Judy Garland’s career in radio pre-dates her career on film at MGM. She and her two sisters made several appearances on various local radio stations as “The Gumm Sisters” and later as “The Garland Sisters.” After Judy signed with MGM the studio wisely, and immediately, put her on the radio to introduce her to audiences. The studios used radio to promote their films, stars, and to expose up and coming contract players to the public. MGM wanted the public to be aware of Judy and her incredible voice prior to seeing her on film. Why? They were afraid the public might not believe that such a mature sounding voice was coming out of such a young girl.
Judy’s radio appearances also gave her and her musical mentor Roger Edens the chance to try out original material. Some of it would end up in her films. Edens was instrumental in shaping Judy’s voice and provided invaluable musical guidance. Just listen to the existing recordings of Judy on radio, in chronological order, and you can hear her develop her craft with obvious joy as she gets better and better and handles every popular style of the day.
The following recordings give you, the listener, a trip through Judy’s extensive career on radio, with a variety of material she was never allowed in her MGM films. That’s not a bad thing. But it’s safe to say that if Judy has not had the luxury of her radio appearances to stretch her vocal prowess, her career may have been quite different.
A HUGE THANK YOU to all the folks out there who have so generously shared various audio files with The Judy Room – especially those on Facebook. Thanks again!!
October 26, 1935
Here is Judy’s first “official” appearance after signing with MGM. It’s MGM’s program “The Shell Chateau Hour with Wallace Beery” on NBC Radio. Judy had just signed her contract with MGM and is only 13 years old!
This recording gives us a glimpse into the raw, unrefined talent that Judy was before that talent would be polished and trained at MGM throughout her years with the studio. We get the chance to see just what all of the excitement of “discovering Judy” was all about. Remember, no one else sang this way back in 1935 (Sophie Tucker & Ethel Merman come close by way of being “belters”) – and certainly no 13 year old could come even close to the way Judy could sing with such power, richness, and emotion. Her talent is so obviously “God given.”
Judy would later sing “Broadway Rhythm” as part of the finale sequence in Presenting Lily Mars in 1943.
November 16, 1935
ZING! WENT THE STRINGS OF MY HEART (with the encore)
(this is the complete song and encore – the sound quality is not as good as on the CD set “Lost Tracks” but it does include Judy’s banter with host Wallace Beery as well as her encore)
Here is the complete 1-hour show
Judy’s return to the “Shell Chateau Hour.” This time, Wallace Beery makes note that Judy has been signed by MGM – making it seem that she had been signed since her first appearance on the show (when in fact she singed with MGM a few months earlier and prior to any appearances on this program).
This performance is especially noteworthy in Judy’s life – and we’re lucky to have it. It’s the earliest known recording of a song she would sing throughout her career (in varying arrangements) as well as being the song that she sang at her audition for MGM.
However, most importantly, while Judy was giving this performance, on this night, her beloved father, Frank Gumm, was listening from his hospital room, having come down with spinal meningitis that day. Judy was aware of this, and her performance has an added intensity. Judy never saw her father alive again. He passed away later that night, but the family had put a radio in his room, and he was able to listen to his beloved “Baby” sing her heart out for her father one last time. In Judy’s words: “The most terrible thing that ever happened to me in my life.”
August 6, 1936
Again from “The Shell Chateau Hour” with Wallace Beery. This is the earliest known recording of Judy singing “After You’ve Gone” – a song that would become identified with her throughout her legendary “Concert Years” (1951 – 1969). Judy also performed a touching version in the film For Me And My Gal in 1942. “On Revival Day” is an interesting, little known song.
January 5, 1937
In 1937 Judy became a weekly regular on the Jack Oakie radio show, “Jack Oakie’s College.” Her first appearance was on January 5, 1937, during which she sang two songs, “Hold That Bulldog” and “Pennies From Heaven.” “Hold That Bulldog” is notable as it’s the only known surviving recording of Judy singing the song which was prerecorded for, and cut from, her 1936 feature film debut Pigskin Parade. That prerecording remains lost but thanks to this previously unreleased radio performance we get an idea of how the song sounded in the film. Later in this same broadcast, Oakie brought Judy back on to sing “Pennies From Heaven” with a new verse most likely written by her new musical mentor, Roger Edens. These recordings are the only extant versions of Judy performing both songs.
“Thank You!” to collector John Newton for sharing these previously unreleased recordings.
