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The Judy Garland Show vs. Bonanza

And "Bonanza", that idiotic western , consistently won in the ratings. Can someone who was alive then explain how that stupid Cartwright family could be more fascinating than watching a living legend, even then, knock you out with her singing (live) every week ?

by Kay T.reply 28701/03/2015

Timing is everything - back then, Judy was kind of considered a 'has been'. She had not had a real starring role in films, in almost 10 years ("A Star Is Born"), her Carnagie Hall concert, and recording, was over 2 years before, and she had mostly been in the press for her divorce (from Luft), and child custody issues, and her bad health. People were just kind of worn out with her antics (think Lindsey Lohan, but with enormous talent).

by Kay T.reply 109/14/2013

Huzzah, OP! What red-blooded American boy would want to watch a pack of rusticated rowdies when he could delight in the spectacle of a twitchy, manic, washed-up screen goddess crowing her way through "Swanee?"

by Kay T.reply 209/14/2013

OP, sorry to say that The Cartwrights trumped Judy mainly because it was a family oriented show, and westerns were dominating the airwaves at that time.

No disrespect, but Judy wasn't for everyone.

by Kay T.reply 309/14/2013

Sorry R1, Garland was on a career high at the time she signed her deal for the series with CBS: The concert tour that preceded and followed Carnegie Hall, the publicity from her comeback (she had big write-ups in Life,in Look, in all the women's magazines), the double Carnegie Hall album which top of the charts for more than a year, her big 1962 TV special which won critical acclaim and big ratings, her appearance on the Jack Paar show which was also a ratings winner and a critical success.

CBS was signing a winner, not a loser as you suggest. But then Aubrey did everything possible to hinder the shows success.

by Kay T.reply 409/14/2013

What R1 said. Plus, "The Judy Garland Show" went through several incarnations, with producers, writers, and key personnel getting hired and fired, so the writing was on the wall -- this was a sinking ship. The first incarnation was sketch comedy/variety show featuring show regular Jerry Van Dyke, who never really caught on with the audience. And Judy's appeal was limited to specific segments of society, whereas "Bonanza" was wholesome entertainment that the whole family enjoyed. And straight little boys back then loved westerns.

by Kay T.reply 509/14/2013

CBS bought the Garland series based on her successful specials (and successful Paar appearance) and then tried to turn her into a Garry Moore or a Dinah Shore. (Do people today even remember Garry Moore?)

by Kay T.reply 609/15/2013

For what it's worth "Bonanza" was the most popular show at the time, and would continue to be.

I've often thought CBS should have put "The Judy Garland Show" on at a different time and let it build an audience, and then switch it to Sunday nights. By all rights it should have been popular, given a proper chance.

by Kay T.reply 709/15/2013

Because we preferred to watch Adam Cartwright take his shirt off at regular intervals.

by Kay T.reply 809/15/2013

r9 The voice of reason, at last.

by Kay T.reply 909/15/2013

Garland should have been doing Specials and not a series.

R1 is correct in his comments.

It's funny, as a kid, I only knew Judy Garland from the event broadcast of "The Wizard of Oz". The morning after that showing, every kid in America knew of Judy Garland.

So it was shock for me to see the adult Garland with her slightly slurry speech and twitchy mannerisms.

My parents who grew up with her films did not care for her as an adult. For most people at the time, she seen as a "drunk" who squandered her career.

by Kay T.reply 1009/15/2013

The cool theme song, Pernell Roberts taking off his shirt, Michael Landon's trouser-bulge, and those great Chevy commercials. As a kid, I was in heaven!

by Kay T.reply 1109/15/2013

I haven't watched it decades, but Bonanza seemed fun as a kid, it wasn't a chore to watch it. I'd rather watch Judy's show now though, definitely.

by Kay T.reply 1209/15/2013

I would have watched Bonanza. Judy seemed exhausting to watch.

by Kay T.reply 1309/15/2013

CBS also signed Danny Kaye to do a weekly variety show, and he was given the Wednesday night at 10 time slot, not wanting to go up against "Bonanza." Despite what some have posted Garland was probbaly a bigger star than Kaye in 1963, so CBS thought she might beat "Bonanza."

In reality, it's amazing Garland was able to work at such a high level for one full season despite the poor ratings. Kaye was more in tune with middle America, and was far more capable of doing a succesful variety show year after year.

by Kay T.reply 1409/15/2013

America wasn't ready for something as raw and powerful as Judy's show was at the time. CBS was no help either, not realizing the massive range of talent they had on their hands. Bonanza was safe family entertainment. Garland was unmasked emotion, right in your face and without any apologizes.

One season. Yet what a season it was! So many gems that can easily fit into any retrospective of greatest television moments of all time. But the best moment was probably Garland's tribute to Kennedy. She drew up every bit of anger and sadness the country was feeling and flung it back into each and every home that was watching. A shame she was plagues by so many issues. Between Carnegie Hall and this show, Judy would have been able to have the world at her feet again.

by Kay T.reply 1509/15/2013

R7 -I remember Gary Moore. He is also from Baltimore. So am I . He made Carol Burnett. I think she is a little of what everyone has said. She was a drunk and an addict. But her special with Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra was a hit.

She should have had a special. Like once a month. That way she is like your favorite aunt. She is funny and kind and a double shot girl. And you love her greatness. But not every week. That would have lessen the need to have regulars and made it more about her singing and interacting with the guest. She was a great hostess on her show.

But Judy couldn't compete with the Cartwrights. They awakened more feelings in me than Judy ever did. And they had a Pa. As child that was more important.

But her season is a brilliant piece of work. She see her greatness. And it is raw and honest. Hard to give up the family television night for raw and honest every week. Even if it were now. Knowing what we know. Many of us would still prefer the boys to Aunt Judy.

by Kay T.reply 1609/15/2013

R2 is right. The network spent a lot of money promoting "Bonanza" because it was in color and that sold RCA color television sets. Bonanza made people want to replace their old black & white TVs.

by Kay T.reply 1709/15/2013

Judy should've taken after Pernell and gone topless, too.

by Kay T.reply 1809/15/2013


JUDY'S VOICE SOUNDED HORRIBLE in 1963. Yes, it did. She was no longer the 1940s ingenue, she was an old woman. The voice she had in her 40s was like sandpaper.

And, no, Judy was not on a roll in '63. Her recent successes had been on stage. The TV audience didn't care about that -- they cared about movies, records and TV. Has-been.

by Kay T.reply 1909/15/2013

The sky in Bonanza was blue!

by Kay T.reply 2009/15/2013

Because Judy was a pill popping has been whose taste was all in her booze filled mouth.

by Kay T.reply 2109/15/2013

[quote] Because Judy was a pill popping has been whose taste was all in her booze filled mouth.

Judy was one of the most talented singers ever. She also had a lot of pain and struggle throughout her life. Despite that, she had a good heart, which is hard to encounter in Hollywood. At a time when gay people were oppressed beyond belief, they identified with her struggles and she theirs.

If you really understood that R23, you would change your insulting attitude, which only contributes to the image of Garland as a pill-popping no-talent better off forgotten, not an artist on the level of Sinatra or Picasso or Callas.

YOU and YOUR ATTITUDE are part of the problem, R23.

by Kay T.reply 2209/15/2013

But, R24, the Joey Luft joke you made as R22 is based on the idea that he has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome because his mother was a pill-popping lush. It would seem that YOU and YOUR ATTITUDE are part of the problem too.

by Kay T.reply 2309/15/2013

She sucked and was difficult to work with. Any actor that leaves cast and crew in limbo for days at a time, does not deserve the job. Sorry, R24 but you must be as stoned as that no talent Judy.

by Kay T.reply 2409/15/2013

Because, not everyone is a showtuning humming queen, perhaps?

Or maybe people have different tastes for entertainment, and at the time, the western genre was also at its peak?

Or maybe because the musical comedy variety shows do not lend themselves to repeated viewings.

Or maybe your implied hypothesis is correct, that Americans of the era were boors.

by Kay T.reply 2509/15/2013

R24 just because she and gays got along, you give her a pass on all her bullshit. You really are an idiot.

by Kay T.reply 2609/15/2013

"Judy was one of the most talented singers ever. She also had a lot of pain and struggle throughout her life."

Okay, after reading your speech, I BUY! I will watch! The show will be a success!

I will never get over the old queens who live for this woman. Once a great talent, but who threw it all away with booze, drugs and mental illness. In "pain." Why you guys identify with this is pathetic.

Her show was a failure. She was a failure. Deal with it.

by Kay T.reply 2709/15/2013

If Garland had been given the Wednesday at 10 p.m spot instead of Danny Kaye - and Kaye stuck on Sundays at nine, the Garland show would probably have last a couple of seasons. No more, because Judy couldn't have taken it more than a couple of years.

