I have been a huge Judy Garland
fan all my life - starting of course during my childhood watching little
Dorothy Gale from Kansas - fighting off the witch - trying to get home.
The first time that I had the chance to search the web - you can pretty
much imagine what, or rather who I searched for. Well - I found her! My
very first cyber Judy experience was Jim Johnson's Judy
Garland dataBase and for all it was, it was absent in it's
content my favorite Judy - the 'concert years' Judy. I began writing to
Jim - as I was in complete and total awe of what he'd done - it was an
"I'm not worthy" situation from this end of the keyboard connection. The
amount of work he has done is simply remarkable!
While at the same time that
I was enjoying the lifetime of love that Jim had committed to his site,
in the back of my mind I wanted my own Judy tribute. It was then that I
decided to do my favorite Judy, the entertainer of TV and concert
fame - and I purposely decided to cover these areas of Judy's career, to
add to, or be used in conjunction with, what Jim had created, together,
creating an on-line 'archive' of Judy's life.
Along the way, I made many
new Judy friends, a couple of them offered to 'pitch in' as they also loved
Judy the 'Concert Diva' as much as I did. If the truth were to be known,
I was hoping that someone would help, because I was frightened to enter
into this 'labor of love' alone! Judy had always given me so much,
I wanted to give something back - but I wanted this to be something that
she would have liked - that she would have been proud of - and that is
a lot to live up to! Enter many contributions from people all over the
world, we were off!
This site is dedicated to
a woman that came into this world touched the very being of our souls and
left us with a lifetime of memories, and an artistic legacy that will never
be equaled. A person who 30 years after her immortality began, still shines
as bright as ever in the hearts of those who loved her. A woman that is
considered by many to be the worlds greatest entertainer.
Much has been said and written
regarding this very talented lady, some of it may be true, most of it probably
is not. We will not get into the 'legends' that surround Judy Garland in
this tribute. Many people in order to sell a book, wanting to build their
own careers or maybe even to simply increase their own bank accounts wrote
many untruths and unsubstantiated stories about both her as a person and
as a personality. This makes the task of seeking the truth almost impossible
to find when reading many of the biographies that have been written.
Since Judy's career was that
of an entertainer, I feel that her place in history should be judged on
what she did publicly rather than privately. Time has allowed this
assessment to take place as we focus on the career of the woman - it is
the only fair judgment of her since she is no longer here: Her magnificent
talent and it's transcendent effect on a live audience. Her abilities went
far beyond voice alone. The essence of Judy Garland's art is emotion. She
can take an average song and burn right through the lyric, projecting pure
emotional substance. She was never one to hide behind any 'technique.'
She was Judy Garland - most of her life was spent entertaining - the stage
and the audience were her life.
Fadiman wrote: "As we listened to her voice, with it's unbelievable marriage
of volume and control, as we watched her, telling the most delicious jokes
with arms, legs, head, and eyes, we forgot - and this is the acid test
- who she was, and indeed who we were ourselves. She was gaiety itself,
yearning itself, fun itself. She expressed a few simple, common feelings
so purely that they floated about in the dark theater, bodiless, as if
detached from any specific personality. She wasn't being judged or enjoyed,
not even watched or heard. She was only being felt, as one feels the quiet
run of ones own blood or the shiver of the spine. And when, looking about
18 inches high, sitting hunched over the stage apron with only a tiny spotlight
pinpointing her elf face, she breathed the last phrases of "Over the Rainbow"
and cried out its universal unanswerable query, "Why can't I?" it was though
the bewildered hearts in all the people in the world had moved quietly
together and become one, shaking in Judy's throat, and there, breaking."
Judy had a gift that allowed
her to touch the hearts of those who watched or listened. It seemed
that people began 'pulling' for her because her success was their success
since she practically grew up right in front of America's eyes. Judy was
best known as the girl next door through her many popular movies of the
1930's and 40's, such as Dorothy in the MGM classic The Wizard of Oz and
Esther Smith in Meet Me In St. Louis. She became the girl next door - that
when she left M-G-M in 1950, her outsized talent propelled her to
become the most sought after stage performer of her time - or to some of
us, any time.
That being said, what this
website will discuss is what kept Judy going during the last years of
her life here, her love of an audience, her artistry of the live performance
- whether that place be on television, or on stage. A place where a 4'11",
100 pound lady (give or take!) can hold anywhere from tens of thousands
of people in an arena, to millions of people on the small screen, in the
palm of her hand. A part of her career - that spanned the 1950's and the
1960's and her live performances!
So, here's to us, we who
remember, that appreciate and care about what true talent really is, who
have a burning inside us to listen - just one more time, to feel her reach
into our hearts and souls and leave with us with so much more than what
Judy Garland will be talked
about a long time after most of us are nothing but a faint memory - and
I'm very happy to be able to participate by making this small contribution
to her latest 'comeback' - but - as she herself often quipped, she never
did really go anywhere.
I would also mention of some
very special people.
Authors John Fricke, Steve
Sanders, Scott Schechter and Al DiOrio who collectively have done more
to maintain the integrity and protect the memory of the woman and the artist
than anyone. These four men have done everything humanly possible to set
aside all the rumors, stories and legend to find the true story of Judy
Garland - the entertainer. Almost all of the information for this
website used in the "Judy Garland Television Show" - was found in Coyne
Steven Sanders wonderful book, "Rainbow's End, The Judy Garland Show."
Most of the date specific information where relating to Judy's life in
the movies and on the stage were primarily taken from John Fricke's research
and borrowed by me from his various publications on Judy, particularly
"Judy Garland - World's Greatest Entertainer." Guys, thank you from the
bottom of my great big sappy old heart for helping to keep her name out
in the public, to help keep her light shining brightly for the next generation
of Garland fans.
More recently - for Steve
Sanders and Scott Schechter who have helped make any Judy Lovers dream
come true with their work on the new Pioneer Entertainment venture, FINALLY
making The Judy Garland Show available via Pioneer DVD. Some of us
have waited a lifetime for this - and what better possible format.
I would also direct visitors
to view the "Contributors"
page. This site would be threadbare if not for the generous 'donations'
of Judy's fans that have sent in countless items now on display here.
Bless all of you!
So, with all that (if you've
made it this far!) - I'm going to shut up and let you enjoy the site!