Two For Tuesday: Judy Garland


I think of Judy Garland, and I draw a blank. Her professional success and painful personal life have been documented in many biographies, so I see no reason to go over them here. She was a talented singer and actress whose films make regular appearances on Turner Classic Movies (Ted Turner bought the MGM catalogue about 25 years ago), and her albums and videotape of her many television performances are still around to remind us of what a tremendous talent she was. And my guess is a lot of boys fell in love with her as Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz.

She sang “The Trolley Song” in 1944’s Meet Me In St. Louis. You might remember Nora Dunn and Jan Hooks playing lounge singers on Saturday Night Live and how they would break into this.

She starred in Summer Stock with Gene Kelly in 1950, where she sang “Get Happy.” Early in her years at MGM, Louis B. Mayer convinced her she was fat and unattractive. He hadn’t seen this clip.

Judy was an icon in the gay community, particularly among gay men, who appreciate her talent and empathize with the struggles in her life. When she was asked how she felt about that, she replied “I couldn’t care less. I sing to people.”

Judy Garland, your Two for Tuesday, January 10, 2016.

8 thoughts on “Two For Tuesday: Judy Garland

    1. Especially at the time, when the likes of Louis B. Mayer ran the studios and actors’ contracts were more like indentured servitude. I’m convinced that’s where her troubles began.

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  1. She is brilliant and was brilliantly troubled. She is one of my favourite singers and my favourite rendition of Over The Rainbow is from a tv special, quite grainy, where she sings this song right after singing a tramp song made famous in Easter Parade. She sits down ready to sing, misses her cue so the band begins again and she sings this with such heartache, tears in her eyes that I cry every time I see it. In this trolley song, if you listen closely, one of the men says her real name(Judy) instead of her character name. In Summer Stock, you first see her on a tractor and she was heavier(who cares) and it’s a delight to watch her dance with Gene Kelly. Right after this she had a breakdown and went away and got well, slimmed down and felt rested. When she returned MGM wanted one more routine for this film so they filmed this great song, Come on and get Happy. The problem is you see the big difference before she goes “onstage” to do this piece and the after she is back to her weight before she went away. No matter what, she was an immense talent.

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    1. Right, who cares? It’s Judy Garland! She had more talent in her finger than just about everyone else in the movie, no matter what movie we’re talking about. MGM broke her.


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