Coyne Steven Sanders
is the author of the book, Rainbow's End: The Judy Garland Show [ISBN 0-688-09088-5],
published in hardcover in 1990 by William Morrow & Co. In 1992 his
book was released by Zebra Books in paperback [ISBN 0-8217-3708-2] and
is still widely available in this format. The hardcover can still be found
as a special order, i.e. some internet book stores which find copies of
the hardcover from various sources, such as
Judy Garland was at the pinnacle
of her career when she signed with CBS to star in a multi-million dollar
weekly television series. The Judy Garland Show immediately became
the most exciting -- and explosive -- event of the 1963-64 television season,
unleashing a storm of controversy that has not ceased in over thirty years.
The Judy Garland Show
seemed sabotaged from the very beginning and became a single-season casualty.
CBS plunged the program into chaos -- tampering with its format, hiring
and firing staff members and refusing to move the series away from NBC's
then the highest-rated show on the air. At the same time, Garland was locked
in a high-stakes power struggle among network executives, staff members,
an estranged husband and her managers, Freddie Fields and a pre-Indecent
Exposure David Begelman.
Lavishly illustrated with
dozens of rare, previously unpublished photographs,
-- written by a former television news journalist -- draws upon candid
interviews with nearly 100 key people involved in the day-to-day production
of the Garland series. Rainbow's End is the extraordinary on-camera
and behind-the-scenes saga of the singer's last dazzling moment at the
top that was The Judy Garland Show -- a so-called television "failure"
that in recent years has been "rediscovered" and lauded with tremendous
critical and popular acclaim.
Many years in the making,
Steve's in-depth investigation, research and original interviews with nearly
100 people closely associated with The Judy Garland Show have finally
put to rest many of the misconceptions, half-truths and (often self-serving)
lies which for years unfairly tarnished both star and program. In direct
contrast to Mel Torme's earlier memoir about the Garland series, Sanders'
critically acclaimed book presents Judy not as impossible, temperamental
and woefully undisciplined, but instead reveals a vastly different Garland
-- one very aware, sharp, funny, compassionate and always working to make
her series a success.
Publisher's Weekly called
End a "sensitive yet straightforward treatment." Liza Minnelli: "The
only book I've read about my mother -- and the only one worth reading."
Lorna Luft has said, "I love the book because Steve is one of the few who
understood my mother's problems -- and her genius." And, offered columnist
Liz Smith, "This book stands, in many ways, as Judy's final testament...Here
is a work that celebrates Garland's talent and her professionalism...a
meticulous, behind-the-scenes look..." And, to Steve, the highest compliment
perhaps came from Lorna, who confided, "You've captured my mother completely
in this book. She's alive on these pages."
It's been twelve years since
the original hardcover release and people still to this day ask questions
-- and share some definite opinions! -- about the book, the Garland series,
and Judy's work and personal life in reference to the series and in response
to issues raised in my book.
Since my book's release in
paperback in 1992, Mel Torme has re-released his book with a new introduction,
rather defensively mentioning Rainbow's End (though not by name) in trying
to defend his book, which is riddled with chronological errors, self-serving
bending of facts and incidents and, above all, his "take" on Judy, which
remains largely negative and not only unsympathetic, but untruthful in
the telling. I say this because the overwhelming reaction to the nearly
100 people I interviewed for the book squarely came out on Judy's side
--although I did not write the book with any agenda. Certainly, I wanted
to the book to reflect Judy in a positive manner, but I also approached
the task from a journalist's point of view. I was prepared to "go with"
whatever the final mix came out to be. It is clear in my research that
Mel didn't protect Judy or the series; he was looking out for himself.
Happily, Judy Garland was
(largely) vindicated by my interviews (and research of things written at
the time), particularly going against the Torme perspective that Judy didn't
care, didn't work, didn't try, or didn't ATTEND. She was, in fact, THERE,
in more than just the literal sense of being at CBS Television City. She
worked very hard to make the series work, and in the process was in constant
battle with the network, certain CBS executives, and her managers, most
notably the notorious David Begelman. Her personal problems contributed
to the demise of the series, to be sure, but her problems were not THE
reason for the failure of the series; they were a small but contributing
factor. They were, for the most part, "manageable," the word used by her
first executive producer, George Schlatter.
And what makes the shows
even more significant, historically, is that they do present Judy's last
sustained effort in her career. More importantly, they capture the last
moments of Judy near her zenith and, as I wrote then, in complete control
of her resources. And critical response to the shows (even in limited release
to date) continues to be overwhelmingly positive; many current-day reviews
note they didn't remember Judy "being that good." Well, of course, WE always
knew. The rest of the world is now catching up in terms of how (largely)
first-rate Judy was on these programs.
