Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Lorna Luft once famously joked that John Fricke was the illegitimate love child of her mother, Judy Garland, and Van Johnson.
I am starting to wonder if Lorna didn’t actually expose a truth there, because Judy Garland couldn’t have asked for a more devoted son than John Fricke.
For over three decades he has been Garland’s selfless champion, cheerleader, and knight in shining armor.
For the last five years of her life, and for several years following her death, Garland was brutally treated by the press and because of sensationalism, rumor, and out and out lying, a rather unfair and untrue persona was created of a star who was drunk, difficult, demanding, and out of control.
Nothing could be further from the truth and John Fricke knew it and made it his business to steer the public toward the light of reality. And that reality is that of a woman who worked professionally for forty five of her forty seven years, won the Academy Award, the Tony Award, a few Golden Globes, several Grammy’s, and was nominated for every other major entertainment award you can think of.
She was also a devoted mother, wife, and as a concerned and caring member of the world community she devoted much of her time and talent to various charitable causes here and abroad.
Largely because of Fricke’s efforts via books, commentary, documentaries, concert presentations, liner notes etc the world at large now rightfully views Judy as one the greatest voices of the 20th century, a major film actress, and the undisputed queen of the MGM musical, or, quite simply, The World's Greatest Entertainer.
Fricke’s latest book, JUDY: A LEGENDARY FILM CAREER examines all aspects of Garland’s film career, and in the most educational, entertaining, and enlightening ways possible. With something like 350 pages, countless never before seen photos and ephemera, and enough fun facts and behind the scenes gossip so that even the most jaded film buff or Garland afficianado will not only be satisfied, but wowed as well.
I was lucky enough to see the galleys and then the proofs, and finally a personal tour through this book with the author as my guide. But it wasn’t until yesterday when my very own copy of the book arrived in the mail that I fully comprehended the depth and richness and absolute joy found between the pages of this jewel box of a book.
Fricke writes the way Judy sang, with freshness and spontaneity.
He may have known some of the details he writes about for decades but his enthusiasm and joy for sharing them still seem brand new, and we his readers are all the luckier for it. Not only is this book a great resource, but it is an extremely well written and wonderfully charming read.
We don’t just get lists of Judy’s film and casts, we also get pre-production notes, casting info, post production and premiere information, synopses, song selections, complete listings of not only the films Judy didn’t complete, but the ones she was wanted for, in the running for, and rumored for, as well as extensive information on the several short subjects that Garland appeared in.
The good folks at Running Press deserve mention for hiring Fricke for this project and for producing JUDY: A LEGENDARY FILM CAREER with such care and style. Judy was first class all the way and John Fricke and Running Press treat her accordingly.
What with this new book, the upcoming Judy Garland London Recordings CD, the current Paley Center Garland television retrospective, and the recent Film Society Lincoln Center movie retrospective at the Walter Reade theater, is it any wonder this summer has been dubbed “The Sunmmer Of Judy?”
And is it any wonder that John Fricke had a hand in all of the above? Like I said, Judy couldn’t have asked for a more devoted son.
During Judy Garland’s lifetime people used to marvel at how movie audiences would burst into applause at the conclusion of a filmed Garland number, and if my recent visits to view her films at New York City’s Walter Reade theater are any indication, that tradition has never gone away. And thanks to her monumental talent and people like John Fricke, who love and respect that talent, it looks like Judy Garland will never go away either.
Go order this new book now, both amazon.com and barnesandnoble,com are offering it at a truly amazing discounted price.
the real THE JUDY GARLAND EXPERIENCE
A FEW LINKS
- ► 2013 (108)
- ► 2012 (290)
- On This Day In Herstory (August 31, 1967)
- On This Day In Herstory (August 30, 1963)
- NEW FILES POSTED TO THE YAHOO GROUP (for the week ...
- On This Day In Herstory (August 29, 1960)
- IT'S A GOOD DAY rare studio version
- On This Day In Herstory (August 28, 1960)
- On This Day In Herstory (August 27, 1954)
- A Few Outtakes From Judy's Blackglama Shoot
- On This Day In Herstory (August 26, 1958)
- JUDY GARLAND RARE 1963 STUDIO RECORDING OF I FEEL ...
- LIZA MINNELLI CAPITOL RECORDS TRADE AD FROM OCTOBE...
- A LUFT FAMILY PORTRAIT
- On This Day In Herstory (August 25, 1955
- On This Day In Herstory (August 24, 1957)
- On This Day In Herstory (August 23, 1939)
- MORE RANDOM SNAPSHOTS FROM THE LIFE OF A LEGEND
- A FEW MORE MGM ERA PORTRAITS (one signed)
- On Set Candids From A Star Is Born
- On This Day In Herstory (August 22, 1965)
- JUDY GARLAND RARE STUDIO RECORDING
- NEW FILES POSTED TO THE YAHOO EXPERIENCE (for the ...
- On This Day In Herstory (August 21, 1954)
- PICKLES AND TICKLES
- On This Day In Herstory (August 20, 1963)
- DESILU AUTHOR STEVE SANDERS ON THE NEW JOHN FRICKE...
- On This Day In Herstory (August 19, 1965)
- On This Day In Herstory (August 18, 1953)
- MEET ME IN ST LOUIS COMES TO BLU-RAY
- On This Day In Herstory (August 17, 1966)
- On This Day In Herstory (August 16, 1940)
- GLENDA GUMM GOES TO CHURCH
- On This Day In Herstory (August 15, 1949)
- NEW FILES POSTED TO THE YAHOO GROUP ...
- JUDY GARLAND AND JACK JONES
- On This Day In Herstory (August 14, 1966)
- MIDDLE OF NOWHERE
- On This Day In Herstory (August 13, 1941)
- On This Day In Herstory (August 12, 1962)
- On This Day In Herstory (August 11, 1941)
- DIAMONDS IN HER HAIR
- On This Day In Herstory (August 10, 1956)
- On This Day In Herstory (August 9, 1968)
- NEW CD'S REMIND US OF GARLAND
- On This Day In Herstory (August 8, 1956
- JUDY AND LUCY REDUX (more images from a friendship...
- On This Day In Herstory (August 7, 1954)
- TWO MORE FROM STEFANO
- CUKOR AND MINNELLI
- BACKSTAGE AND OUT FRONT
- CELEBRATING THE LUCILLE BALL CENTENNIAL: A JUDY A...
- On This Day In Herstory (August 6, 1939)
- On This Day In Herstory (August 5, 1958)
- On This Day In Herstory (August 4, 1950
- On This Day In Herstory (August 3, 1957)
- PHOTOS FROM A LIFE
- JUDY GARLAND AND JOAN CRAWFORD AT THE PALACE (well...
- On This Day In Herstory (August 2, 1954)
- On This Day In Herstory (August 1, 1941)
- ▼ August (58)
- ► 2010 (199)
- ► 2009 (157)