Kaye's show was awful but really had no competition - Wendell Corey in THE ELEVENTH HOUR and CHANNING Jason Evers in a college drama. How a has-been like Kaye who was first scheduled on Sunday at 9 p.m. (as posted above) could have the clout with the CBS brass to choose his own time slot is the mystery to me.

by Kay T.reply 2809/15/2013

BTW, thanks for that pic, R9

When I was a little girl, all my friends LOVED Little Joe. Too cute and annoying. I was more of an Adam fan.

by Kay T.reply 2909/15/2013

Because everyone had already watched a variety show -- the Ed Sullivan Show -- earlier in the evening. Now it was time to watch something else.

by Kay T.reply 3009/15/2013

R29 And what brilliant, and / or amazing thing have you contributed to the world ? You sound like a pathetic loser, who constantly puts down anyone who achieves any modicum of success, or brings enjoyment to people, while you sit in your basement, on your PC, with your mother calling down to you that your dinner is ready. We appreciate talent, life's struggles, and the courage this woman had, in her pain, to get out there and spill her guts, through song, or her acting roles. Worship ? No , I'd say appreciate - something you probably have never done the entire 21 or 22 years of your sad, miserable existence.

by Kay T.reply 3109/15/2013

[quote]What red-blooded American boy would want to watch a pack of rusticated rowdies when he could delight in the spectacle of a twitchy, manic, washed-up screen goddess crowing her way through "Swanee?"

I love you.

by Kay T.reply 3209/15/2013

I love Bonanza but think The Big Valley was the best western that was on TV.

by Kay T.reply 3309/15/2013

Judy Garland was a spectacular talent, who could rise to her greatest heights during moments on that show (for example, in the "Hooray for Love" duet with Barbra Streisand, her vocal problems are evident early on, but when she realizes what she's up against, singing with Streisand, she decides to go all out, and the part of the medley that included "You and the Night and the Music" is nothing short of astonishing.

That said, however, Michael Landon was packing some serious heat in those jeans, and if was often obvious. Well worth watching. And there was always the possibility that one could see one of the Cartwrights boinking Hop Sing. (All the women, after all, dropped like flies. Would that Little Joe's fly had dropped.)

by Kay T.reply 3409/15/2013

Oops. IT was often obvious.

by Kay T.reply 3509/15/2013

[quote]Judy was a pill popping has been whose taste was all in her booze filled mouth.

Ha! Ha! Ha! I'll say!!!!

by Kay T.reply 3609/15/2013

Hilarious thread!

Keep it coming.

by Kay T.reply 3709/15/2013

Wonderful World of Disney was on before Bonanza, and that show was a monster.

That said, Judy had the Ed Sullivan Show as her lead-in, and Candid Camera followed her. They were both top 10 shows, so clearly American changed channels after Ed and then Switched back for Candid Camera, because Judy didn't even crack the top 30.

Now that I think about it, maybe an hour of music and variety (Ed Sullivan) just before her was about all America could handle in one evening?

by Kay T.reply 3809/15/2013

Read the book "Rainbow's End: The Judy Garland Show" for the inside story of the making of the show.

Mel Torme's earlier memoir of the show (The Other Side of the Rainbow) always seemed bitter grapes to me. Torme wrote songs and musical arrangements for The Judy Garland Show until he was fired.

by Kay T.reply 3909/15/2013

Going into the 1963-64 TV season, Garland was a bigger star tha Kaye, based on ratings for her special with Sinatra & Martin, Oscar nomination for "Judgment at Nuremburg," sales of "Judy at Carnegie Hall" album.

CBS may have wanted Garland at 9 PM on Sunday regardless of what Danny Kaye said, or did not say.

by Kay T.reply 4009/15/2013

R33 = MARY!!!!

Criticism of dear Judy is soooo personal to a few of you. You make people take shots at you.

Judy's show wouldn't have lasted more than one season against anything because she was not up to the task. She took too much time off; she wouldn't rehearse; she was sick (drugs & vodka) most of the time; her voice was erratic.

by Kay T.reply 4109/15/2013

r11 My mother HATED Judy Garland. Despised her.

I never could get an explanation out of her for this hatred. As a kid of the 70s, my only reference to Judy was Wizard of Oz, so this hatred was beyond bizarre.

But if Judy's name was mentioned, my mother always had a nasty comment. And when Wizard of Oz aired, my mother went to a different room.

Incidentally, my mother also had intense hatred of several other female performers including Doris Day, Bette Midler, Barbra Streisand. All those gay icons, she disliked.

by Kay T.reply 4209/15/2013

R45 = Jesse Richards

by Kay T.reply 4309/15/2013


Did your dad have all those ladies in his music collection?

by Kay T.reply 4409/15/2013

She knew, R45, she knew. River deep, mountain high.

by Kay T.reply 4509/15/2013

r47 My parents' record collection was quite small. Maybe two dozen records. I don't recall Judy, Barbra, Doris, etc. among the collection. It was mostly Frank Sinatra, Glen Miller, etc.

r48 After I came out and learned about gay icons like Judy, Barbra, Liza, etc., it amused me no end how much my mother had hated all of them. So, yes, on some level, I think my mother knew.

by Kay T.reply 4609/15/2013

It would be pretty difficult to hate the Judy Garland of MGM films and A Star is Born. She was as talented and natural and appealing as can be. One of the greatest triple threat film stars, if not the greatest ever.

The legendary concert singer, over emotive, pseudo sophisticated chanteuse later day Judy Garland is definitely an acquired taste. She was a warm performer, with some thrilling notes and tones to her voice, but her mannerisms and vocal styling became increasingly arch and overdramatic. The vibrato was out of control, and most often so was she. She sang soft ballads and jazzy standards better than the big, corny showstopper songs that she favoured.

She was not suited for weekly television.

by Kay T.reply 4709/15/2013

NO truly big stars are !

by Kay T.reply 4909/15/2013

[quote] One of the greatest triple threat film stars

Double threat. Garland could dance well enough to not embarrass herself, but let's not get ridiculous with the accolades for her as a hoofer.

by Kay T.reply 5009/15/2013

My Jewish great grandmother loved Judy, and saw her in one of her last NYC performances. She HATED Streisand -- too Jewish.

by Kay T.reply 5109/15/2013

"She was not suited for weekly television."

Hell, she wasn't suited to be a daily mother.

by Kay T.reply 5209/15/2013


D'you have lunch?

by Kay T.reply 5309/15/2013

"It would be pretty difficult to hate the Judy Garland of MGM films and A Star is Born."

NO -- hating her in A Star is Born is so easy.

by Kay T.reply 5409/15/2013

Bonanza was an all male ensemble - that's America for you.

by Kay T.reply 5509/15/2013

Judy very often had Elvis Presley hair.

I loved Judy and I do recall watching her show, foil paper attached to the rabbit ears for better reception. It was lights out for the kids after the show but Judy always hyped me up - she was so fucking manic you couldn't help but shift around in your seat while watching her.

An interesting read is Hollywood P.I.(forgot author's name) in which a chapter is devoted to Judy. She hired the P.I. to take care of some business for her. What a nutcase she was.

by Kay T.reply 5609/15/2013

"She took too much time off; she wouldn't rehearse; she was sick (drugs & vodka) most of the time; her voice was erratic."

I'm getting hard and nostalgic as I read this....

by Kay T.reply 5709/15/2013

I know a lot of people love the nearly dead Judy of the 1960s, but her voice really wasn't very good by wobbles around and she shouts a lot and over-emotes. I find her really hard to watch--so nervous.

A pity, since she had been immensely talented.

by Kay T.reply 5809/15/2013

Are you freakin' kidding me?

by Kay T.reply 5909/15/2013

Nearly dead Judy...


by Kay T.reply 6009/15/2013

R51 one crazy anti semetic Loon

by Kay T.reply 6109/15/2013

Her show had its moments but it was really erratic in terms of quality. I think a lot of people considered her sad to watch. Oh, sometimes she could sing with brilliance, but the viewer was always reminded that THIS was Judy Garland. Not the winsome young girl of "The Wizard of OZ" and "Meet In In St. Louis" and the Andy Hardy movies, but a prematurely aged, sometimes ragged voiced woman with an addiction to pills and alcohol.

But there's a video of her on YouTube singing "Old Man River" that is stunning. The look on her face when she sings "I'm tired and weary...and sick of trying...I'm tired of living but scared of dying" says it all.

by Kay T.reply 6209/15/2013

IIRC they asked Danny Kaye to host the TV presentation of The Wizard of Oz on CBS the year that his and Judy's variety hours debuted.

by Kay T.reply 6309/15/2013

Actually Garland was in amazing voice for most of the series. During the season, she was receiving fan letters from other women singers like Ella Fitzgerald and Mary Martin.

The critics also loved her and wrote open letters in support of the show and asking CBS to get out of the way and let "Judy be Judy". The final five or six shows with Judy in concert, with only Vic Damone popping in to do a duet, have to be considered masterpieces.

Yes, the show was perhaps too sophisticated for middle America. But since when is middle-brow a good thing?

by Kay T.reply 6409/15/2013

I don't know if it was too sophisticated for middle America. My midwest parents watched it every Sunday. But perhaps it was too much Judy. It would have made more sense for her handlers to schedule a couple specials a year. She might have able to survive that.