So, if I can answer any lingering
questions you have from reading the book, please ask. And if you have a
thought or an opinion about Judy relating to the shows or other aspects
of the book, feel free to share them here as well. A final note: I have
only been online for about two months now and when I signed on I was truly
overwhelmed, bombarded, really, by the outpouring of reaction and positive
response to the book when it became known that I was on the Net. The book
was such a personal labor of love to be sure, but after seven years, in
some ways I had thought that, while the book might have made a bit of a
splash at the time (in revisionist terms of what it had to say about Judy
in a positive sense vs. the Torme memoirs), I really had thought Rainbow's
End had been forgotten in time; John Fricke's "World's Greatest Entertainer"
is probably the best all-around book ever written about her in my mind.
You've mentioned (in the JUDY List)
the thrill of us having not only one, but SEVERAL "Judys" on the series
(5 or 6) ... Could you give us a breakdown of the different ones (and shows
she "appeared" on?) ("There's a farm in Pasadena that GROWS Judy Garlands!")
by Scott Schechter
Well, okay. Remember, this
is a subjective account! And I'm not sure there are actually six until
I run down all 26 episodes during the course of answering this question.
(I know nothing gets by this group...)
The first five episodes are
Judy #1. The Schlatter hours: Judy's hair is more relaxed, curled, more
subtle makeup, attractively gowned, but (except for #2 Basie) not dazzling
Judy #2: Jewison hour #6
(Lawrence); rested from hiatus; looks great. (Unique look to this show
only in make up and hair.)
Judy #3: Jewison #7
(O'Connor); Jewison #8
(Maharis) - Jewison #9
Judy #4 - Shorter hair style,
which she had done while in Manhattan during brief production break --
(Bolger) - Jewison #11
Judy #5 - #12
(Damone) and #13
(Peggy Lee) [This is the beginning of the teased "Jackie Kennedy" hairstyles
she would maintain for duration of the series.] Particularly in show #12
and somewhat for #13, Judy also looks less rested and more drawn than in
previous shows; not coinidentally, this is during the period she had a
series of intensive production meetings with CBS president Aubrey in New
York about the course and fate of the series; Judy wanted Schlatter back,
as Jewison was leaving after show #13. No wonder the turmoil shows, though
not in performance.
Judy #6: Colleran #14
(Raye). Show #14 marks the introduction of the basic hair style
she would more or less keep for the remainder of the series; also from
show #14 on, her make--up became more pronounced, more theatrical. Judy's
performances (particularly #16-#18) were somewhat looser during this cycle.
Judy #7: the concert/semi-concert
installments (shows #20
One more Judy than I thought;
this is very important. If we go into another paperback printing, I'll
have to demand a correction! I wrote "six" -- what was I thinking!
Can you (at SOME POINT) give us a WEEKLY BREAKDOWN of the NIELSEN Ratings
for each airing? (For now, can you give us an OVERVIEW? .... I know the
Broadcast of 9-29-63 had the highest rating and BEAT "Bonanza"
in the ratings! ... SORRY I had to use the "B" word!!! .... "Bonanza" is
a FOUR-LETTER word to me!!! ... ALONG with FREDDIE and DAVID and CMA, and
JAMES AUBREY!!!!! .... "Don't Get Me STARTED!!!") Submitted by
A: Only Scott Schechter
would ask for, and expect, week-by-week ratings breakdown for the Garland
series! We all love him, but frankly, we think he's out of control. At
least he didn't ask for audience SHARE numbers as well as ratings, right?
I think it's probably best to sum it up by saying that Judy indeed posted
her best numbers on the premiere episode, and performed well (though not
as well) the next week, which was the Streisand hour. The ratings then
held steadily in the low twenties and thirties (then when there were 84
shows rated) until the end of November, and then the show dropped to 66th
out of 80. As I wrote, Judy posted a 14.0 and Danny Kaye only a 17.0, but
Danny was renewed and stayed on CBS for three seasons; he was a favorite
of CBS president Aubrey, and to be frank, the show was far less problematic
and less expensive to produce. The concert programs did much better in
the ratings, rising to the low 30s (this sounds like a weather report!),
but it was too late. Two things to remember: musical variety shows were
on the decline by this point; comedy/variety shows were doing better. And
Aubrey's sitcoms like "Beverly Hillbillies" were dominating the airwaves.
And, CBS had 9 of 10 top shows on the air that season; the only thing marring
that record was Judy not beating "Bonanza"; Aubrey saw Judy as being personally
responsible for not making it a clean ratings sweep.