February 1, 1937
From the CBS Radio show “Jack Oakie’s College.” This is the only known recording of Judy singing a complete version of “Dinah.” Judy previously sang part of the song in a medley (along with “On the Good Ship Lollipop” and “The Object of My Affection) that she sang during her Vaudeville years (pre-MGM). She recorded the medley on March 29, 1935, as part of a test recording session with Decca Records. Judy didn’t get the recording contract but the disc has survived. Info about it can be found on the Discography’s “Lost Decca Recordings” page.
April 20, 1937
On April 20, 1937, Judy Garland premiered a sizzling version of “Johnny One Note” on the “Jack Oakie’s College” radio show. This was one of the first (if not the very first) performances of the song to a nationwide audience. “Johnny One Note” had been introduced in the Rodgers & Hart Broadway show “Babes in Arms” just six days prior to this broadcast.
This April 20, 1937, performance is nothing short of amazing. It’s clear that Judy’s musical mentor Roger Edens had a hand in providing some extra embellishments that, in typical Garland fashion of the time, included some vocal gymnastics that showed off Judy’s precocious voice and personality. Judy reprised the song on June 15, 1937, also on “Jack Oakie’s College. No recording of that show is known to exist although it’s more than likely that Judy sang the arrangement heard here.
When “Babes in Arms” was adapted for the screen for Judy and Mickey Rooney in 1939, this song was removed from the score. The adult Judy got to sing the song on screen in 1948’s Words and Music.
Later in the broadcast, Judy sang this version of Irving Berlin’s “Always.” This is the only known recording of Judy singing “Always.” Irving Berlin originally wrote “Always” in 1925 as a wedding gift for his wife Ellin Mackay, who he married in 1926. He also gave her the royalties generated by the song. Berlin and Mackay stayed happily married until her death in 1988. Berlin died a year later at the age of 101. A decade after this fantastic performance of “Always,” Judy would work with Berlin on the MGM musical Easter Parade. He wrote several new songs for the film, including the classics “It Only Happens When I Dance With You” and “A Couple of Swells.”
These previously unreleased recordings are presented here thanks to the generosity of collector John Newton.
May 4, 1937
May 25, 1937
Another stellar performance from Judy’s weekly appearances on the CBS Radio show “Jack Oakie’s College” hosted by the film star Jack Oakie.
Since her January 5, 1937, premiere appearance on the popular show, Judy Garland had become a series regular. On this week’s show, Judy sang both “A Shine On your Shoes” and “Swing High, Swing Low.” During the time of this broadcast, Judy was in pre-production on the MGM film Broadway Melody of 1938 which was her first feature film for the studio. A week and a half before this broadcast Judy had pre-recorded the song that would become her first “identifier” song, “(Dear Mr. Gable) You Made Me Love You.” This previously unreleased radio performance is presented here thanks to the generosity of collector John Newton. Thank you, John!
September 28, 1937
From “Jack Oakie’s College” on CBS Radio – Judy was made a weekly regular on Jack Oakie’s show on 2/23/37. Judy later recorded the song for For Me And My Gal (1942) although only a snippet is heard in the film, the entire pre-recording can be heard on the Rhino CD Soundtrack for the film.
Note: This performance was previously thought to have aired on March 9, 1937.
October 24, 1937
From the WOR Radio show “Thirty Minutes in Hollywood” starring George Jessel. Judy sang “(Dear Mr. Gable) You Made Me Love You” to promote the recently released Broadway Melody of 1938. Note that the sound quality is very poor. This is a recording in desperate need of restoration!
Photo: Judy and Reginald Gardner pose for a photo just prior to the broadcast.
November 4, 1937
From the “Good News of 1938” radio show. The hour-long program promoted upcoming MGM productions, with pre-recordings and live performances by quite a few of its stars.
Judy is featured singing “Everybody Sing” and “Your Broadway and My Broadway” from Broadway Melody of 1938 plus a little extra. The premise of the episode was having MGM’s director Robert Z. Leonard take the “Good News” audience on a tour of MGM which included the song “Rosalie” from the film of the same name, appearances by Eleanor Powell, Buddy Ebsen, and George Murphy, baritone Igor Gorin, a trip to the set of Broadway Melody of 1938, a statement from MGM boss Louis B. Mayer, and a long section of scenes and songs from The Firefly starring Jeanette MacDonald and Allan Jones
This is a rare performance, previously only available on the long-out-of-print LP “The Wit and Wonder of Judy Garland.”
The album states that Judy performed this at the Loew’s State Theatre in New York in January 1938 at the premiere of Everybody Sing, however, the film actually didn’t premiere until February 4, 1938, so it’s a mystery if this really was from her Loew’s State engagement or not.
