Mark Herron leave the Greek on September 14, 1965.
October 3, 1965: Judy appeared on the CBS-TV show, “The Ed Sullivan Show” broadcast live in color from Television City in Hollywood, CA.
Judy sang: “Come Rain Or Come Shine”; “By Myself”; and “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby.” Judy’s arm had been in a cast since her September 14th trip over her dog which resulted in its being broken. She took it off for the show.
This was Judy’s only real appearance on the famous variety show, as her April 1963 appearance consisted of clips from a March 10, 1963, appearance on a London variety show. This October 3, 1965, show was rerun on August 7, 1966.
“Come Rain Or Come Shine”
“Rock-A-Bye Your Baby”
November 14, 1965: Judy married actor Mark Herron, her fourth husband, in Las Vegas, Nevada, at 1:30 a.m. at the Little Church of the West, by Dr. David Howe of the Church of Religious Science.
Her publicist, Guy McElwaine, was the best man and his wife, actress Pamela Austin, matron of honor. “The Los Angeles Herald-Examiner” stated that after the ceremony the party, including Eddie Fisher, moved on to catch Don Rickles’ show. Rickles gave the newlyweds a terrific ribbing. The party went on until 7 a.m. Apparently, the decision to fly to Vegas was so sudden that jeweler Marvin Hime had to go to Judy’s home at 3 p.m. Saturday, November 13, to fit them for their wedding rings. Judy and Mark honeymooned for a week in San Francisco and Carmel, California.
November 30 through December 13, 1965
THE SAHARA HOTEL, LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
Judy returned to the Sahara for a two-week engagement. She was paid $50,000 per week.
Judy and new husband Mark Herron had flown to Vegas two weeks prior and gotten married on November 14th at the Little Church of West at 1:30 a.m. They went back to Los Angeles for Liza’s opening night at the Coconut Grove on November 23rd and were back in Vegas by the 29th.
Judy’s engagement at the Sahara was a successful one. Paul Rice reported in “The Sun” newspaper that: “[Judy’s appearance] may well have been the most fabulous night in show business … and I’ve never been much of a fan.”
Judy was backed by the 30-piece Louis Basil orchestra. Her songs were: “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands”; “Almost Like Being In Love”/”This Can’t Be Love”; “As Long As He Needs Me”; “Just In Time”; “What Now My Love?”; “Joey, Joey”; “The Man That Got Away” (on some nights this was replaced with “Stormy Weather”); “Do It Again”; “By Myself”; “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby”; “San Francisco”; “Swanee”; “Judy’s Olio”; “Chicago”; and “Over The Rainbow.”
On Friday, December 10th, Judy and Lorna sang “Hello, Lorna!” and “Jamboree Jones.” On closing night, December 13, Judy also sang “Liza” in tribute to the next headliner at the Sahara, who happened to be her daughter Liza Minnelli opening on Christmas Day.
It was reported at this time that Judy and Mark would spend the holidays in England and then return to New York in the middle of January for another “Ed Sullivan” show. These two events never occurred.
December 17, 1965
THE ASTRODOME, HOUSTON, TEXAS
Judy became the first artist to play the new Astrodome in Houston, Texas. She was paid $43,000 for the one show. None other than Diana Ross and The Supremes were her opening act (!)
The dome seated 48,000 people with another 12,000 added for this show. Ticket prices ranged from $1.00 to $7.50.
Judy’s songs: “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands”; “Just In Time”; “My Kind Of Town, Houston Is”/”Houston” (arranged by Roger Edens, which turned out to be his last work with Judy, their association lasting 30 years from October 1935 to December 1965); “As Long As He Needs Me”; “Joey, Joey, Joey”; “Do It Again”; “What Now My Love?”; “By Myself”; “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby”; “San Francisco”; “Chicago”; and “Over the Rainbow.”
Judy came on at 10 p.m., and her program lasted 40 minutes, with Mort Lindsey conducting.
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