But she was promised financial security for life and after the Sid Luft IRS fiascoes that must have been pretty appealing.

But it's a pretty fascinating record of an artist at her best, and at her just OK. But still, her just OK was pretty fucking fantastic.

by Kay T.reply 6509/15/2013

[quote]But since when is middle-brow a good thing?

Most great novels are middle-brow.

by Kay T.reply 6609/15/2013

Most great novels are not Middlemarch.

by Kay T.reply 6709/16/2013

[quote]Most great novels are middle-brow.

Oh yeah? Name them.

by Kay T.reply 6809/16/2013

Judy didn't really want to do the series, feeling she was not suited to it, but she did it with the idea she could finally be home with her kids, instead of singing her ass off every night on tour to eat.

Unfortunately, CBS didn't really know what to do with her and keep tinkering with it. Judy started off strong in terms of being in reasonable health and voice, but eventually her old habits kicked-in and she went downhill fast.

She never made a dime off the show either.

by Kay T.reply 6909/16/2013

Here's the final performance from the show that was never aired (how poetic) - Judy as Pierrot the sad clown. She hands out champagne and to the audience and milk for her kids. There's both utter defeat and personal triumph to be seen here:

by Kay T.reply 7009/16/2013

I think there is also some fascinating footage that's been seen here on DL before of a clip of Judy rehearsing a number and then footage of the actual number as seen on TV.

There is the evidence that she didn't like to rehearse but went through all the paces holding back everything (and not yet in costume and makeup) and yet letter perfect in front of the audience in the final cut.

Can someone please find that and post it here?TIA!

by Kay T.reply 7109/16/2013

R67, you are fucking NUTS.

by Kay T.reply 7209/16/2013

R75, perhaps you have different taste, but I do not understand why you would say I am NUTS, particularly when everything I say is true.

1.) During the series, Garland was receiving fan mail from the likes of Ella and Mary Martin.This has been documented.

2.) The critics did LOVE the show. They even waged a campaign to keep the show (particularly the show in its final concert form) on the air.

3.) For much of the show, Garland was performing at peak Carnegie Hall level. So much so that years later much of the material was used for the PBS special, Great Performances Judy Garland: The Concert Years. This special, more than 20 years after the series' end, itself received great acclaim.

The series was subsequently released on DVD,with far better sound than could be heard on TV sets in the 1960s. Again the series on DVD received great critical notice. By contrast,none of Garland's TV contemporaries (Dinah Shore, Perry Como, etc.) have had their TV work released decades later in DVD form.

Garland's voice did deteriorate AFTER the series ended. The show did represent the rainbow's end for her, and she was never quite the same after its cancellation. I think many here are confusing Judy during her last years with Judy at her Carnegie and TV series peak.

by Kay T.reply 7309/16/2013

Audiences didn't like the way Judy kept touching her guests.

by Kay T.reply 7409/16/2013

Look at this homage Judy did for her daughter Liza. Those final notes made me cry:

by Kay T.reply 7509/16/2013

R76, her voice sounded horrible in the series. Deal with it.

by Kay T.reply 7609/16/2013

[quote]Oh yeah? Name them.

Let's just start with everything written by Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, and Anthony Trollope. Great novelists wrote for the masses in centuries past.

by Kay T.reply 7709/16/2013

R74- Here ya go. Judy on Hollwood Palace rehearsal vs. actual performance.

by Kay T.reply 7809/16/2013

R67 is correct that Garland was at her peak during the series.

But I think the movie going public that grew up with her, never really accepted the problematic adult she had become.

There were the critics and a sophisticated niche audience that adored her, but I don't think the masses knew what to make of her anymore.


Not only was Garland at her peak vocally, she also looked great during the early 1960's. The style of the time was flattering for her. The short Chanel style suits and the soft short hair style were perfect for her.

by Kay T.reply 7909/16/2013

"But I think the movie going public that grew up with her, never really accepted the problematic adult she had become.

There were the critics and a sophisticated niche audience that adored her, but I don't think the masses knew what to make of her anymore."

Wasn't JUDY AT CARNEGIE HALL the #1 album for many weeks? I don't think a niche audience can really do that.

by Kay T.reply 8009/16/2013

She was just too big for the small screen.

by Kay T.reply 8109/16/2013

R82- Liza was on the first OZ broadcast I believe. Maybe Lorna too.

by Kay T.reply 8209/16/2013

[quote]Not only was Garland at her peak vocally, she also looked great during the early 1960's. The style of the time was flattering for her. The short Chanel style suits and the soft short hair style were perfect for her.

And marvelous looking legs too.

by Kay T.reply 8309/16/2013

Are you kidding? She looked anorexic and 15 years older than her age.

by Kay T.reply 8409/16/2013

r83 and r89, you're both right about Judy's look during the TV show. She did look like a chic, smashing-looking 56-year-old woman (even though she was 41 at the time).

by Kay T.reply 8509/16/2013

r74, also note the bruises on her arms in the rehearsal footage.

by Kay T.reply 8609/16/2013

She used to self-mutilate.

by Kay T.reply 8709/16/2013

Growing up, at the mention of Judy Garland's name my mother would say, "Ugh, that drug addict."

At the mention of Barbra Streisand my mother would say, "Ugh, she's so Jewish."

When I told her I wanted to go see the movie of "Gypsy," she said, "You're not going to go see a movie about some STRIPPER !"

My mother was pretty negative.

by Kay T.reply 8809/16/2013

But times change ... only a few years later, the Smothers Brothers dealt a blow to Bonanza, which was finally cancelled when they move it to Tuesdays opposite All in the Family and Maude.

by Kay T.reply 8909/16/2013

In 1963 Garland was only 41 years old. She looked 61. That and her wraith-like appearance were probably caused by cirrhosis of the liver.

Who's 41 today? Fishsticks Paltrow, for starters.

by Kay T.reply 9009/16/2013

Michael Landon's package

by Kay T.reply 9109/16/2013

"....the soft short hair style was perfect for her."

Soft...are you kidding?? They had to tease and spray that scalp within an inch of its life to get it to become a solid shape!

by Kay T.reply 9209/16/2013

CBS had Danny Kaye introduce The Wizard of Oz that year as a publicity ploy because he and Judy were both their major variety hour stars with debuting shows.

Of course, it's probably hard for the younger crowd on this thread to even conceive of the concept of weekly TV variety hours. They were once almost as prevalent as reality shows are now.

That year was the only year in my memory that the Oz film was introduced by anyone. Usually, I think they just showed it with no introduction.

by Kay T.reply 9309/16/2013

OP, imagine today that Audra McDonald had a concert-style show on tv and it was up against The Real Housewives of New Jersey.

Which do you think would get a bigger market share?

Add to this that Bonanza was certainly a more worthwhile use of tube time than Real Housewives.


by Kay T.reply 9409/16/2013

Wow, I don't remember any other hosts at all! Thanks for posting r100.

by Kay T.reply 9509/16/2013

If she had only lived long enough to play Joanne in Company. It would have been her swan song.

by Kay T.reply 9609/16/2013

Bonanza was very popular with GI Generation men. Strong daddy figure (like FDR, Eisenhower) with all boys like in WWII.

by Kay T.reply 9709/16/2013

I have to say, I think it was sort of wise of them not to have Judy do any introductory hosting segments for TV showings of THE WIZARD OF OZ. By junior high I was a devoted enough Judy Queen to be familiar with all periods of her career, but I do think that as a 4-or-5-year-old watching THE WIZARD OF OZ, it might have been too much cognitive dissonance for me to try to grapple with twitchy, old lady '60s Judy as being Dorothy. Even if a child realizes that these are actors playing roles, still, on some level, Dorothy is a child's point of identification in the film, and I think it would be a little weird to see '60s Judy in direct juxtaposition with her.

However, that being said, I was growing up after her death, so was pretty much not exposed to '60s Judy until I started seeking her out. For those who were kids in the '60s, were you already aware when you were watching THE WIZARD OF OZ of how "Dorothy" now looked and acted?

by Kay T.reply 9809/16/2013

[quote] However, that being said, I was growing up after her death, so was pretty much not exposed to '60s Judy until I started seeking her out. For those who were kids in the '60s, were you already aware when you were watching THE WIZARD OF OZ of how "Dorothy" now looked and acted?

My first viewing. 1956. I had just turned 6 the week before and OZ was broadcast a day or two before Thanksgiving. As I was watching, my mom walked into the den gazed at our Zenith b&w TV a minute and said to my older sister "Well, this was before she got fat (this was Judy's heavy period) and slit her wrists." That kind of started my 'there is something not quite happy about Dorothy Gale' belief. From that point on, I wanted to know everything I could find out about her. And I watched all those early broadcasts.... bought the blu ray and I may go see the 3D version next week.

by Kay T.reply 9909/16/2013

Got it wrong. The first broadcast on CBS was the first week of November not later in the month. Also Lorna was not on the broadcast, only Liza.

by Kay T.reply 10009/16/2013

How OZ should have ended. "Dorothy" in this clip was one of the Elphaba replacements in WICKED a few years back.

by Kay T.reply 10109/16/2013

Yes, Judy's troubles were well known to everyone in the 50s and 60s when there was no MGM machine covering it up. Judy's sister, Jimmy, even wrote a what she needs (a good husband) piece in a magazine in the early sixties.

by Kay T.reply 10209/16/2013

[quote]I may go see the 3D version next week.