April 21, 1938
From Judy’s series of weekly appearances on the “Good News of 1938” NBC Radio show. Judy also sang “There’s A Gold Mine in the Sky” but all that exists (that we know of) from this show is “My Heart Is Taking Lessons.”
April 28, 1938
Judy’s weekly appearance on the “Good News of 1938” radio show. This previously unknown and unreleased performance of “You Couldn’t Be Cuter” is the only performance from this April 28, 1938, episode that is known to exist. The song was written for the film Joy of Living (1938) by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields. Irene Dunne introduced it in the film.
The only details about the content of the radio show come from newspaper archives. None of them list this song. Only a few mentioned that Judy would perform “Thanks for the Memory.”
A big thanks to collector David Plotkin for sharing this gem from his collection and providing the digital transfer; John H. Haley, Harmony Restorations, LLC, for his expert restoration and remastering; and Lawrence Schulman for his guidance and assistance with photos. Thanks, guys!
May 5, 1938
From “Good News of 1938.” This was Judy’s last appearance on the series. “Gods Country” would reappear as a big production number a year later in Judy’s first musical with Mickey Rooney: Babes In Arms (1939). “How Deep Is The Ocean” is the earliest known recording of Judy singing this song. She would sing it again (all on radio broadcasts) on 10-08-1945, 06-30-48, and January 1951.
September 8, 1938
December 14, 1938
From the radio show “America Calling.”
The “America Calling” performance was Judy’s second radio show appearance for the night. Earier in the evening she appeared on the “National Redemption Movement Program” on NBC Radio with Mickey Rooney, Lewis Stone, and Jean Parker in a “Hardy Family” sketch. The show was a celebration of the anniversary of the American Bill of Rights.
The Hardy segment could have been pre-recorded as Judy was quite busy with production on The Wizard of Oz and might not have had the time to appear on (let alone rehearse for) two separate radio shows after a day (the first actually) of filming the “Munchkinland” sequence.
Photo: Judy with Jackie Cooper during rehearsals for the program.
January 8, 1939
Judy appeared on the CBS Radio show “Hollywood Screen Guild.” She sang “Shall I Sing A Melody? (Sweet or Swing)” from Everybody Sing and “Thanks For The Memory.” Judy was the first guest on this premiere episode of this new series hosted by George Murphy. This episode also featured Jack Benny and Joan Crawford.
March 7, 1939
From the NBC Radio “The Pepsodent Show Starring Bob Hope.” Judy was a regular on the show. This is the only recording I know of Judy singing “It Had To Be You.” Judy always had more opportunity via radio and her Decca contract to sing a much wider array of music – being able to stretch a little as a vocalist.
This is her earliest recording of her popular “FDR Jones.” Judy would sing it in Babes On Broadway quite effectively, and record the song for Decca Records as well. The film version can be found on the Rhino CD set “Mickey & Judy/The Judy Garland Mickey Rooney Collection” (a great 4 CD set of their 4 major musicals together).
April 6, 1939
From the CBS radio show “Tune Up Time.” Judy gets a chance to engage in some witty banter prior to singing. Of note is that another guest on this show was singer Kay Thompson, who would become a huge influence in Judy’s career and life in the mid-40’s onward – and become Liza Minnelli’s godmother, among other things. This could be the first time they met.
June 29, 1939
Judy’s first public performance, and first radio performance, of “Over The Rainbow.”
Judy took a break from filming the “Babes In Arms” number for the film of the same name to go over to the NBC Studios to participate in the “Maxwell House Coffee Time – Good News” program that was devoted to The Wizard of Oz, promoting its upcoming August release. The show pretended to go behind the scenes of the making of the film. It’s the only time, that we know of, in which Judy actually flubbed the lyrics to “Over The Rainbow.”
Judy was at MGM from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at which time she was released to do the radio program. She was back at the studio at 6:30 p.m. and resumed filming “Babes in Arms” on MGM’s Backlot #2, the “Exterior School Yard” set until 10 p.m. Quite the busy day for her!
This “Good News” program has been released on LP and CD, most recently the wonderful 2014 “Wizard of Oz 75th Anniversary Anthology.”
Photo: Judy is seen with Bert Lahr, Ray Bolger, MGM executive L.K. Sidney, E.Y. “Yip” Harburg, Meredith Wilson, publisher Harry Link, and (sitting next to Judy) Harold Arlen.
November 7, 1939
Judy made her weekly appearance on NBC Radio’s “The Pepsodent Show Starring Bob Hope.” She sang a wonderful rendition of “Goody, Goodbye” which survives and was remastered for the 2015 CD release “Judy Garland – The Best of Lost Tracks 1929 – 1959“- a must-have!
