Friday, June 10, 2016

94 Years of Judy Garland

Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.
Judy Garland at Carnegie Hall: April 23rd, 1961 (the year of my birth)

-Judy Garland

Happy Judy Garland Day!
94 years ago today, Baby Francis Gumm was born to Frank and Virginia Gumm in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
It wouldn't be long, as legend has it, that she would be bringing the house down with a spot on performance of Jingle Bells at the age of two and a half! This would be the beginning of a life long love affair with audiences around the world.
Judy and Frank Sinatra
Like most from my generation, my introduction to Judy Garland was through the annual showings of The Wizard of Oz. I was eight years old when Judy passed on and I remember it like it was yesterday. I felt at the time that I lost a dear friend. My mom said she couldn't believe how hysterical I was over the passing of someone I did not know personally!
I'm not alone in my love of Judy. Today, in honor of Judy's birthday, I am utilizing social media for all aspects of Judy, her past, PRESENT, and future. Judy will never die and she earns new legions of fans every day.
I conducted "mini-surveys" of my Facebook friends who reached out to me today. The first is my Facebook friend, Kathleen Hochberg.
Judy Garland and Carol Burnett. Hear Carol sing The Trolley Song

When and how did Judy Garland enter your life?
Judy Garland entered my life through the movies
What’s your earliest memory of her?
Watching The Wizard of Oz
What fascinated you about her?
Her incredible vocal ability and passion! (Very last line belted in Born in a Trunk from A Star is Born!! POCATELLO I DA HO!!!) stunning...
What led you to become a Judy Garland fan?
Again, her voice
What was the first time you remember seeing her When was that and where?

Regrettably, I never met her

Christine Pedi Tweeted today: As far as I'm concerned JUDY GARLAND could do ANYTHING on film better then anyone else before or since. A star.

And from Eileen Leestar
Do you thing younger audiences get Judy Garland?I think younger audiences get her - yes 

What do you think was Judy Garland's finest "hour" in the business
Her TV show

What does Judy Garland bring out in you?

 Where do you see Judy Garland's legacy in five years?
Still Huge

 When and how did Judy Garland enter your life?

At the Westbury Music Fair and afterward  - my Father produced her last video for Fabrege

In Judy Garland Related News
Last Friday night, I saw Joan Ellison's incredible tribute to Judy Garland at Feinstein's/54 Below. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED if you see she is appearing anywhere!
Here is my quick Judy survey with Joan:
Me with Joan Ellison
What’s your earliest memory of  Judy Garland?
Hearing her sing Over the Rainbow on my Wizard of Oz record when I was 2.

What fascinated you about her?
The sense of longing I heard in her voice.

What led you to become a Judy Garland fan?
First, hearing Over the Rainbow...later, seeing her films and hearing her Decca recordings.

What was the first time you remember seeing her When was that and where?
In the Wizard of Oz on a black and white t.v. when I was pre-school age and we were living in San Antonio, Texas.

Did you have a favorite period in Judy's life that you gravitate more towards?
The films up through A Star Is Born, Presenting Lily Mars, Girl Crazy, and Easter Parade are particular favorites.

Rufus Wainwright Celebrates Judy Garland at Carnegie Hall June 16th and 17th
For two nights in 2006, Rufus Wainwright performed a love letter to Judy Garland's Judy at Carnegie Hall concert with a tribute of his own, Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall. Backed by a 36-piece orchestra, he performed Judy’s epic 1961 Carnegie Hall performance in its entirety.

On June 16th and 17th, Rufus returns to perform the shows at Carnegie Hall in celebration of the ten-year milestone with musical director Stephen Oremus.

Today, In Style Magazine remembers the iconic Judy Garland on what would have been her 94th birthday. The songstress, who stood just 4 feet 11 inches tall, may have been physically small, but her voice and personality were anything but. With each new song she sang, Garland captured our hearts and further cemented herself among Hollywood's all-time greats. Read/See MORE 

Judy Garland was born in Grand Rapids – her childhood home is now The Judy Garland Museum. The museum says Judy made her stage debut at her father's theater when she was only 2 1/2 years old, wearing a dress that her mother made for her. The city honors her legacy by throwing an annual “Wizard of Oz” Festival.” This year, the festival runs from Thursday, June 9 to Saturday, June 11. Click HERE for more info. 

I'm a woman who wants to reach out and take 40 million people in her arms. - Judy Garland

Lions, and tigers, and bears! Oh, my! -Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz

A phenomenal force on both stage and screen, and fully deserving of legendary status, there's very little that hasn't already been said about Judy Garland already. Not that we're in need of any more excuses to write about the legend herself. Gay Times Magazine

How strange when an illusion dies. It’s as though you’ve lost a child. 
-Judy Garland 

Growing up with a parent in the public eye can be tough, especially when your mother created one of the most respected and renown characters to ever grace both stage and screen. As daughter to Wizard of Oz favorite Judy Garland – who’s history, career and beloved nature needs no introduction – life for Lorna Luft has never been like most. Alongside sister Liza Minnelli, the pair watched as their mother was lifted to international fame. READ MORE

Arlene Dahl sent me this:  Judy was a very special


Judy Garland, at the time she shot "In the Good Old Summertime," surrounded by her entourage. Dot Ponedel, wearing a white blouse, is just above her right shoulder.
While I love all of the movies/concerts/records of Judy's career, I guess I prefer the later part   

While I love all of the movies/concerts/records of Judy's career, I guess I prefer the later part just
Dottie Ponedel –A pioneer with a brush!
because it's more familiar to me, more recognizable since that's when I knew her.
My impression of her changed drastically after June, 1969.  It was at that point I realized she was more than just a buddy of Dot's (Ponedel); more than someone who just came over to visit and hang out in the house.  I truly had no idea prior to that - so yes, my impression changed a great deal!  :)
Judy does not fit into the hierarchy of Show Business - she's at the very top!  Everyone else fits in.

Dot Ponedel was in close proximity to Judy Garland during the filming of some of the greatest musicals of all time. Read MORE.
Audience, the concept of audience, was very important to Judy and I'm sure whenever she was in front of an audience, they could feel her interest in them, her integrity.  Any great stage artist is capable of opening up a two-way connection between themselves and their audience and Judy's ability to do so was unparalleled.
There really aren't any of "today's artists that I like. They don't communicate anymore and they certainly don't sing - more like screeching.   Most of the ones I like now, I liked thirty years ago.

Meredith Ponedel

Thank you Judy for the gifts you have given to the world and continue to give!

With grateful XOXOXs ,

Check out my site celebrating the legacy of Dolly Gallagher Levi!


Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!   
Let's NEVER forget!

Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!
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Keeping Entertainment LIVE!

Richard Skipper,

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this wonderful post honoring Judy Garland, Richard! I'm thrilled to be included.