I think you might like it r106. i saw a preview screening. The 3-d was pretty cool and because it was Imax you could really see a lot of details in the sets and costumes.

by Kay T.reply 10309/16/2013

Some one might as well post this. Three songs, ending with her version of Old Man River.

Beautifully dressed, intimate, warm and distressing. This is as good as that series got. Her voice is NOT what it once was - she looks and sounds worn, but she has herself relatively under control and demonstrates much of what was good and unpopular about her TV show. She had a great voice to lose, so even at this level she sings some beautiful phrases.

I think her version of "As long as He Needs Me" was her best vocal on her television series.

by Kay T.reply 10409/16/2013

Some of your mothers sound like nasty coozes!

by Kay T.reply 10509/16/2013

I was a pre-teen during the 50s and I don't recall hearing anything then about "Judy's troubles". The first time I heard of her was at Hebrew School where kids were raving about "A Star Is Born". I had never heard of Judy Garland back then, and had to ask my mother to take us to see it. After that I was a confirmed fan.

I remember all the excitement about her first TV special in 1955, which was a major national event. Later, around 1956, I guess, I remember kids at school talking about going to Las Vegas and how they loved her show.

I remember Capitol albums in 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959. I remember she had a history-making concert series at the Met. It was only after this that I learned she had become very ill, but that doctors had saved her life. I recall she went to London to recover and start all over. Then I remember the Carnegie Hall comeback. I remember the great article written by Shana Alexander for Life in 1961 that put the Carnegie Hall concert series in perspective. That was really the first time I heard of "Judy's troubles", but it was in a context that made the comeback seem all the more triumphant.

I guess I was lucky not to be exposed to downer gossip crap as a kid. Looking back, I understand that today with the internet, 24-hour TV, etc. there is a lot more negativity and ugliness for entertainers to deal with.

by Kay T.reply 10609/16/2013

[quote] The first time I heard of her was at Hebrew School where kids were raving about "A Star Is Born".


by Kay T.reply 10709/16/2013

r113, your post is like the opposite of the stuff in the "Dialing the Phone with a Pencil" thread... In your world, the gay kid only learned about all the latest doings of Judy Garland because he was surrounded by straight kids constantly talking about her!

by Kay T.reply 10809/16/2013

[quote]The first time I heard of her was at Hebrew School where kids were raving about "A Star Is Born".


by Kay T.reply 10909/16/2013

R113, you totally do not understand. In 1955, kids in school, certainly pre-teens, did not even know what gay was.

In 1955, 1956, Garland, at least to my knowledge, had the same audience that other big major-league stars of the period did: Sinatra, Belafonte, etc. Yes, I grew up in an affluent, Jewish neighborhood, and these were the stars our parents were listening to, and most of us kids did too. If Garland had a special"gay audience" at the time, we would not have known about it. You had to have lived during that time to understand.

by Kay T.reply 11009/16/2013

Stop talking to yourself r113!

by Kay T.reply 11109/16/2013

A once in a lifetime talent- a supreme artist and singer to be certain.

Bonanza was the most popular show in TV with a massive build in audience. She could not buck it. And it was a good show (Bonanza), one of the only adult shows my parents would allow us to watch on special occasions on Sunday night.

When I saw tapes of the Garland show decades later, I could not have cared less whether she out competed Bonanza. All I knew, and know, is we have a record of this extraordinary singer in one of her last hurrahs. To be sure her substance abuse problems are obvious. But the voice, the musicianship and artistry are on full display. For that I am very grateful.

I don't give a rats ass about what was more popular at the time. I am sure given the chance and the right set up she might have succeeded- in another time slot, Then again she was a comet burning itself out as well.

Only Streisand is in her league- gay icon bullshit. Both women's enormous world wide success over the decades and probably for as long as American show business is on record- is due primarily to the masses, not to gay men. Sure gay men love them- but gay men have always loved larger than life women- because they are not afraid to- because they can- in opera, in film, and even now in politics (Hillary).

It's a great thing to be passionate about something. I do not remotely identify with Garland either- not much about my life is much like her's. She simply was a sublime and breathtaking singer. And I loved Bonanza as a kid-

by Kay T.reply 11209/16/2013

Judy was an overrated booze bag with an OK voice who overacted in a few stupid movies.

by Kay T.reply 11309/17/2013

R120 If you are a typical 20-25 year old, as I presume, with no interest in anything that happened prior to your birth..........we are doomed

by Kay T.reply 11409/17/2013

I swear I don't understand why some people think DL is loaded to the gills with old geezers.

by Kay T.reply 11509/17/2013

Bonanza had 4 hunks - one for every age and type, from Michael Landon for the teens to Lorne Greene for the "older women" - and every one of those guys had a following (even Hoss had a following). Plus the man of the house usually decided what the family would watch in those days and you can see why it would be Bonanza over Judy Garland.

by Kay T.reply 11609/17/2013

The fact that there are 123 responses to this thread tells you all you need to know.

by Kay T.reply 11709/17/2013

I grew up watching Judy Garland's films on tv. My mother was a great fan (I know gay boy and mama, Mary!). The only thing she ever mentioned about addiction issues was "the studios treated her badly and started her taking diet pills". We watched all of her shows and specials and guest appearances on tv. As a kid, I took in the change from that lively and fresh incredible performer to the sad state before she died without being able to understand it all.

I've watched lots of her performances on youtube. Yes,she was diminished by the ravages of her life. I don't think there has ever been another performer who connected so deeply with her audience, on film, tv or stage. So immediate, so much humanity. In her prime incomparable, rivaling any dancer/singer/actress before or since.

by Kay T.reply 11809/17/2013

compilation of many of her later great performances watch 22:00 to about 28:00

Judy telling an anecdote, totally charming, then into Stormy Weather. The last part of the song showcases the incredible drama and vulnerability she brought.

by Kay T.reply 11909/17/2013

I remember when she died and the last few years when she would be on various talk shows, all shaky and fragile. I missed seeing her television show during its initial run because I was just too little. But I remember her in the later 60's. She was always uncomfortable to watch. America pretty much felt that way. You just never knew if she would do something embarrassing or just, hell, die onstage. She was bizarre and the voice was nearly gone. Everyone had a clusterfuck trying to reconcile that damaged bird with Dorothy Gale. People DID tune in (and attend her concerts) with somewhat of a "watching a trainwreck" mentality. Watching Judy Garland at that time was oddly voyeuristic, as if you knew you were watching a star burn out or self-destruct but you could not look away. There had never BEEN a star like that, who just had disaster after disaster and who did it all in "public." She had burned so many bridges by the end of her life, simply wearing out various people who had loved her but could not deal with her anymore. It was a waiting game, just waiting to hear that she had died. And the day finally came. No one was surprised.

Her show was not championed by CBS and early on was rather sabotaged for failure. They could have put her up against another show. Given her a second season. Not fucked with the format so much. But the CBS brass did not LIKE her and she did not like them. And she caused the same old problems she had in her movies, not showing up for rehearsals and being undependable. SHE would end up being letter perfect when SHE deigned to appear but she was infuriating to everyone who worked on the show, INCLUDING guest stars (Lena Horne, for instance, was livid at her for failing to show for rehearsals), and who needed the rehearsal. You can't just do it all off the cuff! So many sets and cues and routines and timed segments. So much that cannot be left to chance when a network show airs. And it all just became too much trouble. Much like what happened at MGM. The finished genius product was not worth the carnage.

by Kay T.reply 12009/17/2013

[quote]The fact that there are 123 responses to this thread tells you all you need to know.

I don't know about that, but it blows the theory that this is no longer a Gay message board all to Hell, doesn't it?

by Kay T.reply 12109/17/2013

I agree with r111's good taste. "As Long As He Needs Me", and perhaps "A Cottage For Sale" are the absolute peaks of Judy's series, and to me, perhaps her career. Stunning in their intimacy and emotional power. I know, MARY!

by Kay T.reply 12209/17/2013


by Kay T.reply 12309/17/2013

R130 - Thanks for posting that. I agree.

For those of you who think talent is sticking your tongue out, and/or twerking - watch.

by Kay T.reply 12409/17/2013

R131 here is an outake of that number, just as good as the one that made the film. Just Judy and a bunch of musicians, natural.

by Kay T.reply 12509/17/2013

Glad they re-shot it - she looks about ten years older in that outtake than she does in the version they used!

by Kay T.reply 12609/17/2013

Yes, R124, it's proof positive that there are a hell of a lot of Bonanza fans to this day.

by Kay T.reply 12709/17/2013

If the powers that be at CBS gave a crap they could have figured out what to do. But people still remember her and no one gives a crap about them so it all works out.

by Kay T.reply 12809/17/2013

I loved the Western drag and pant bulges on Bonanza but Judy won out every time. Guess I was a little prepubescent MARY!

by Kay T.reply 12909/18/2013

I assure you, R135, that William S. Paley, founder and then-head of the CBS Network, is a well-remembered individual who made a lasting contribution to American society and culture.