December 16, 1939
December 26, 1939
From “The Pepsodent Show starring Bob Hope” broadcast out of Hollywood on NBC-Radio. Judy sang a rare solo version of “Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead.”
The remastered version was first made available on the wonderful 2015 CD “The Best of Lost Tracks 1929-1959” – definitely a “must-have”!!
February 13, 1940
From Judy’s weekly appearance on the NBC Radio show “The Pepsodent Show Starring Bob Hope.” Judy sang a new song that would become a standard: “All The Things You Are.”
Judy’s performance has been released on a few CDs, including being remastered for the 2010 4-CD set “Lost Tracks.”
April 8, 1940
September 24, 1940
Judy sang “Over The Rainbow” with Harold Arlen at the piano, at the Golden Gate International Exposition (World’s Fair) at Treasure Island in San Francisco.
Side note: The former MGM silent film star, William Haines, had an interior design exhibition at the fair, part of the “Decorative Arts” pavilion, that featured a “Desert Living Room” which put him on the map as THE modern interior decorator/designer. He became such a huge success that when Warner Bros. made A Star Is Born they modeled the Norman Maine/Vicki Lester home after Haines’ designs, and Warner Bros. studio boss Jack Warner’s screening room which was designed by Haines. They wanted Haines to design the set, but he was too expensive and probably wouldn’t have done it. He did the set design for one film in the late 30s and had such a bad experience he swore he’d never do it again. However, his “Moderne” designs were all the rage and he was in high demand. His furniture and brick-a-brack are still popular, especially with collectors.
November 28, 1940
Judy and Jackie Cooper posed together for various publicity photos for Ziegfeld Girl. Judy was in the costume she wore in the “Laugh? I Thought I’d Split My Sides” number in the film. Judy also posed for solo portraits in the same costume.
Later that evening Judy was joined by Mickey Rooney for a “Leo Is On The Air” holiday special radio broadcast, live from “Santa Claus Lane” (Hollywood Blvd. dressed up for the holidays). To close out the show, MGM cleverly used the 1937 recording of Judy singing “Silent Night” that was first heard (and seen) in their 1937 Christmas trailer.
January 26, 1941
This CBS Radio “Silver Theater” production of the original “Love’s New Sweet Song” was Judy’s first dramatic role. Judy wrote the story the show was based on, and with her husband David Rose she co-wrote the one song “Love’s New Sweet Song.”
February 27, 1941
February 25, 1941
From the Greek Resistance Benefit. Judy sang “Over The Rainbow” with composer Harold Arlen at the piano at the Greek Resistance Benefit, Los Angeles, California. Judy also sang “It’s A Great Day For The Irish.” David Rose conducted the orchestra. They would announce their engagement the following June and he would go on to become Judy’s first husband.
Photo: Frances Langford, Mary Martin, and Judy at the benefit.
July 2, 1941
September 7, 1941
The NBC Radio “Chase & Sanborn Hour” aka “The Charlie McCarthy Show.” She banters with “Charlie” and Edgar Bergen (Candice’s father) in one of her several appearances on the show. Here, Judy’s obviously having a blast (listen to the complete show offered below).
October 12, 1941
The 1941 CBS “Silver Theater” radio adaptation of “Eternally Yours.” Judy sings “Jim” followed by a brief scene. This is from the first night of the two-part adaptation. The second half aired a week later on October 19, 1941.
Judy co-starred with Edgar Barrier. The show was directed by Conrad Nagel.
November 17, 1941
From the CBS Radio “Lux Radio Theater” production of “Merton Of The Movies”, co-starring Mickey Rooney. Judy knocks it out of the park with “The Peanut Vendor” (which she would later sing a snippet of in the “Born In A Trunk” medley in A Star Is Born).
As an encore, Judy and Mickey perform “How About You?” to promote their upcoming film Babes On Broadway. Cecil B. DeMille is the host.
December 7, 1941
Judy made a guest appearance on NBC Radio’s “Chase & Sanborn Hour” aka “The Charlie McCarthy Show” live from Fort Ord, California. This is the day that the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, so obviously the show was subject to breaking news updates. Also on the show are Abbott & Costello. They take up the first half, and Judy banters with Edgar Bergen and Charlie for the second half.
December 23, 1941
June 21, 1942
Here’s the entire “The Chase & Sanborn Hour” aka “The Charlie McCarthy Show” from NBC Radio. Judy performs “I Never Knew” and banters with Edgar Bergen and Charlie. Abbott & Costello are also featured.
