2021 Year in Review

2021 was a quiet one compared to previous years.  This could be a result of the ongoing pandemic.  It could be that projects have been held for release in 2020, in celebration of the centennial of Judy’s birth.  Or both.

Because it was such a slow year, I decided to forgo creating a PDF Year in Review and opted to present everything here on the site, which is more interactive by nature and easier to access.  

Now that we’re into 2022 it’s obvious that there will be much to enjoy in celebration of the centennial of Judy’s birth. 

The Wonderful Wizards of Art

The Wonderful Wizards of Art: An Illustrated Odyssey Through the Land of Oz” is a gloriously unique illustrated tribute to The Wizard of Oz that is a delight for all fans of the books and the iconic 1939 film. Paging through it is like sitting in the passenger’s seat of a road trip through the colorful history of Baum’s magical world.

The oversized coffee book was limited to just 515 copies.  As of January 2022, there are some copies still available for purchase at the Academy Museum Store in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences new museum in Los Angeles and can be ordered here.  

This book is nothing short of fantastic and is something any and all Oz fans would love.  Some of the pages are highlighted here.

In addition to the seemingly endless array of rare photos and artwork, there is also some fantastic original artwork, with the cover design by our friend and amazing graphic artist, Raphael Geroni.

ALL COPIES ARE SIGNED with both authors’ signatures: in the front endpapers by Caren Marsh-Doll (red archival permanent ink), in interior by Daniel “Munch” Kinske (purple archival permanent ink).

The Academy Store at the recently opened Academy Museum in Los Angeles has a few copies available for purchase.  Check it out here!

Play Video

The Wizard of Oz Soundtrack

The gang at Mondo released this already out-of-print limited edition (3k copies) deluxe 3-LP pressing of the soundtrack to The Wizard of Oz.  Although it’s noted as being remastered, the audio is a rip of most of the tracks from the 1995 Rhino 2-CD soundtrack set, including that incorrect volume jump in Judy’s vocal of “Over the Rainbow.”  The “remastered” must mean that the CD audio was remastered to sound good on vinyl.  

The records are colored vinyl (two in ruby red and one in emerald green) and are beautifully presented in deluxe gatefold packaging with distinctive artwork.  The center panel is a 3D multi-layered accordion.  The back features a cutout that can hold a mobile phone in flashlight mode to illuminate the accordion on the other side (see the photos below).

From Mondo:
Housed in a package designed and constructed by Alan Hynes, this pop-up, accordion style jacket creates a rainbow diorama of the titular Oz, complete with subtle easter eggs littered throughout. Remastered for vinyl, featuring 54 tracks from the film itself (including the full original soundtrack, outtakes, extended versions, and alternate versions never before released on vinyl) pressed on 3x 180 gram colored vinyl from legendary pressing plant RTI, and limited to 3,000 copies.

TRACKLIST
Side A
1. Main Title (The Wizard of Oz) (1:58)
2. Trouble In School (Extended Version) (1:20)
3. Farmyard (Outtake) (0:38)
4. Over The Rainbow (2:45)
5. Miss Gulch (Extended Version) (2:45)
6. Leaving Home (1:26)
7. Crystal Gazing (Extended Version) (1:48)
8. Cyclone (Extended Version) (2:18)
9. Munchkinland (2:28)

Side B
10. I’m Not a Witch (0:51)
11. Munchkinland Musical Sequence (6:08)
12. Threatening Witch (Extended Version) (2:12)
13. Leaving Munchkinland (1:21)
14. Good Fairy Vanishes (0:34)
15. Follow the Yellow Brick Road / You’re Off To See the Wizard (0:49)
16. The Cornfield (2:46)
17. If I Only Had a Brain (Extended Version) (3:44)

Side C
18. We’re Off To See the Wizard (Duo) (0:34)
19. The Apple Orchard (Extended Version) (1:35)
20. If I Only Had a Heart (Extended Version) (3:12)
21. Witch On Roof (Extended Version) (0:53)
22. Bees & Tin Woodman Lament (Partial Outtake) (1:53)
23. We’re Off To See the Wizard (Trio) (0:25)
24. Into the Forest of Wild Beasts (1:14)
25. The Lions Confession (Outtake) (0:48)
26. If I Only Had the Nerve (0:41)
27. We’re Off to See the Wizard (Quartet) (0:26)
28. Poppies (1:43)
29. The Spell (Extended Version) (3:19)
30. Optimistic Voices (1:09)