Was Judy as pleased with her work on the series as she SHOULD have been?
... I'm with you, Steve : I think the series is the FINEST work of her
career .... CERTAINLY her adult life, and CERTAINLY the FINEST RECORD we
have of her as an ADULT PERFORMER ... of the CONCERT ARTIST!
Submitted by Scott
Was Judy as pleased
with her work on the series as she "should have been" as you asked? Was
Judy as pleased with any of her work as much as she "should have been"?
The kids told me that she would watch the programs with them in the den
of the Rockingham house; sometimes she would have lavish parties with Roger
Edens, Mickey Rooney, Jayne Meadows and others during the airing. Other
times, she would watch the shows alone with the kids and critique her performance
as she watched, telling Liza, "Oh, I flubbed that line," or "Oh, I could
have done that one better." Younger Lorna remembers Judy as being "very
proud" of her work on the shows. Bill Colleran told me that Judy only really
began to completely warm up to her own work, her own level of performance,
when the concert format began. She took great pride in the format, championing
CBS, having the ratings go up as a result. It was a very personal accomplisment,
and vindication. She had listened to the so-called experts and they were
wrong; her way was the right way. I don't think the concert format would
have really worked for 26 weeks solid (particularly when there was no dialogue
on some of the concerts), but her basic instict about putting the emphasis
on music was certainly the correct one.
But, of course, wouldn't
the best way, the most logical way, was Norman Jewison's suggestion that,
like Andy Williams, Perry Como and others, that Judy only do one a month,
and rotate with other specials. That would have been perfect. Given her
time to rest, rehearse, make it more of an event, and still a constant
money source for her. A shame it was never considered, but that didn't
seem to fit into CMA's blueprint.
Do you think, or feel, that we'll EVER get the ENTIRE SERIES released --
from the 2-Inch Video Masters -- not only on tape, but also on Laser Disc
AND on the NEW and Improved DVD ?? (Digital Video Disc) (A Side - Related
Question : WHY did the Christmas
Show airing on NICK AT NIGHT last December, 1995 -- LOOK so GREAT,
even better than the wonderful 1995 LaserLight Video release , and yet
the Nick At Night airing was missing some of the "sweetening" : i.e: Added
applause; an occasional NOTE that was flubbed by the orchestra, etc ...
Do you think that the ORIGINAL, ORIGINAL TAPES that the shows were SHOT
ONTO at CBS, STILL actually EXIST????!! I'd SWEAR that that's what this
Christmas Show tape used on "Nick At Night" WAS ..... NOT a final "AIR"
Tape, but the ACTUAL, ORIGINAL Videotape that was recorded at CBS ....
Understand? .... Hope I wasn't being TOO TECHNICAL here for everyone ....
What do you think about this, Steve?)
Q2: Will the episodes
ever be available to the public? I recorded the Judy, Liza, Barbra and
Ethel off of Disney, but that's the only one I've ever seen. Submitted
For any of us
who have seen the Garland series tape dubs taken from film transfers (however
good) or from actual video masters, it is a completely different viewing
experience. No wonder that we all wish to see, and have, these shows direct
from the video source. I have recently been able to compare years of watching
film transfer copies to now seeing these shows from video, and it is a
100% difference. Obviously, with tape, it makes it much more immediate
and electrifying. Judy looks much better (better than from film images,
which tends to make faces full of contrast and shadows). The sound is very
different; it is alive and rich, compared with the flat sound of the film
There is an excellent chance
that at least some of the lesser (or some of never at all) material will
see the light of day soon. I just spoke to Sid Luft about this very recently.
He has a major deal pending, but at this point it is only for 50 audio
tracks; he is investigating deals which would allow for simultaneous video
compilations. He even asked me last week if "there was a market" for releasing
all 26 episodes as is. While I know that WE here would like that, from
a pure marketing point of view, I honestly don't know whether that would
work. Perhaps release the strongest shows in full one-hour form and then
edit some of the lesser entries; in some of them, like the Basie and the
Merman programs (not lesser entries, but uneven), Judy is virtually not
seen for the first half, except for the opening number.
I suggested that perhaps
one way to go in releasing all 26 shows (via TV, direct market or catalog,
perhaps not retail) would be to charge a bit more for each tape, but put
two episodes, and not just one, on the tape and put a lesser show with
a strong one, say Barbra with Donald O'Connor; I'm not saying do that,
but that's just my example. That way, the casual fan gets the prized one
(Barbra) and the collector gets both. So, that's a possibility.