October 12, 1942
From the CBS Radio “Lux Radio Theater” version of Morning Glory. The 1933 film version won Katherine Hepburn an Oscar in her screen debut. This radio version shows off Judy’s dramatic abilities, while also giving her a chance to sing this lovely song.
Cecil B. DeMille is the host. Judy’s co-stars are: John Payne and Adolphe Menjou. The announcer is John Milton Kennedy and the musical director is Louis Silvers.
December 28, 1942
Judy’s first stab at the famous Hollywood story came with this “Lux Radio Theater” version for CBS Radio. This was the catalyst that sparked Judy’s desire to make a film musical version of the story. MGM flat out refused the idea, thinking that the public wouldn’t accept their singing sweetheart married to a drunk. Plus, the seriousness of the story didn’t really gel with MGM’s overall glamour and fantasy artifice, especially in their musicals. Of course, we all know that Judy finally got to make her version eleven years later.
January 9, 1943
Judy and Jose Iturbi perform an extended skit and recreation of their song from the MGM film Thousands Cheer, plus Judy sings her Decca single “I Never Knew.” This is #19 in the Armed Forces Radio Service “Mail Call” series.
March 22, 1943
From the CBS Radio “Screen Guild Players” version of For Me And My Gal. Judy sang this song in the film in a sequence where she is seen “performing for the troops.” What’s interesting to note in that sequence is how, even at this early stage, Judy’s rapport with an audience (even if it’s a set full of extras) and her legendary stage presence are already apparent.
April 3, 1943
August 28, 1943
Command Performance #81. Judy appeared with Bing Crosby and Jimmy Durante, singing a Gershwin medley (which was just two songs, “Embraceable You” and a lovely rendition of “The Man I Love”), a comical medley with Bing that includes a bit of “Over the Rainbow” with some extra lyrics, and “People Will Say We’re In Love” also with Bing.
October 10, 1943
Judy made another appearance on the “Command Performance” series of shows recorded and shipped overseas for playing on the Armed Forces Radio Network. In this version, #91 in the series, she sang a great version of “Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart.” The show also featured Ginny Simms, Dinah Shore, and Shirley Ross.
Judy and Dick Haymes performed this cute and quick commercial on an unidentified program in 1944. The two reunited a couple of years later when they recorded two singles for Decca Records, “Aren’t You Kind Of Glad We Did?” and “For You, For Me, Forevermore,” both recorded on September 11, 1946.
July 11, 1944
From the NBC radio show “Everything for the Boys.” Judy talked with servicemen stationed in Honolulu and sang “There’s A Tavern in the Town.” Judy also performed a quick version of “Somebody Loves Me.” The show was broadcast during the day, as Judy had a night call at MGM for rehearsals on the “The Interview” number for Ziegfeld Follies, from 7 to 10 p.m.
March 5, 1944
This was a busy day for Judy as well as several other stars including Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Hedy Lamarr, Lana Turner, and Bob Hope. The day was spent recording two “Command Performance” programs which would be pressed onto discs and sent overseas for airing on the Armed Forces Radio Network. Episode #92 and, allegedly, #106, were recorded on this date. #92 was also filmed and is the only known film footage of Judy singing her theme song in the 1940s. She’s at her best here!
June 3, 1944
August 19, 1944
October 8, 1944
The first known public performance of “The Trolley Song.”
Judy appeared at the “Hollywood Democratic Committee dinner to honor Harold L. Ickes” held at the Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles. With Johnny Green at the piano, Judy sang a parody of “Over the Rainbow” (“Over the Checkbook”); “Someone To Watch Over Me”; and “The Trolley Song.”
These recordings are of a very low fidelity but they’re all we have.
November 6, 1944
Judy took part in a joint radio broadcast by both CBS and NBC Radio, the “Democratic National Committee” program. Judy sang “Gotta Get Out and Vote.” The program was emceed by Humphrey Bogart and featured Claudette Colbert, James Cagney, Irving Berlin, Joseph Cotten, Keenan Wynn, and Groucho Marx.
December 17, 1944
From the “Philco Radio Hall of Fame” radio show. Judy sang “The Trolley Song” and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” promoting the recent release of Meet Me In St. Louis. Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra accompanied Judy on both songs. Judy had previously performed with the band in her 1940 film Strike Up The Band.
December 24, 1944
This two-hour extravaganza was aired on December 24, 1944, and featured many stars of the day giving their all for the troops overseas. The emcee was Bob Hope, the stars were: Xavier Cugat, Jerry Colonna, Virginia O’Brien, Spike Jones, Ginny Simms, Jimmy Durante, Dinah Shore, Jack Benny, Fred Allen, Kay Kyser, Frances Langford, Dorothy Lamour, Johnny Mercer, Danny Kaye, W.C. Fields, Spencer Tracy and of course, Judy Garland!