Side D
31. Sign On the Gate / The City Gates Open (Extended Version) (1:16)
32. The Merry Old Land of Oz (1:52)
33. Change of the Guard / Wizard’s Exit (Outtake) (0:29)
34. If I Were King of the Forest (Extended Version) (4:16)
35. At the Gates of Emerald City (Extended Version) (3:13)
36. Magic Smoke Chords (0:36)
37. Terrified Lion (0:39)
38. The Haunted Forest (Extended Version) (3:13)

Side E
39. The Jitterbug (Outtake) (3:23)
40. The Jitterbug’s Attack (Extended Version) (1:00)
41. The Witch’s Castle (Extended Version) (3:09)
42. Toto Brings News / Over the Rainbow Reprise (Extended Version / Outtake) (3:03)
43. March of the Winkies (Extended Version) (2:46)
44. Dorothy’s Rescue (Extended Version) (3:10)
45. On the Castle Wall (Extended Version) (2:29)

Side F
46. Ding-Dong! Emerald City (Outtake) (1:14)
47. The Wizard’s Exposé / Emerald City Graduation Exercises (Extended Version) (3:53)
48. Fill-In Awards / I Was Floating Through Space / Balloon Ascension / Second Cher Balloon Ascension / Second Cheer (1:44)
49. I Hereby Decree (4:13)
50. Delirious Escape / Delirious Escape Continued / End Title (Extended Version) (3:32)
Bonus Tracks
51. Main Title (The Wizard of Oz) [Alternate Take with Unused Tag] (1:54)
52. Over the Rainbow (Partial Take) (0:34)
53. Over the Rainbow (Alternate Take) (2:05)

Judy Garland on the MGM Backlot

In 2021, I expanded on a previous article in “Garlands for Judy” and published a new section, “Judy Garland on the MGM Backlot.”

Thanks to the help of Steven Bingen (co-author of the fantastic “MGM Hollywood’s Greatest Backlot“) and several others, I was able to identify spots on the backlot where some of Judy’s most famous scenes were filmed.  For instance, did you know that the famous “On The Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe” number was not filmed on MGM’s Western Street on Lot 3 as previously thought?  It was filmed on the nearby Bill The Kid Street which was the section of MGM’s Backlot #3 that was dressed up to be the fictional town of “Sandrock” in The Harvey Girls.  It’s also the spot where “Cody College” in Girl Crazy was filmed.  Likewise, Polly Benedict’s house as featured in the Andy Hardy films was not on the New England Street as assumed but over at the Small Town Square

There are many other fun details, photos, and special interactive maps at the new section that give the reader a special tour of MGM’s backlots.  They might not survive today, but hopefully this section brings some of the magic of the backlots back to life.

A few highlights are shown below.

Lot 2

Below left:  The versatile Small Town Railroad Depot on Lot 2 stood in for the Trolley station in 1944’s Meet Me In St. Louis.  
Below Right.  The New England Street was the location of several of the homes that Judy’s characters lived in, as well as those of her co-stars.

Lot 3

Left to right below:  
Filming on the newly constructed St. Louis Street on Lot 3, built in 1943 for Meet Me In St. Louis (1944); an overhead shot of arrival of the Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe train in The Harvey Girls (1946) on the Billy the Kid Street on Lot 3; Judy’s musical mentor Roger Edens watches Judy during the filming of the “On the Atchison, Topeka, and the Santa Fe” number on the Billy the Kid Street on Lot 3. 

FINAL NOTES

In 2021, John Meyer opened up his “vaults” and shared previously unreleased and very rare Garland performances.  It’s fascinating stuff and a peek into Judy’s final years, as narrated by John himself.  A must have for Garland fans everywhere!

Order the 2-CD set here. 

Sparkling New Blu-rays!

In 2021, the Warner Archive gave us three new Blu-ray releases to enjoy.  With a couple of minor exceptions, all are completely remastered in HD from the original 3-strip Technicolor negatives.

In The Good Old Summertime

Release Date:  August 17, 2021

CLICK HERE to order!

