Judy Garland Timeline

Highlights of Judy Garland's life and career.

This timeline is dedicated to the late Scott Schechter. Scott was tireless in his efforts to get previously unreleased material and information into the hands of both Judy's fans and her daughter Liza's fans. Thanks to his efforts, we now have many amazing performances at our fingertips. ;xNLx;;xNLx;Scott's book "Judy Garland - the Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Legend" is the ultimate Judy Garland timeline ever produced. The book features tons of detailed information, all laid out in chronological order. ;xNLx;;xNLx;This timeline draws from the information in Scott's book as well as other sources such as biographies, CD liner notes, and of course the Internet.;xNLx;;xNLx;There are many ways to view this timeline. Use the wrench icon at the bottom right of the screen to customize your viewing experience. You can browse by category, or browse all categories at once.;xNLx;;xNLx;You can also change the type of view you want or do a simple word search.;xNLx;;xNLx;Be sure to check back from time to time for new additions.;xNLx;;xNLx;Enjoy!

Frances Ethel Gumm is born

Frances Ethel Gumm is born in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. The third and youngest child of Frank and Ethel Gumm. Frances' two older sisters are Virginia & Mary Jane.

MGM Audition

Judy's father takes her to an audition (again!) for MGM. This time, Judy wows everyone and is offered a contract.

FILM DEBUT: The Big Review

Performing as "The Gumm Sisters," Judy and her sisters make their first film for Vitaphone. The film is shot over 3 days, June 11, 12, & 13th just after Frances' 7th birthday. The short premieres on August 14th at the Fox Belmont Theater in Hollywood, California. The short is a "two reeler" and eighteen minutes in length.

Gumm Family Visits Los Angeles

The Gumm family takes a vacation west to California. They perform along the way. After their return, they decide to move there.

Film Shorts

Judy and her sisters film three shorts as part of "The Vitaphone Kiddies" for "Vitaphone Varieties" (part of Warner Bros). The films were made at the First National Studios in Burbank, CA in two-color technicolor. The films are: "A Holiday In Storyland" singing "When The Butterflies Kiss The Buttercups Goodbye" (as "The 3 Kute Kiddies" and Judy (Baby Frances) has her FIRST ON SCREEN SOLO: "Blue Butterfly;" "The Wedding of Jack and Jill" with Judy singing a solo of "Hang Onto A Rainbow;" and "Bubbles" with the sisters singing "The Land Of Let's Pretend" (Baby Frances has a partial solo). The audio for all of these films has survived. A black and white print of "Bubbles" also survives.

Chicago World's Fair

The now famous cross country tour. Destination: The Chicago Worlds Fair.

First Studio Recordings

Judy and her sisters, known professionally as "The Garland Sisters", recorded several tests for Decca Records. The recording session took place at the Recordings Incorporated Studios at 5505 Melrose in Hollywood, California. Judy's Mom, Ethel Gumm, played the piano for the tests. This is Judy's first known recording session in a studio (the shorts from 1929 & 1930 were recorded live on-set during filming), and the first time records were made of her voice. Judy and her sisters sang "Moonglow". Judy then made two solo tests, one of the song "Bill" and one of a medley of "On The Good Ship Lollipop/The Object Of My Affection/Dinah." Judy's two solo records were found and surfaced in the 2000's. Click on the link below to read the details.

La Fiesta De Santa Barbara

The sisters make their last appearance together, in the Technicolor film La Fiesta De Santa Barbara performing "La Cucaracha" - although the film is produced by MGM, it is one month before Judy's audition and subsequent contract with the studio.

Cal-Neva Lodge Appearance

The sisters appear at the Cal-Neva Lodge, Lake Tahoe - Frances introduces Mary Jane to a young musician whom she would soon marry, and the chain of events that brings Judy to MGM: On their way home to Los Angeles, they discover they have left some hats back at the hotel. They go back, and Judy goes in to retrieve it - the owner "Bones" Remer wanted Judy to sing for a few friends of his - the songwriter Lew Brown and agent Al Rosen - she sings "Dinah" and Rosen gives her a slip of paper to have her mother call him when they return to LA. They do, and this results in Judy getting auditions at various studios, culminating in her now famous audition at MGM.

The Shell Chateau hour

Here is Judy's first "official" appearance after signing with MGM. It's MGM's program "The Shell Chateau Hour with Wallace Beery" on NBC Radio. Judy had just signed her contract with MGM and is only 13 years old! This recording gives us a glimpse into the raw, unrefined talent that Judy was before that talent would be polished and trained at MGM throughout her years with the studio. We get the chance to see just what all of the excitement of "discovering Judy" was all about. Remember, no one else sang this way back in 1935 (Sophie Tucker & Ethel Merman come close by way of being "belters") - and certainly no 13 year old could come even close to the way Judy could sing with such power, richness, and emotion. Her talent is so obviously "God given." Judy would later sing "Broadway Rhythm" as part of the finale sequence in Presenting Lily Mars in 1943.

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