Judy got to solo on “The Trolley Song” and “Oh Come All Ye Faithful.” The latter was part of a long medley of Christmas carols performed by Dinah Shore, Judy, Ginny Simms, Virginia O’Brien, Dorothy Lamour, and Frances Langford. All of these ladies sing the finale version of “Silent Night.”
December 26, 1944
February 20, 1945
Recorded February 20, 1945 (not on the 15th as shown on the old record album) for the Armed Forces Radio Service Command Performance, “Dick Tracy in B-Flat – or For Goodness Sake Isn’t He Ever Going To marry Tess Trueheart?” is one of Judy’s most popular, and most readily available, radio performances. A parody with Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Jimmy Durante and many more, this show gave Judy a chance to flex her comedic muscles. You can hear them all cracking up and having fun throughout the performance.
The show was broadcast on April 19, 1945, or April 29, 1945, depending on which source you believe.
December 25, 1945
Another all-star “Command Performance Christmas Show” hosted by Bob Hope. Several of the stars who were a part of Hope’s 1944 Christmas Show returned. Guests for this program were: Bing Crosby, Dinah Shore, Frank Sinatra, Frances Langford, Harry James & His Music Makers, Herbert Marshall, Jimmy Durante, Ginny Simms, Johnny Mercer, Jerry Colonna, The Pied Pipers and of course, Judy Garland!
Judy sang “Long Ago And Far Away,” “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear” and engaged in a comedy sketch with Hope, Crosby, and Johnny Mercer. Note: The version of “Long Ago And Far Away” as presented on the broadcast was actually a replay (from disc) of Judy’s July 15, 1944 “Command Performance” rendition of the song. This was made possible due to the fact that all of the “Command Performance” shows were recorded and pressed onto discs to send out to the troops overseas.
August 17, 1946
September 29, 1946
From “Command Performance #241” co-starring Frank Sinatra and Phil Silvers. This is the earliest known recording of Judy singing a song from the then-recent hit musical, “Annie Get Your Gun.” Just a few years later, Judy famously pre-recorded the Irving Berlin score for the MGM film version and filmed a few scenes (and two songs) before being removed due to her precarious health issues.
November 12, 1946
Judy and Bing Crosby pre-recorded an episode of the “Philco Radio Time/The Bing Crosby Show” which aired on November 27, 1946. Crosby recorded all of his radio shows ahead of the air dates, which is lucky for us as most of these recordings have survived.
Four songs from the show were included on the 1990 JSP Records CD release “All The Clouds’ll Roll Away” and the remastered version of “Liza” (link above) was included on JSP’s fantastic 2010 4-CD release “Judy Garland Lost Tracks 1929 – 1959” – a must have!
November 21, 1946
The complete CBS Radio “Suspense Theater” broadcast. This is another rare instance of Judy exercising her acting skills without the trappings of a musical comedy framework. Executive Producer is William Spier, then-husband of Judy’s best female friend Kay Thompson. Musical director is Lud Gluskin. Judy’s costar is Elliott Lewis.
December 1, 1946
Here is the complete rehearsal for the radio version of Judy’s MGM blockbuster. The show featured Judy, Tom Drake and Margaret O’Brien recreating their roles. John Milton Kennedy was the announcer, William Keighley was the producer and host.
Photos: Tom Drake, Margaret O’Brien, and Judy during the rehearsal.
December 2, 1946
October 26, 1947
Judy and other stars protested against the House of un-American Activities Committee via the radio show “Hollywood Fights Back.”
Other stars in this show included: Van Heflin, Keenan Wynn, John Huston, Danny Kaye, Marsha Hunt, Walter Wanger, Cornel Wilde, John Garfield, Artie Shaw, Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, Paulette Goddard, Audie Murphy, Evelyn Keyes, Burt Lancaster, Paul Henreid, William Holden, Robert Ryan, Myrna Loy, Gene Kelly, Lauren Bacall, Joseph Cotton, Peter Lorre, June Havoc, and Vincente Price.
June 30, 1948
Judy and her Easter Parade co-star, Fred Astaire appeared on “The Tex and Jinx Show” for WNBC Radio in Hollywood, CA. The appearance was to celebrate both Irving Berlin (who wrote the songs for Easter Parade) and the film’s New York Premiere. Judy and Fred sang “It Only Happens When I Dance With You” (which Berlin had written specifically for Judy).
Judy was in rehearsals for The Barkleys of Broadway also co-starring Astaire but called in sick apparently to save strength for this radio show. Even the film’s assistant director’s notes stated that Judy “can’t work and be on the radio too.”
