Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Judy garland was present when Arthur Freed was presented with the Legion Of Honor in 1953.


Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, and Sid Luft at the Premiere of Sinatra's The Man With The Golden Arm.

From Gumm To Garland

From the imagination of Meg Myers.


Photo: AP
Judy Garland, background, left, waves with her children, Liza, 15, top right, Lorna, 9, center, and Joe, 6, on Jan. 2, 1962, as they were about to board a plane at New York International Airport

The singer and actress Judy Garland left a body of films and popular music that her fans, and her family, still celebrate. Garland died in 1969. Her daughter Lorna Luft struggled with the loss, but that today she is working to keep her mother's legacy alive.

Judy Garland was a multi-talented performer - first known for her childhood role as Dorothy in the 1939 classic fantasy film, "The Wizard of Oz." Garland became a Hollywood icon in later films, such as "A Star is Born." And she was a popular stage and television performer, with hits like "Chicago."

Garland had two daughters and a son. Both daughters followed her into show business.

Liza Minnelli, born to Garland and her second husband, director Vincente Minnelli, became a major star and won an Oscar for her role in the 1972 film "Cabaret."

Daughter Lorna Luft, born to Garland and her third husband, Sid Luft, celebrates her mother in a stage show and album called "Songs My Mother Taught Me" in which she offers her renditions of her mother's music.

Judy Garland struggled with poor health, brought on by her abuse of alcohol and prescription drugs. Luft chronicled her mother's troubled life in a 1998 book called "Me and My Shadows." Luft was a teenager when her mother died at age 47 from what a coroner ruled was an accidental overdose of sleeping pills.

Luft has been performing since an early age. But she explains that it took years to come to terms with the loss of her mother.

"In your 40s, I think you're able to really look back and think to yourself, 'Where did it all start and how to I tell my children?' And that's what happened to me," she said. "I never sang any of my mom's songs until I was in my 40s. It was too painful. It was too hard. I ran away from my legacy for so long because it was painful because she wasn't there."

Today, Luft is 57-years-old. On stage and on her album, she recalls telling her children about a grandmother they have never known.

"You would have liked her. Momma did things no one had done. Momma was funny, Momma was fun. Momma spent money when she had none."

Judy Garland had five marriages and a turbulent life. But Luft says her mother's problems paled in comparison to her contributions as an entertainer.

"My mother's art stands for itself," she said. "My mother was an incredible force and her movies will be with us long, long after we're all gone. Her recordings will go on. Her television shows will be seen. So that's the part of my mother that is an extraordinary gift."

Luft tells young people who are fans of Britney Spears or Mariah Carey to look back to the superstar who set the standard - her mother, Judy Garland.

(This article originally appeared in VOF).


JUDY EATS (a rare happening during the early years at MGM)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


At the height of the cold war in 1959 Twentieth Century Fox invited Khrushchev to lunch and he accepted, and according to the New York Times "One of the angriest social free-for-alls in the uninhibited and colorful history of Hollywood is in the making about who is to be at the September 19 luncheon,"
Never in history has there been such demand for a ticket to an event. In Hollywood the clamoring to get in was unprecedented. To this day it remains Hollywood’s toughest ticket. Getting a front row seat to the Oscars is an easy task compared to getting an invite to the Nikita Khruschev luncheon. The lust for invitations to the Khrushchev lunch was so strong that it overpowered the fear of communism that had reigned in Hollywood since 1947, when the House Committee on Un-American Activities began investigating the movie industry, inspiring a blacklist of supposed communists that was still enforced in 1959. Producers who were scared to death of being seen snacking with a communist screenwriter were desperate to be seen dining with the communist dictator.
Bing Crosby and Ronald Reagan turned down their invitations as a protest against Khrushchev
20th Century Fox announced that it would not invite agents or the stars' spouses.. The only husband-and-wife teams invited were those in which both members were stars—Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh; Dick Powell and June Allyson; Elizabeth Taylor and Eddie Fisher. Marilyn Monroe's husband, the playwright Arthur Miller, might have qualified as a star, but he was urged to stay home because he was a leftist who'd been investigated by the House committee and therefore was considered too radical to dine with a communist dictator.
Waiting for Khrushchev to arrive, Edward G. Robinson sat at table 18 with Judy Garland and Shelley Winters. Robinson puffed on his cigar and gazed out at the kings and queens of Hollywood—the men wearing dark suits, the women in designer dresses and shimmering jewels. Kim Novak was there. And Dean Martin, Kirk Douglas, Jack Benny, and Elizabeth Taylor. "This is the nearest thing to a major Hollywood funeral that I've attended in years," said Mark Robson, the director of Peyton Place, as he eyeballed the scene.
Marilyn Monroe sat at a table with producer David Brown, director Joshua Logan and actor Henry Fonda, whose ear was stuffed with a plastic plug that was attached to a transistor radio tuned to a baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants, who were fighting for the National League pennant.
As the waiters delivered lunch—squab, wild rice, Parisian potatoes and peas with pearl onions—Charlton Heston, who'd once played Moses, attempted to make small talk with Mikhail Sholokhov, the Soviet novelist who would win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1965. "I have read excerpts from your works," Heston said.
"Thank you," Sholokhov replied. "When we get some of your films, I shall not fail to watch some excerpts from them."
Nearby, Nina Khrushchev showed Frank Sinatra and David Niven pictures of her grandchildren and bantered with cowboy star Gary Cooper, one of the few American actors she'd actually seen on-screen. She told Bob Hope that she wanted to see Disneyland.
That never happened.

Sections of this report were written by Peter Carlson.

Monday, October 4, 2010


just a few sample pages....


New files posted to the Yahoo version of The Judy Garland Experience include the audio recording of Judy's complete May, 1965 concert at Chicago's Arie Crown Theater, Josephine Baker at a 1973 concert at Carnegie Hall, The Frank Sinatra Show featuring Judy singing Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart and Embraceable You, the radio adaptation of Springtime In The Rockies starring Betty Grable and Carmen Miranda, an original opera called Modern Travel that was written and performed by Judy Garland and Danny Kaye, the recording of Judy's heart to heart with Chicago's Sig Sakowitz, rare broadcast recordings of Kate Smith, another episode of Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney's daily 1960's radio show, Judy's European interview with Jack Linkletter, Excerpts from a Kay Starr night club performance, Judy singing "Jim" and performing in two scenes on Silver Theater, and much more.

To be able to hear these recordings you need to be a member of the Yahoo experience. It is free and easy to join. Here is the link:



The Judy Garland Experience

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