Without going into great
detail here, it should be noted that Sid only came into having the original
video masters for all the shows only three years ago. Until then, he had
(superior) film transfers of about 13 and 13 video-to-video copies,but
they were from CBS and the Canadian Broadcasting Company, not from the
original 2" masters. Now that he has the originals, they make for better
duplicating and audio tracks. Plus, these tapes also have outtakes, alternate
takes and the like. Which opens up a whole new door of possibilities.
A2: This may cover
ground we've already discussed, but Sid Luft does now finally have the
video masters to all 26 episodes. That means, the air versions (with sweetened
appaluse, edits, etc.) plus the "raw" material, which includes outtakes,
alternate performances, clapperboards, stops and starts (like the false
start for "Be My Guest" from Streisand, the "Tea" with Steve Allen, the
freeze-frame opening of show #17's "They Can't Take That Away From Me"
where the girl dancers are replaced by the boy dancers in tuxes; on the
tape, for example, she holds her pose while the dancers change from girl
to boy; also on that same show, "By Myself" gets a prolonged standing ovation,
not seen on the final air version.) Also, that means Sid has the unaired
material from show #26 as well.
To answer the other part
of your question, these are indeed the actual "CBS" tapes and Sid has all
the material. Now that all shows exist on video, there is an entirely new
market for them, since they are so far superior to the film transfers;
they also lend themselves much better to colorization, if Sid decides to
take that route.
write in your book that the audio of Battle Hymn from the dress rehearsal
was grafted onto the second take; but when I've watched it, the audio/visual
seem to match perfectly. Are they really from different takes? Submitted
|A: Yes. Until I heard
the original audio track where Judy's mike did short out, I wasn't exactly
sure where it happened myself! It begins with "....he hath sounded forth..."
and continues using the dress rehearsal audio until the "...his truth is
marching on..." end of that verse. (During that same verse, Judy briefly
stumbled over the lyric and sang "...Be my feet/my jup-ithee..."; John
Fricke tells of the story that when Judy sang "Battle Hymn" during the
1967 Felt Forum engagement, the audience sang with her and the entire room
sang "...be my feet/my jup-ithee..." based on three years of listening
to the track on the 1964 "Just For Openers" album culled from the series!)
Of the many nemeses that populated the executive offices of CBS during
the run of "The Judy Garland Show", Hunt Stromberg, Jr. seemed to be the
most malevolent. Was there a reason for his animosity? Did he have a personal
axe to grind? What is he doing now and where can I find him so I can punch
his lights out! Just kidding -- sort of. Submitted by: Gary
|A: Gary Smith from
Kingsrow asking a question about the Garland show; I always KNEW he'd come
around in time! Actually, when I ran into the "other" Gary Smith not long
after the book came out, he was angry with me, saying that I wrote that
he was responsible for the demise of the series. I had to explain to him
that I wrote what Judy THOUGHT about him in terms of him not supporting
the concert format; I also took pains to note his efforts to make the show
work, including a quote from Jewison saying without Gary, the show wouldn't
have lasted as long as it did. He seemed to accept that explanation.
As far as Hunt Stromberg,
Jr. is concerned, by all accounts, he was a very odd person. His father,
of course, was a noted Hollywood producer; Judy and Sid's West Los Angeles
Mapleton Drive home had, in fact, been owned by Hunt Stromberg, Sr. Hunt
was universally despised by most everyone he knew; Aubrey was the only
person who liked him and they seemed to forge a rather unholy bond. When
Aubrey was fired in 1965, Stromberg was immediately fired as well; neither
fared well after. He was a complex man, indeed; one would think that he
would have appreciated Judy because of his family background. But there
was also CBS infighting; Judy was caught in the middle of a power play
between Hubbell Robinson and Hunt Stromberg; Hubbell was Judy's champion
and was involved in the Ford Star Jubilee deal (he was also an ex-husband
of Judy's friend, Margaret Whiting); Robinson and Stromberg battled for
position at CBS, and with Stromberg allied with CBS president Aubrey, Stromberg
prevailed. And Stromberg apparently resented the fact that Robinson made
the Garland deal and brought her to CBS for the weekly series; since it
was not his "baby" he seemed to want to destroy it and prove that Robinson
had made a "mistake" in signing Garland. Judy was caught in the cross-fire.
I would first like to thank you for taking the time to research and write
the book, Rainbow's End. I hope that you realize the debt of gratitude
Garland fans and historians of the entertaiment industry owe you.