September 30, 1948
From the NBC Radio show, “Kraft Music Hall” with Al Jolson and Oscar Levant. She sang “Johnny One Note,” a partial rendition of “Over The Rainbow” and, with Al Jolson, “Pretty Baby.” The audio of this show is the only known recording of Judy and Jolson singing together.
This show was originally released on the 1974 album “Judy Garland On Radio.”
October 6, 1948
August 15, 1949
October 5, 1949
From “The Bing Crosby Show” on CBS Radio. Judy promoted her recent film In The Good Old Summertime by singing “I Don’t Care” and engaging in some still-funny banter with Bing, plus some satire on “old-time” radio shows. One of the most engaging radio shows Judy ever appeared on.
September 29, 1950
Judy and Bing Crosby recorded her appearance on “The Bing Crosby Show” for CBS Radio, broadcast out of KNX Radio Studios in Hollywood on October 11, 1950. Crosby always pre-recorded his shows a couple of weeks before the broadcast dates.
Judy sang “Get Happy” (promoting Summer Stock), “Sam’s Song” (with Bing), and “Goodnight Irene” (Bob Hope joined in for this last song.
November 5, 1950
The complete show as first aired on NBC’s “The Theatre Guild on the Air.” The show was directed by Lawrence Langner, narrated by Roger Pryor, and co-starred Thomas Mitchell & Ann Shoemaker. Judy played the lead role first played by Katherine Hepburn in the 1936 film of the same name.
Of interest is that in October 1950 Judy was in New York and in talks with Rodgers & Hammerstein about possibly replacing Mary Martin in “South Pacific” on Broadway. Rodgers & Hammerstein also wanted to write a stage or film musical version of “Alice Adams” for her. Neither project happened.
September 25, 1950
December 6, 1950
From “The Bing Crosby Show” on CBS Radio, recorded mid-November 1950; aired December 6, 1950. Judy and Bing’s charming duet on “Rudolph” is the only known time that Judy performed this song in public.
This is Judy’s first public performance of “Rock-a-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody” – which would later become identified with her. It was sung in tribute to Al Jolson – he passed away on October 23, 1950. Judy also sang “Boise, Idaho,” “Blue Boy” & “These Lush Moments” (all with Bing Crosby).
Judy and Bing had a wonderful rapport that, sadly, they were never able to showcase in a film together. On the radio, their personalities, not to mention their voices, blended perfectly. So much so that when Bing’s wife passed away, Judy became Bing’s permanent guest host for the show. Luckily, Judy and Bing DID record a few singles for Decca Records in 1945 (they both were under contract to the company) which gives us lucky listeners more chances to hear their marvelous chemistry.
December 25, 1950
The complete CBS “Lux Radio Theatre” broadcast. Judy’s co-stars are Hans Conreid, Herb Vigran, Edwin Max, Herb Butterfield, Betty Lou Gerson, and Noreen Gammill. William Keighley is the host, John Milton Kennedy the announcer. Music Director is Rudy Schrager.
The documents below are scans of Judy’s contract for the show.
From “Hollywood Party” (Radio). Judy also sang “How Deep Is The Ocean” and “You’re Just In Love” with Vic Damone. The “iffy” sound quality of this recording only serves to amplify the need for these radio recordings to be properly cataloged and restored. Still, it’s worth listening to if only to hear Judy’s take on a popular patriotic song.
January 12, 1951
Judy provided emcee services for the special radio program “Hollywood Party” (also known as the “Hollywood Testimonial Dinner”) paying tribute to Senator Dudley J. LeBlanc. Judy performed “Stars and Stripes Forever”; “How Deep Is The Ocean?”; “You’re Just In Love” (with Vic Damone), and engaged in a comedy skit with Groucho Marx.
January 30, 1951
From “The Bob Hope Chesterfield Show” on NBC Radio. Judy rarely sang Rodgers & Hammerstein’s songs – this is a rare example of how she would have put her distinctive style on one of their songs. At this time, Judy was rumored to have been a possible replacement for Mary Martin in the show “South Pacific” (which includes this song), but supposedly the producers decided against it, fearing Judy wouldn’t be able to handle the grueling 8 shows a week (plus) schedule.
February 7, 1951
Judy and Bing Crosby recorded this edition of “The Bing Crosby Show” for CBS Radio on January 23, 1951 (as previously noted, Crosby pre-recorded his radio shows for later airdates).