 
This new edition, while a great and worthy improvement over the previous DVD release, pales in comparison to the previous Blu-ray upgraded transfers from the Warner Archive.  The image has a flatter, less robust look with little to no film grain.  This is probably due to the fact that the source elements for a couple of reels were not the 3-strip Technicolor negatives (they are apparently lost).  The Archive did not promote this as a new 1080p transfer (they didn’t promote it at all), probably for that reason.  However, it’s still worth the upgrade as the image is overall still gorgeous and a huge improvement over the DVD.
 
Special Features:
FitzPatrick Traveltalks shorts:
Chicago the Beautiful
Night Life in Chicago
Theatrical Trailer
 

The outtake (film and audio) of “Last Night When We Were Young” is inexplicably missing.  Its omission here is puzzling.

Before & After Screenshots

Here are some before and after screenshots that show the differences in picture quality from the old standard DVD to the new, remastered edition on this Blu-ray.  The upgrade makes a big difference in the overall enjoyment of the film what with the colorful and extravagant sets and costumes.  It’s definitely another “must-have” Blu-ray.

Ziegfeld Follies of 1946

Release Date:  June 15, 2021 

CLICK HERE to order!

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Page here.

Judy raps!  Yes, that’s right.  Judy raps – and raps well.  Pre-dating rap by several decades, Judy raps in a portion of her satire “A Great Lady Has An Interview” (aka “Madame Crematante”).  This is one of the few MGM Musicals to have the entire soundtrack survive in multiple “stems” (microphones placed strategically around the sound stage), making the enjoyment of the film a feast for the eyes AND the ears in true stereo.

Special Features

  • Vintage MGM “Crime Does Not Pay” short The Luckiest Guy in the World 
  • 2 classic MGM cartoons:
    • The Hick Chick
    • Solid Serenade
  • Featurette Ziegfeld Follies: An Embarrassment of Riches
  • Audio Only Extras: [* indicates audio new to this disc that wasn’t included in the previous DVDs)
    • * Here’s to the Girls – Alternate Take with Unused Ending (Fred Astaire)
    • * Liza – Unused Musical Sequence (Avon Long & Co.)
    • We Will Meet Again in Honolulu – Unused Musical Sequence (James Melton & Co.)
    • * A Cowboy’s Life – Unused Musical Sequence (James Melton & Co.)
    • * ‘E Pinched Me – Partially Used in “Limehouse Blues” Sequence (Kay Thompson Vocal)
    • * Look at Me, I’m an Indian – Partially Used in Opening Puppet Sequence (Fanny Brice Vocal)*
    • * You’ve Gotta Start Off Each Day With a Song – Unused “Pied Piper” Sequence (Jimmy Durante Vocal)
    • * Leo the Lion Speaks – Unused Sequence
    • * There’s Beauty Ev’rywhere – Unused Finale Sequence (James Melton & Co.)
    • * Love – (Spanish Language Version Performed by Lena Horne)
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Audio in both remixed Dolby Surround Stereo and original Mono
  • English Audio Subtitles: English, French & Spanish (feature film only)

Oddly enough, the audio outtake of If Swing Goes, I Go Too by Fred Astaire that was on the previous standard DVD releases is not included here.  Those same DVDs included the theatrical trailers for MGM’s two other Ziegfeld films, The Great Ziegfeld (1936) and Ziegfeld Girl (1941) along with the trailer for Ziegfeld Follies of 1946.  Only the latter is included here.  

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Page on Ziegfeld Follies here.

Annie Get Your Gun

Release Date:  April 20, 2021

CLICK HERE to order!

Check out The Judy Room’s Filmography Page here.

Although the film has been remastered, it was hoped that both of Judy’s outtakes (“Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly” and “I’m an Indian, Too”) would have gotten the HD upgrade but they didn’t.  No matter, the complete footage for “I’m An Indian, Too” is still not included.  That’s a shame because the entire production number is fascinating, even in its unrestored form.  Here is the footage as released on VHS in the 1980s.  It’s obviously not the best print in the world but it’s still very compelling to watch.

Flashback: 2011 Year in Review

The Year in Review was in landscape format for the first time in 2012, featuring details about the events and releases of 2011. And what a year it was!