James Aubrey, who was the network president in the 1963-64 season, is something of a legend in the industry as well.

by Kay T.reply 13009/18/2013

Dude, that was FIFTY YEARS AGO!

Judy is LONG DEAD and so are all the "Bonanza" stars.

My God.

by Kay T.reply 13109/18/2013

It's nostalgia , my friend , for a time, and an era, when there was real talent to see on TV, not a bunch of Britney's, Selena's, Demi's, and Katy's. A time when a singer could just stand at a mic, belt out a song , and bowl an audience over. No dance moves, no gross gestures, no auto tune. Sorry if some of us long for those days. We had a Judy, a Barbra, an Ella, a Lena, and on,and on. And they were each original, and brilliantly talented. It's a longing for that again.

by Kay T.reply 13209/18/2013

At the link below is my favorite Garland interpretation of "The Man That Got Away".

This is from the 1962 Special, not her series.

The voice is a bit frayed at the edges but it only adds to the is like a patina of wisdom.

Yes, R138...that was 50 years ago, but this little clip is a work of art. A work of art.

50 years from now, the "Britney's, Selena's, Demi's, and Katy's" will be long forgotten.

by Kay T.reply 13309/18/2013

R140 Thanks for posting that version. That song is one of her very best. What a great torch song. Perfection in that clip.

by Kay T.reply 13409/18/2013

R139, rock and the other youth oriented music eventually killed the nightclub business because the kids couldn't get in to those alcohol serving establishments. Hence there was no need for those vocalists.

by Kay T.reply 13509/18/2013

R142:but many of the popular singers that came immediately afterward, and appealed to the kids of the day, carried on the tradition.

The style was different, the voices were not as grand, but there was still undeniable talent.

Not so much for the auto-tuned "Britney's, Selena's, Demi's, and Katy's"

by Kay T.reply 13609/18/2013

[quote]Judy is LONG DEAD and so are all the "Bonanza" stars.

Hop Sing? Hop Sing is dead??????

by Kay T.reply 13709/18/2013

Hop Sing dead 23 years.

by Kay T.reply 13809/18/2013

Why was she always broke? She must have made a fortune, yet she was always broke. What kind of money men did she surround herself with?

by Kay T.reply 13909/18/2013

So he was 44 when he started at the Ponderosa, letting all those cowboys have their way with him.....

by Kay T.reply 14009/18/2013

R146, Sid Luft famously gambled away the rights to all of her future earnings. Then she had no better luck with David Begelman, whose embezzlements became fsmous in the 70's.

This, from his Wikipedia entry: In 1993, a book by Coyne Steven Sanders about the history of Judy Garland's CBS Television series The Judy Garland Show (1963–64) devoted a chapter to possible embezzlement of Garland's funds by Begelman. Garland's estranged husband at the time, Sid Luft, hired an attorney to audit her income from the time Begelman began representing her with fellow agent Freddie Fields. It was discovered that several hundred thousand dollars were missing, much of it written in checks to "Cash" and endorsed by Begelman at various casinos in Las Vegas. Other entries in her accounts showed large sums paid for "protection" with no authorization, all approved by Begelman, though Garland had no personal security. In addition, a 1963 Cadillac convertible, given to Garland as partial payment for appearances on Jack Paar's television program, was titled to Begelman. Garland never knew the car was part of her compensation for her appearance. In addition, Begelman told Garland a photo existed of her, partially nude, having her stomach pumped in a hospital emergency room after a drug overdose in London, and that blackmailers were demanding $50,000 to turn over the picture and all negatives. As she was in negotiations with CBS at the time for her new TV series, Garland paid rather than face the adverse publicity and potentially damaging the deal's prospects. Luft's attorney eventually determined that the check went to a holding company with a business address in New York City owned by Begelman, and was further traced to a personal account of Begelman. Rather than confront Begelman at a time when he was playing such a pivotal role in her show business re-emergence, Garland decided to eat the financial losses based upon the promise of millions coming from the deal with CBS. Once her show was cancelled, however, she and Luft sued Begelman for the hundreds of thousands he had allegedly stolen as well as $1 million in punitive damages. Due to her dire financial situation at the time, Garland was forced to settle the suit for royalties owed her by Capitol Records that Begelman and Fields, as her agents, had collected but were holding because of the lawsuit.

by Kay T.reply 14109/18/2013

That David Begelman was a real piece of work. Obviously ripped off artists for years, but it was still another 14 years after he stole poor Judy's money, that he was finally exposed, in the Cliff Robertson check scandal. I remember when I heard Begelman killed himself, I thought he got out too easily. Would have liked to have seen him spend the rest of his life in jail, like Bernie Madoff (whom he slightly resembled). Piece of scum CROOK, masquerading as a talent executive. Good riddance !

by Kay T.reply 14209/18/2013

R143, we were talking about the night club business and why the vocal talent that worked them no longer exists. Undeniable talent of some of the newer ones has nothing to do with it.

by Kay T.reply 14309/18/2013

Begelman and his henchman Freddie Fields (who was married to Polly Bergen at the time) robbed her blind.

by Kay T.reply 14409/18/2013

My Dad decided what we watched.

by Kay T.reply 14509/18/2013

So the answer is Joos.

by Kay T.reply 14609/18/2013

Yes.....that's always the answer, when it comes to $$$.

by Kay T.reply 14709/18/2013

Ach! Das Judens!

by Kay T.reply 14809/18/2013

Wow, R45, your mom sounds exactly like mine. She thought Judy was icky and held Doris Day in the same disdain that I have for Meg Ryan. Come to think of it, she thought most Golden Era Hollywood stars appealed only to Oakies.

by Kay T.reply 14909/18/2013

An example of what Judy Garland became.

by Kay T.reply 15009/18/2013

Judy Garland rant circa 1964, in the aftermath of her TV series

by Kay T.reply 15109/18/2013

R158 Oh dear. However I have heard worse - Connie Francis live 2000.

by Kay T.reply 15209/18/2013

Her rant speaks more truth than delusion. Poor Judy.

I prefer to remember her sadness this way. Her voice is beautiful here, and the rest speaks for itself. She was an artist who sang.

A Cottage for Sale.

by Kay T.reply 15309/18/2013

Imagine that song being performed today with the obligatory over-the-top caterwauling and the audience breaking out into shrieks and applause 5 times during the number.

by Kay T.reply 15409/19/2013

Thanks, R161, for that. That clip is an example of a genius at work. Read the comments on youtube. Judy literally brought people to tears with that rendition.

by Kay T.reply 15509/19/2013

OMG, r158, that's the show where she performed sitting down and had to be carried off.

by Kay T.reply 15609/19/2013

She fell asleep (passed out) on stage in St. Louis at the Kiel Opera House.

by Kay T.reply 15709/19/2013

She also fell asleep/passed out when she performed at the Garden State Arts Center in Holmdel, NJ, in 1968. The newspapers at the time reported she "collapsed" onstage.

by Kay T.reply 15809/19/2013

My mother on my youthful love of Garland and Billie Holiday: "What's with this country's obsession with drug addicts and drunks?"

My mother probably wasn't alone.

by Kay T.reply 15909/19/2013

Was Dan Blocker loved by the bears?

by Kay T.reply 16009/19/2013

OMG that clip at R158 is hilarious. And I was inspired. The beautiful Connie Francis LOL

by Kay T.reply 16109/19/2013

Is Francis singing in Spanish in that clip? Is that gibberish? Is she having a stroke? Bizarre!

by Kay T.reply 16209/20/2013

Who plans to go see Judy 3D this weekend??

by Kay T.reply 16309/20/2013

Connie Francis now looks like Dan Blocker in drag.

by Kay T.reply 16409/20/2013

This thread should really be about the "The Smiling Cobra" James Aubrey, who did more to lower the American I.Q. than any single individual, until that Australian fellow showed up on our shores.

Judy never had a chance. And Bonanza was just another racist western, perpetuating the myth of the Aryan West. That's why Pernell Roberts left.

by Kay T.reply 16509/20/2013

Yes, Garland's voice was never the same after her overdose in Hong Kong shortly after her TV series was over in 1964. She could still sing well for a few songs most evenings, but never with the same consistency. If it was throat surgery, it was only in connection with the overdose, which almost killed Garland...very different from Andrew's situation.

by Kay T.reply 16609/23/2013

[quote]Bonanza was just another racist western, perpetuating the myth of the Aryan West. That's why Pernell Roberts left.

Aryan? Didn't you read the previous post that mentioned how the entire Cartwright clan were played by Jews? The myth of the Ashkenazi West would be more accurate.

by Kay T.reply 16709/23/2013

The Hong Kong OD was worse than all the others, and likely, the doctors had to take extraordinary measures to save her, which very seriously effected her throat.