Judy sang “You Made Me Love You” and with Crosby, “Just The Way You Are” as well as a comedy skit that includes “In My Merry Oldsmobile”; “Hello, My Baby”; “Some Rainy Afternoon”; and “Walking My Baby Back Home.”
February 11, 1951
Judy appeared on the NBC-Radio show “The Big Show” hosted by Tallulah Bankhead and broadcast out of Los Angeles. Judy sang “Get Happy”; “You And I” (with chorus); and “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” (with the entire cast). The rest of the guests were: The Andrews Sisters, Joan Davis, Gordon MacRae, Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Groucho Marx, and Meredith Willson.
February 15, 1951
From “The Hallmark Playhouse” on CBS Radio. This is an updated version about a modern writer (Judy) whose short stories always end up as the Cinderella story. She goes on a quest to find out why she’s copying a book she hasn’t even read yet! Song: “Wishing Will Make It So” reprised as “Wishing Has Made It True.”
March 7, 1951
From “The Bing Crosby Show” on CBS Radio. Along with “Mean To Me” Judy and Bing duet on “You’re Just In Love” and they both perform a cute sketch that pokes fun at the Sam Spade mysteries with Judy as “Sarah Spade.” This performance was recorded on February 23, 1951 (as previously noted, Crosby pre-recorded his radio shows for later airdates).
March 14, 1951
From “The Bing Crosby Show” on CBS Radio. Judy chatted with Bing about her upcoming trip to London, the songs she’ll sing, and gave this preview. She also pairs with Bing for a Western-themed sketch including the novelty song “Stop Your Gamblin’ Now.” This performance was recorded on March 1, 1951 (as previously noted, Crosby pre-recorded his radio shows for later airdates).
March 21, 1951
Again, from “The Bing Crosby Show” on CBS Radio. This performance was recorded on March 8, 1951 (as previously noted, Crosby pre-recorded his radio shows for later airdates).
Judy and Bing perform a charming duet on this song, originally written for Judy to sing with Fred Astaire in Royal Wedding (1951). Judy was exhausted when she began making the film, and couldn’t complete it. She did a few costume tests and rehearsals with Fred but was fired from the production prior to filming.
Judy then made a much-publicized suicide attempt (which was in actuality a superficial scratch on her throat – more a cry for help than an actual wish to die). She was subsequently released from her MGM contract after 15 years.
Bing gave Judy the opportunity to begin reconnecting with her audience via his radio show. When listening, you’ll hear Judy and Bing joke about her firing from Royal Wedding. This was a Godsend and helped give Judy some of the confidence she needed to rebuild her career.
NOTE: The sound quality of the beginning of this recording is poor, but it clears up just prior to Judy and Bing beginning the song.
March 22, 1951
Here is the entire 1951 radio “recreation” of Easter Parade that Judy, Fred Astaire, and Peter Lawford performed for the “Gulf Screen Guild Theater.”
March 28, 1951
Another appearance on “The Bing Crosby Show” on CBS Radio. Judy knocks it out of the park with “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby” and duets with Bing on “Limehouse Blues.” This performance was recorded on March 14, 1951 (as previously noted, Crosby pre-recorded his radio shows for later airdates).
May 21, 1952
From “The Bing Crosby Show” on CBS Radio.
“When You Wore A Tulip” was one of Judy’s hits for Decca Records back in 1942 as a duet with Gene Kelly (they sang it in the film For Me And My Gal that same year). Judy also reprises her wonderful version of “Mean to Me” and “When You’re Smiling.”
June 4, 1952
From “The Bing Crosby Show” on CBS Radio. Judy also sang “Hello Ma Baby,” “In My Merry Oldsmobile” (with Bing Crosby). This version of “You Made Me Love You” is a rare instance of Judy singing the complete, “adult” version of the song. One of my personal favorites.
October 30, 1952
February 16, 1953
“Hollywood Radio Theatre” (CBS Radio) version of the Broadway musical “Lady in the Dark.” John Lund co-stars. Although Judy would continue to appear on various radio shows in the future, mostly for interviews, this was Judy’s final major radio appearance. Songs: “My Ship,” “How Lovely To Be Me,” “This Is New.” and “The Rights Of Womankind.”
October 11, 1954
The New York premiere of A Star Is Born was another big event for Warner Bros. The film premiered at two theaters at the same time: the Victoria and the Capitol. George Jessell was emcee again, as he had been for the world premiere in Hollywood the previous September. Afterward, there was a dinner held at the Waldorf.
The event was telecast as a live special over NBC-TV while at the same time NBC Radio covered the premiere on their “Best of All” show during which Jinx Falkenburg interviewed Judy. All that is known to survive is the radio interview.
December 14, 1961