2011 was a year to remember for Garland fans.  There were home media premieres and re-releases; the 50th anniversary of Judy’s legendary concert at Carnegie Hall; two new books; two new CD sets; a fantastic Garland film festival at New York’s Lincoln Center; a retrospective of Judy’s television years at New York’s Paley Center; a retrospective of Vincente Minnelli’s films at the Swiss Film Archive in Lausanne, Switzerland; several wonderful auctions, and more!  Be sure to check out this PDF of the complete 2011 Year in Review to see everything.  Highlights are below.

It was such a fun year that I was inspired to create the fun video seen here.  And while 2021 might not have been as big a year as 2011, 2022 is bound to be great what with all of the planned events surrounding the celebration of the Judy Garland Centennial.

Here are highlighted pages from the 2011 Year in Review that demonstrate all of the fantastic things we were treated to ten years ago.
Download the complete PDF here.

Statistics

The “hits” to the website (www.TheJudyRoom.com) actually went down in 2021 from the previous year.  In 2021 the hits were a little over 100k which was 2k under the 102,710k in 2020.  Previously, in 2020, the hits jumped up by 30k which was the highest yearly jump in the site’s history.  That jump was probably due to the pandemic forcing more people to spend more time at home and thus more time online.  This lower 2021 number is still 3k over the pre-pandemic numbers, so I have no complaints!

As shown in this world map, the hits to the site come from, quite literally, all corners of the globe.  I love that!  The complete list of countries is also shown below for those who, like me, are curious about stats like that.

The top referrals came from search engines (Google was #1), Facebook, and Wikipedia.  The most popular content (after the homepage) was The Judy Garland Discography, The Filmography, The Concert Years 1966-1969, and The Concert Years – The 1950s.

The Judy Room’s YouTube Channel continued its rise that began with a huge jump in 2020 (in went from 179k to 1.6 million views).  In 2021, the view increased to 1.7 million.  October was the biggest month of the year.

The top video was “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” as performed by Judy and Tony Bennett on her TV show on July 30, 1963.  It bumped the previous top video to the number two spot (Judy and Barbra Streisand’s duet of “Get Happy/Happy Days Are Here Again”).  Of the top ten videos, six were performances from her TV series of 1963/64 which is a reflection of the fact that there is still a huge audience for Judy Garland’s series.  We’re still waiting for the series in HD on Blu-ray or 4K! 

The rest of the top ten was rounded out with a non-series TV appearance, an MGM film clip (Summer Stock), and two videos that are non-Garland film clip focusing on the art of dance in film.   

The blog (www.JudyGarlandNews.com) followed the trend of the website with a drop in hits.  There were only four new posts to the blog in the entire year, another indication of 2021 being a slow year in terms of Garland news, products, and events.

In 2020, the hits to the blog were 116k.  In 2021 that number dropped to a little over 101k.  The map is similar to the website’s map shown above in that, even with the drop, the hits came from all over the world but this time minus Greenland.

The biggest referrals came from Facebook, search engines (Google), then Twitter

The most popular pages/posts were: “On this Day” and “Judy Garland’s Films Ranked from Worst to Best.”

Thank You!

I say this every year and every year it’s no less true.  In fact, each years it’s more true.

No one does any of this alone.  I have so much respect and gratitude for everyone listed here.  Without you and your support & help none of this would have been possible. 

Thank you! 

In alphabetical order: 

Armand DiNucci 
Art Smith  
Bobby Waters 
Brian Stamp
Bruce Hansen
Bruce Jasman
Colin Ayres 
D.J. Schaeffer 
David Alp 
David Fantle
David Plotkin 
Deb Anderson 
Doug Brogan 
Fred Hough 
Jay Scarfone
Jeff Klein
Joe Marchese 
John H. Haley 
Joseph Ebneth 
Kim Lundgreen 
Kurt Raymond 
Lawrence Schulman 
Liza Minnelli 
Michael Siewert 
Mark Milano 
Nolan McCormick 
OzCon International
Peter Mac 
Raphael Geroni 
Randy Henderson 
Randy L. Schmidt 
Rick Smith 
Robert Gold 
Robert Welch
Sara Maraffino 
Sharon Ray 
Stan Heck 
Steve & Rick 
Turner Classic Movies 
Warner Archive  
William Stillman 

The members of: 
The Judy Room’s Facebook Page 
The Judy Room’s Facebook Group 

And 

JUDY GARLAND

Judy Garland 1935
The Wizard of Oz green vinyl release for Record Store Day on April 19, 2014