I remember the lead story on the 11 PM news on the east coast that night was the following: Judy Garland near death (in Hong Kong). Some news outlets reported that Garland had died.

It had absolutely nothing to do with her style of singing going out of style. Sinatra sang the same type of songs for decades, and Tony Bennett is still singing them

by Kay T.reply 16809/23/2013

R174 - no surgery. It was an OD. One of many, but this one completely fucked up her health not only her voice.

She rarely learned new songs, and there is no fucking way in hell she'd be doing James Taylor or disco if she lived into the 1970s.

by Kay T.reply 16909/23/2013

So Anne Hathaway is set to play Garlamd? In Get Happy: The Life of Judy Garland. Surely there's been a thread on that.

by Kay T.reply 17009/23/2013

The clip at R158 is pretty grim. The audience's applause is very generous, considering.

by Kay T.reply 17109/23/2013

The problem with the classic vocalists trying contemporary pop in the late sixties-seventies was that their audience didn't want to hear them sing that crap and the youth audience wouldn't like them no matter what they sang. Tony Bennett singing the "hits of today" included passable pop tunes like Wave, Make it Easy on Yourself, Love Story. nothing radical. Sinatra was a complete sell out and recorded Winchester Cathedral of all things.

by Kay T.reply 17209/23/2013

A good friend of Judy's said she just couldn't have lasted - 'She just wore out" is how they put it . 'She just packed so much drama, and angst, and passion, into her work, she wasn't built to last that long'

by Kay T.reply 17309/23/2013

Sinatra sold out early, recording "Mama Will Bark" with Dagmar in the early 50's. Not that he had any integrity to lose.....

by Kay T.reply 17409/23/2013

Poor Judy, but at least Maude lassooed Bonanza. You don't mess with Maude.

by Kay T.reply 17509/23/2013

That was later. Times had changed. And seeing those thickened, middle aged guys on horses seemed more ludicrous. To say nothing of PETA's campaign against letting Dan Blocker ride.

by Kay T.reply 17609/23/2013

One of my faves: "Through the Years" -- classic Judy, she builds and builds and nails the money notes.

by Kay T.reply 17709/26/2013

I fixed it for you R188.

(Through the Years)

by Kay T.reply 17809/26/2013

Could someone go into more detail about the Hong Kong overdose?

by Kay T.reply 17909/26/2013


by Kay T.reply 18009/26/2013

Her "rant" on those tapes is pretty pathetic. Judy Garland always blamed everybody but herself for her troubles; her mother, Louis Mayer, MGM, Sid Luft. On one tape she denies being a drug addict/alcoholic and it's clear from listening to her that she was either drunk or stoned at the time. She was an addict who never held herself accountable for her own actions, an addict who could never admit being an addict.

Why did her voice become so ravaged? Drugs and alcohol, of course. I also heard her throat became scarred due to her stomach having to pumped so often due to overdoses.

by Kay T.reply 18109/26/2013

R192, you forgot undiagnosed bi-polar disorder.

by Kay T.reply 18209/26/2013

[quote] there is no fucking way in hell she'd be doing James Taylor or disco if she lived into the 1970s.

If Ethel Merman did disco, Judy Garland probably would have. She re-recorded her most well-known songs often several times.

As for Taylor, I could well imagine Garland doing Millworker, for one.

by Kay T.reply 18309/26/2013

This modern obsession with people claiming Judy had "undiagnosed bi-polar disorder" is odd. Speculating about a dead strangers alleged bi-polar diagnosis is very odd.

Trust me, a years-long addiction to Benzedrine and Seconal will turn anyone into a mighty screwball all by themselves!

by Kay T.reply 18409/26/2013

I agree r195. No armchair diagnosis is required. Judy was a speed addict for 30 years. She often couldn't sleep and acted manic. Then she would look old and feel tired. So some more. Alcohol could take the edge off the high, but it was not her drug of choice. She needed fine class barbiturates to sleep. Those upsomedown drugs ruined her life for sure, but for the purpose of this thread they fucked with her voice. You don't lose your voice in one day. She had good and bad days vocally for a long time. Like Whitney.

Speed dries out the throat, vocal chords, nasal passages lungs and skin - it is a diuretic and diverts oxygen like as crack does, but Judy did not get the full on wonderful hit until she knew it was over for her and then she became a drug addict. Garland was on a hamster wheel her whole life. She did not think she was a drug addict for a long time. So what? The end was the same.

by Kay T.reply 18509/26/2013

"Trust me, a years-long addiction to Benzedrine and Seconal will turn anyone into a mighty screwball all by themselves"

Thank you.

There's an idiot bipolar troll on DL who's going to make a cancer analogy any second.

by Kay T.reply 18609/26/2013

Another song from the "classic" Baltimore concert:

by Kay T.reply 18709/27/2013

"Speed dries out the throat, vocal chords, nasal passages lungs and skin"

Does Adderall do this too? Would Adderall affect somebody's singing voice?

by Kay T.reply 18809/27/2013

And this one:

by Kay T.reply 18909/27/2013

Let's not forget "Over the Rainbow:"

Face it, Judy apologists, she was a mess who didn't respect her audience enough to wait until after the concert to get stoned...

by Kay T.reply 19009/27/2013

Oops I meant to post those songs one at a time, not en masse.

I've had a little food poisoning...

by Kay T.reply 19109/27/2013

She sure had a forgiving audience.

by Kay T.reply 19209/27/2013

She had an addiction. And she was being taken advantage of by assholes. I agree she could wallow in self pity at times, and yes she never took accountability for anything. But I do think it got to a point where she was literally left out there all alone to fend for herself.

With the exception of her kids, did anyone really try and step in to save her? The kids were all taken in by various celebrities when Judy's issues became too much, but did anyone ever really confront Judy and call her out on her issues?

Where was Tony Bennett during the Baltimore concert when she was calling out for him? Rumor had it he was so upset by what was happening that he refused to go out there. But what harm would it have done to go out there and to try and smooth things over?

by Kay T.reply 19309/27/2013

Interesting reviews written at the time of the concert.

"Why beat a half dead horse to death!"


by Kay T.reply 19409/27/2013

I think this ex-fan put it succinctly:

"Judy Garland proved Sunday to be one of the greatest has beens in today's theater.

What a loss of time and money to be insulted by her complete disrespect for us, her fellow performers, theater owners, her own agent and most of all her children, as imagine how they feel when this thing happens over and over, all over the world.

She had better wise up and take a cure for her "food poisoning" or get out of the show business world, as she is an utter disgrace to the industry.

This has happened many times in the past.

Judy Garland does not belong in the public theater for everyone to view."

by Kay T.reply 19509/27/2013

Juhhhhdy. Juhhhdy!

by Kay T.reply 19609/27/2013

i gotta say, i know most of the jibes on here are just meant to be silly - provoke Judy fans, but in general, the venom directed at someone who's clearly one of the most talented performers ever is so transparent-- self loathing, negative people are also the most critical, trashing everything and everyone for a quick burst of feeling powerful, you'd think madonna or Judy have stolen their meth and exfoliators, rather than sing some songs we all love or at least used to love, if we're honest ... and compared to the NO talents of today (Brit, Katy, Miley, etc), i mean Judy is more of a genius than ever ...

well they dont call it that Hater Lounge for nothing, i know i know....

by Kay T.reply 19709/27/2013

Wasn't this thread supposed to be about a TV series? A classic musical series that received great critical acclaim for its star as well as criticism by same critics for the way the network mishandled its star.

Instead, there is all this crap about the end of Garland's life. Yes, the failure of the show, owing to CBS, resulted in a downward spiral. Garland never recovered from Jim Aubrey. But at least her great performances remain on tape, and no contemporary female performer can match the truth and soul they reveal.

by Kay T.reply 19809/27/2013

R206, addicts are not 'saved' by anyone but themselves. Judy apologists think of her like she was a child's and project all of their shit on to her. I get the feeling that they LIKE her messed up so they can cry over her.

by Kay T.reply 19909/28/2013

if you were an 'addict' in her era, there WAS no help, no understanding and no sympathy, just stigma and shame -- all they could do was detox you before the patterns kick in all over again-- if you dont understand that, youre just ignorant or cruel or arrogant and feel power in being cruel, period. But that covers a lot of the gay community these days, so its no surprise, just own it, compassion has no place in today's culture, it's about bitchy tweets and scandals and negativity, and trying to feel superior any way you can ... its so obvious

by Kay T.reply 20009/28/2013

Agree r124

by Kay T.reply 20109/28/2013

Bullshit R214 there was plenty of help. What you mean is there weren't a lot of Oprahs and Katies around for people to go on the airwaves and talk about their recovery to help salvage their career. It may not have been talked about but there was help. Jesus fuck AA has been around since 1935.

by Kay T.reply 20209/28/2013

wow 216, your compassion is overwhelming, and so is your ignorance -- im sure your friends and family get treated to your special brand of kindness on a daily basis, yikes!

by the way, do you get the idea of stigma? and Judy DID go to AA, according to her biographies-- if there was a Betty Ford center in the 1950s, she might have been healed ...forced rehab is what saved Liza, who decades later was living the same patterns as Judy, but she at least had money to keep her going in the bad times ...

by Kay T.reply 20309/28/2013

People who saw Garland perform in person in 1961, like me, would agree with some of kind recent posts. When healthy and in a good mood, Judy Garland was a superb, once-in-a-life-time live actress/singer.

by Kay T.reply 20409/28/2013

its SO much easier to trash someone and dismiss them, isnt it? this brand of venom is self loathing, projecting out ... as we see from the likes of Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry, Judy was a once in a lifetime talent, if you cant see that, well, how terribly sad for you ...

it takes incredible talent to twerk, wow!

by Kay T.reply 20509/28/2013

Well, she was a mess for much of her short life. Everything said is true. The fact that she self destructed and lost much of her voice doesn't negate the fact that she once was peerless.

No one has mentioned her personal style. Her gowns were lovely, modern, hair/makeup and jewelry understated and chic.

compilation of some of her great performances

by Kay T.reply 20609/28/2013

God, r218 and all your posts, you take this way too personally. We get it.

by Kay T.reply 20709/28/2013

R208t that clip of Garland's last performance, "Get Happy 'Live' 1969": the voice might be shot but the brilliance still comes through.

by Kay T.reply 20809/28/2013

well I think its ok to be serious for 2 minutes writing a post, when it makes a point that might fuel more compassion and less ignorance ... but that's just crazy ol me ...

by Kay T.reply 20909/28/2013


Trying fuel more compassion on a gossip board for pointless bitchery is like pissing in the wind.

by Kay T.reply 21009/28/2013

Or like passing wind -- the message stinks and then it's gone.

by Kay T.reply 21109/28/2013

I heard that Judy Garland did go to a few AA meetings, but decided it wasn't her thing, so she quit.

She'd spent time in sanitariums and places like that. But she never made any real attempt to stop drinking and drugging. Never.

She never considered herself an addict or alcoholic, despite all the years of drinking and pill taking. People like that are beyond help. It was inevitable that she would die from an overdose.

At her death Vincent Canby of the NY Times said "The greatest shock about her death was that there was no shock. One simply wondered how she survived for so long."

by Kay T.reply 21209/28/2013

hey 223, good point, but worth a try, pointing out on the REAL reason so many queens here constantly hate on everything and everyone is 5 minutes well spent-- still say that the stigma of 'treatment' back in the 50s and 60s would totally prevent a world famous person from effective long term treatment -- Betty FOrd type center was essential, its no accident these places didnt exist yet, remember the stigma Betty Ford dealt with when she had HER problems? short memories...

by Kay T.reply 21309/28/2013

"She never considered herself an addict or an alcoholic?"

In those days everyone drank and smoked and popped pills and no one considered themselves alcoholics. It was just the way of the world, especially in Hollywood.

by Kay T.reply 21409/28/2013

Why was the Garland show never as big a hit as Bonanza? Because Garland didn't have guns.

Both were entirely different shows with completely different audiences. And one of them had that one element of mass entertainment that has proven a success since the beginning of time: violence. Bonaza had guns and crime and chases. Combine that with its formulaic and non challenging plots, it had everything you need to be a hit American tv show. Maybe if they had a segment where once a week Judy went on a shooting spree things may have turned out different. It certainly would be more entertaining. Who wouldn't want to watch Judy shoot Martha Raye at point blank range?

by Kay T.reply 21509/29/2013

I was at a friend's house last night, and on cable TV was an old Bonanza episode. Because of this thread I wanted to watch it for a few minutes.

God-awful. Poorly acted, predictable plot. But with some ass shots of Pernell Roberts and Michael Landon's nearly-bare chest as they displayed their physical brawn. Even Lorne Greene showed some ass.

I guess sex 1963 as well as 2013. Maybe The Judy Garland Show was too sophisticated for the times? Maybe she should have had a Lyle Waggoner-type as one of her regulars? Robert Goulet was hot...maybe he could have been a regular?

by Kay T.reply 21609/29/2013

I haven't read every post in this thread but has the variable quality of The Judy Garland Show been mentioned? The awful Jerry Van Dyke? etc.

by Kay T.reply 21709/29/2013

I drunk Judy would have been like "whazz thisshh" looked in the barrel of the gun then shot herself. Then the cult of Judy would have blamed her mother for not teaching her gun safety.

by Kay T.reply 21809/29/2013

R232,don't drink and type.

by Kay T.reply 21909/29/2013

Let's blame the failure of The Judy Garland Show on the sexless Jerry Van Dyke. She would have stood a better chance with a hot-looking man as a regular. Something to compete with the Bonanza stud-muffins.

by Kay T.reply 22009/29/2013


That's what I said. But they didn't want me as sidekick.

by Kay T.reply 22109/29/2013

Maybe Judy should have made a guest appearance on Bonanza. She could have been a boozy dance-hall singer from San Francisco who comes to Virginia City and seduces Little Joe and riles up the morally upright Cartwrights. Jerry van Dyke could have come along for some comic-relief scenes with Hop Sing.

by Kay T.reply 22209/29/2013

Bonanza was in color, Garland was not. Believe it or not, but when color tvs first hit the scene, people would watch any crap in living color over something of quality in black and white. My grandfather was that way. "With what I paid for that color tv, I'll be damned if I'm going to watch something in black and white again!" Supposedly on the night Armstrong walked on the moon, he kept changing channels with the hope another network was broadcasting it in color.

by Kay T.reply 22309/29/2013

My question is, how many households actually had color television sets in 1963? I don't remember anyone I knew having one until around 1966.

by Kay T.reply 22409/29/2013

R238 There were over a million and a half households with color tvs by that point.

by Kay T.reply 22509/29/2013

Interesting article, r240...I saved it to My Favorites.

CBS was a big hold-out of black and white broadcasts. The Lucy Show, for instance, began filming in color in 1963, but was broadcast in black and white until the 1965-66 season. Why not broadcast in color if the shows were in color? I have read CBS was bitter because of its own color technology did not work, and held off color broadcasts for as long as possible.

by Kay T.reply 22609/29/2013

R241 I'm not certain, but I would guess the equipment used to broadcast in color is not the same equipment that would be used to transmit a black and white signal. If so, it would be hard for CBS to get their affiliates to spring for the new costly transmitters when they were offering only one color show and had no time frame on when they would offer more.

by Kay T.reply 22709/29/2013

No one had color TVs in 1963.

by Kay T.reply 22809/29/2013

R243 Wrong. Over a million households had color TVs in 1963.

by Kay T.reply 22909/29/2013

I remember my parents getting their first color tv. It was in one of those long credenza type cases. My mother kept a ceramic black panther with a night light in its mouth on top. Think it was 1967 0r 68.

by Kay T.reply 23009/29/2013

Were any music/variety shows on in color at the time of Garland's? Ed Sullivan clearly wasn't, judging by the Beatles clips.

by Kay T.reply 23109/29/2013

And right when colored TV started I loved how many shows weren't just in color. They were in COLOR. I saw a few Hazel episodes on Antenna TV and loved the show. So I bought the DVD collection and when it went color it was BAM! Everything was turquoise, reds, bright pinks, and bright color you could imagine.

by Kay T.reply 23209/29/2013

R246 The Andy Williams Show was in color, I think. But you're right. For them most part varieties shows were not in color. Kind of strange as they would be a natural fit for color.

by Kay T.reply 23309/29/2013

Westerns were very popular back then. Judy Garland wasn't. It's that simple.

by Kay T.reply 23409/29/2013

[quote]She'd spent time in sanitariums and places like that. But she never made any real attempt to stop drinking and drugging. Never.

Huh? How do you know? Lots of people try and just fail. I'd say if one spent months at a time in psych hospitals drying out and receiving treatment, that would signify at least a serious attempt at stopping the drinking and drugs, no?

by Kay T.reply 23509/29/2013

I was a young kid in 1949, but knew several families with televisions including my own. The same was not true in 1963 for color TVs, I only knew one family with a color television and it was an aunt who lived in NYC. Not a valid survey obviously, but my guess is that color TV in 1963 were very expensive.

by Kay T.reply 23609/30/2013

According to my dad, the first color tv his family had cost them $400 in 1969. That would be well over $1500 in today's money. But is was an RCA and they still had the same tv, running perfectly fine 30 years later! And like one poster above mentioned, his dad got the color tv in time to watch the moon landing. The joke was on him in the end.

by Kay T.reply 23709/30/2013

Little Joe.

End of story.

by Kay T.reply 23809/30/2013

"Lots of people try and just fail.'

Judy Garland never TRIED. She never even tried to stay clean and sober. She'd get in such bad shape she'd have to go to a hospital and as soon as she got out she'd go right back to boozing and pill-popping. She didn't WANT to get stop using. Anybody like that is hopeless.

by Kay T.reply 23909/30/2013

R148, ever heard "the following program is brought to you in LIVING COLOR?" That was NBC. RCA advertised their color TVs on NBC, hence more color programming.

Most people did not have color TV in 1965, that's a fact. I was 12, and watching color TV was a treat, not the norm. The color was really shitty too.

R252, I bought a 13" Sony color TV for $400 in 1975 -- the first TV I bought. I would guess in 1969, a 19 inch set would have cost $700+

by Kay T.reply 24009/30/2013

Oops, I meant R248.

by Kay T.reply 24109/30/2013

It was all about the Candy -

by Kay T.reply 24209/30/2013

Who the fuck thought of the name Candy?

by Kay T.reply 24309/30/2013

Ellie Goulding has a suitably long face. But even if she can act, she'd probably insist on doing her own singing.

by Kay T.reply 24409/30/2013

R255- HA! My first color TV was also a 13" Sony. With each new TV I bought through the years, they were bigger. I remember one of the first color shows I watched on my little Sony was THE GODFATHER when it premiered on NBC I think.

by Kay T.reply 24509/30/2013

We didn't get a color TV until about 1977-78.

It was a 19inch RCA colortrak.

My mother said she couldn't wait to see the eye makeup commercials.

She was not disappointed!

The first thing we ever saw in color was "My Fair Lady" on broadcast TV.

My father was quite cheap and didn't think we needed color TV so we never got one.

Color would not have made a difference in this house.

by Kay T.reply 24609/30/2013

[quote]Color would not have made a difference in this house.

Did you live on a farm in Kansas?

by Kay T.reply 24709/30/2013

[quote]Were any music/variety shows on in color at the time of Garland's? Ed Sullivan clearly wasn't, judging by the Beatles clips.

Shirley Temple had a program where she introduced fairy tales. I remember seeing it in color around 1960 or 1961.

by Kay T.reply 24809/30/2013

Westchester, NY

by Kay T.reply 24909/30/2013

Oh, bless your heart, r261/r264.

by Kay T.reply 25009/30/2013

Black and white photography was pretty much required by Garland at 41 looking 60 in 1963. We benefit from this now, because the clips - staging, lighting and costuming are pretty fine and sometimes mesmerizing from her television series. A few clunky sets and set ups, but Garlands' was a damned sophisticated show, yet raw as can be.

A great singer who did not always rehearse much, and didn't much care about her angles, she respected her guests and most often had fun with them. Her solos spots were not a problem, that was her life. Her vocals, varied from okay to spectacular. The directors shot a lot of great stuff on that show that should have been garbage if Garland hadn't been such a pro and a mess and everyone else had cared less. It is a one of a kind show. I understand why it failed. But it was a great, shaky, weird and brilliant success. Not permissible. No bonanza.

Aubrey had a more problematic temperament than Garland, and all the power. She should have done four specials a year, and her last years may have been better for her. The public and the network surely would have won.

by Kay T.reply 25109/30/2013

R266 nailed it.


by Kay T.reply 25209/30/2013

Whenever an asshole screams THREAD CLOSED makes one want to keep it going. You aren't the one to decide when a thread is closed, motherfucker at r267.

by Kay T.reply 25309/30/2013

Ar you new, r268?

by Kay T.reply 25409/30/2013

[quote]"Lots of people try and just fail.'

Judy Garland never TRIED. She never even tried to stay clean and sober. She'd get in such bad shape she'd have to go to a hospital and as soon as she got out she'd go right back to boozing and pill-popping. She didn't WANT to get stop using. Anybody like that is hopeless.

You are one of those mindreaders, huh?

Actually, Judy wasn't much of a drinker at all until she married Sid Luft. I imagine that in 1947, when Judy was first institutionalized at The Menninger Clinic in Topeka Kansas, the concepts of addiction and a cure through complete abstinence were not the only accepted norms the way they are today. You seem to be certain of so many things I doubt you know much about.

Did you have the clearance to study Judy's 1949 charts from her stay at The Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston before you posted? Hmm?

by Kay T.reply 25509/30/2013

[quote]We didn't get a color TV until about 1977-78....My father was quite cheap and didn't think we needed color TV so we never got one.

OMG, we must have had the same father. We got ours in 1979, and for the same reason. My dad would always say, "color TV is so new, let's wait til they perfect it".

by Kay T.reply 25609/30/2013

Judy Garland.

She had the nerve to call gay women "dyke"...the stupid bitch obviously didn't realize the majority of her female fans probably were/are "dykes".

What's the old joke? If dicks could fly her mouth would've been an airport?

Judy Garland was talented but she was a pig and had no concept of boundaries. She was her own worst enemy.

Of course her show didn't last against Bonanza- Judy Garland's skank reputation sunk her

by Kay T.reply 25709/07/2014

I was molested.

by Kay T.reply 25809/07/2014

Smell my finger Lorna.

by Kay T.reply 25909/07/2014

I just listened to the 1968 Baltimore concert mentioned upthread.

She's just pathetic--the premier musical comedy talent of the century and she's staggering. The audience is pretty forgiving, considering.

If she had lived longer--well, what would she have done to survive?

by Kay T.reply 26009/07/2014


by Kay T.reply 26109/07/2014

BONANZA was the biggest advertisement for color TV at the time. Anyone who had a color set loved showing it off to friends and neighbors on Sunday night with the big, colorful outdoor views of BONANZA. CBS had pioneered color broadcasting in the 50s but had given up on it by 1961, due to sluggish sales of color TV. ABC was the poor network at the time and barely broadcast anything in color before 1965. NBC and RCA partnered in promoting color and regular variety shows like Perry Como, Steve Allen and Dinah were in color from 1956 on. BY 1964 nearly all of NBC's primetime programming was in color and CBS and ABC followed suit in 1965.

by Kay T.reply 26209/07/2014

My family got it's first color set, a Magnavox, in 1965. It was part of one of those huge pieces of furniture where the TV was in the middle and on one side was a stereo and a radio on the other. The very first show we ever saw in color was Gilligan's Island. For many of my school friends at the time it was the same for them, Gilligan's Island. I can't remember, was that one of the only shows in color at that time. I think GI was on CBS.

BTW, my mom adored Judy Garland and went to see her live any time she appeared in NYC. My mom was like Judy, tiny, dark hair and eyes and addicted to pills, never booze but pills, all from a doctor, a doctor who probably should have lost his license. Some old German guy, that prick.

by Kay T.reply 26309/07/2014

Dude do you live in a time warp? All your posts are about shit that happened 50+ years ago.

You're like Baby Jane Hudson ferchristsake!

by Kay T.reply 26409/07/2014

Reply to R 5

You said, "And straight little boys back then loved westerns." I say, "And gay little boys loved watching cowboys dressed in 'chaps'."

Also you said, "Judy's appeal was limited to specific segments of society." Judy had the "cream of show business" on her show from old icons to new and upcoming talent. It should have worked.

by Kay T.reply 26501/02/2015

My late mom adored Judy and faithfully watched every show and cried when it was cancelled. No one in our house watched Bonanza.

What my mom couldn't stand was Jerry Van Dyke. I could never stand him either in anything he's ever in to this day, he plays the wife's father in the show The Middle.

by Kay T.reply 26601/02/2015

Judy was in rough shape during her shows, as I recall. Sometimes she had laryngitis. I remember because my mother loved her and she would get very upset when she saw the condition she was in - way too thin, for one thing.

Bonanza was produced mainly to sell color televisions, and it did that and became very popular.

by Kay T.reply 26701/02/2015

The history of this show has been rehashed all over the place. She was a trainwreck to work with. The couldn't really find the right format and she was competing with a ratings juggernaut. The show cost a lot of money and CBS was being run by a corrupt, bottom line guy who eventually lost his job because of favoritism toward an old hasbeen turned tv producer, Keefe Braselle, who was supposedly tied to the Mob. She was not in a strong bargaining position, esp. with weak audience share. She would have worked better doing an occasional special.

by Kay T.reply 26801/02/2015

My memory of Garland's series--

Good guest stars

Judy's voice was was more than adequate to get through the year

But her wit as a guest on TV shows did not carry over to being a good host; she seemed uncomfortable too often. My guess is that many people gave up early on.

That said, a number of her shows were truly great, and against all odd, she finished her series without problems until the very last show.

by Kay T.reply 26901/02/2015

She was a great guest star. She would tell very funny, probably apocryphal on the Tonight Show. I remember the reruns. Carson would be in stitches.

by Kay T.reply 27001/03/2015

I don't know if it's on this thread, but here's a "special appearance" by Judy on the unaired Soupy Sales variety pilot.

I bet she had "throat problems" so they came up with this very funny bit.

I never had more respect for Ernest Borgnine.

Just ignore Soupy Sales. Everybody else did.

by Kay T.reply 27101/03/2015

Garland's first appearance on a talk show was with Jack Paar in prime time in 1962. Paar kept her on for the full 60 minutes.

Some people believe that appearance led to her CBS series in 1963-1964.

by Kay T.reply 27201/03/2015
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