I have two questions. Firstly,
do you know where one may obtain commercially the outakes to the series
that you document in your book. Secondly, have you considered producing
a laser disc version of the television series with taped interviews of
the show's guests and participants. The life of video tape and the participants
to this series will not last forever. Would Sid Luft cooperate on this
Though I am a rather busy
lawyer in Vancouver, Canada, I would be pleased to assist you or others
in this venture, if feasible. I was born a month before the first Garland
show was taped. Thank you for bringing her to life for me.
Submitted by: Grant:
|A: First of all,
thanks for the kind words about the book. The book, as it says inside,
was written "for Judy" -- and to me, in a way, that includes everyone who
continues to be touched by her talent and humanity as a person and performer.
As far as your question about
obtaining outtakes of the series, except for some pirated copies of certain
moments floating around, nothing can be obtained commercially at this point.
This is certainly prized material and while I've seen some of it, I have
precious little of this stuff myself. Safe to say that this material is
locked away in vaults with the key held tightly by Sid Luft.
Sid holding tight control
of this material also is true of actual air versions of the shows as well;
from what I can gather, Sid has two versions of each episode; as aired,
and then the "raw" material comprised of performances, and -- sometimes
--outtakes, flubs, clapperboards and false starts, etc. It's great stuff,
to be sure.
And then, of course, there
is the mountain of unaired material from show #26. At one point, there
was talk about Turner releasing a laser set of material just from #26,
including "Here's to Us" and the takes from "Where is the Clown?" (itself
about an hour). I was to write the notes and John Fricke would have been
strongly involved as well. However, Sid's negotiations with Turner (to
release a considerable amount of series material overall) stalled and that
project was also dropped. Sid, however, may have now another, if less ambitious
deal pending. Of course, most of the actual aired material hasn't been
seen generally, so there's all of that material which would likely be released
(if at all) before any alternate stuff. I would think the obvious plan
would be to release certain shows as aired first; who knows if they would
ever even get to unaired material. That might take the work of a producer
"in the know," someone like Andrew Solt who did the "Sullivan" compilation
specials. Or someone who would attempt to tackle a big-budget full-scale
TV/film documentary on her life.
Funny you should mention
a video version of my book. For years, I've always wanted to do a "Rainbow's
End" documentary using new and existing interviews, along other materials
and performance footage and outtakes. And with many people no longer with
us since writing the book, it seems time is of the essence here. But nothing
has ever come of it; finding a venue, finding the money to produce it and
the clearance payments required by the various unions make this a daunting
However, if you can arrange
financing and want to back this project, let me know and I'll immediately
arrange a meeting for us with Sid! I'm sure he'd be very interested, but
remember Sid would undoubtedly want substantial financial and likely creative
participation, as he is sole owner of this material.)
You being an attorney might
be very helpful in putting this together; if nothing else, I'm sure Sid
could use you now, or sometime soon, to sue somebody!
I'm in the process of creating a documentary about Judy and I'm wondering
if this is something you've considered doing (based on your own book).
If you have given any thought to doing this type of project I would be
interested in collaborating with you. I would be available for editing
and research. If you're not currently involved with this type of project
I would greatly appreciate any information you can give me regarding copyright
regulations. This documentary is focused on her television image. Thank
you for your time! Submitted by: Frank
|A: I won't go into
too much detail in terms of an answer, because I believe I've covered the
ownership question of the Garland TV material in earlier questions. But,
again, Sid Luft owns all 26 shows, the 1962 and 1963 specials; additionally,
he says he holds the copyright on the 1955 Ford Star Jubilee and 1956 special
as well. While I would love to do a documentary utilizing this material,
Sid Luft is currently holding all of this material for his own use and
is presently uninterested in working with any outside companies or individuals
on such a project, primarily due to the fact that such a documentary might
be part of an overall deal he is presently negotiating with at least one
large "megaplayer," as they say in Hollywood.
Conversely, anyone attempting
to try to create or produce such a program without Sid Luft's permission
will be promptly faced by legal action, I can assure you!
But we can only hope that
out of his deal, a great full-scale documentary might sooner than later
Garland a nice lady? Submitted by: Steve
|A: I didn't know
her, but over 20 years, I've known or interviewed probably two hundred
people who did, ranging from one-time encounters to friendships with her
children and husbands. Still, I don't feel entirely comfortable attempting
to answer the question in suggesting any firsthand experience. I
can say that, based on what I've been told or gathered from the people
I've known who knew her well (or not well), and whatever high or low point
in her life they knew her (and either long or short-term) or however close
or brief the association, I always came away with the vivid impression
that knowing her was one of the most important, if not THE most important,
relationship of their lives. It's an overused phrase, but she truly
was a force of nature; and even if she was at her lowest, ill, influenced
by medication, her essence was that of a profoundly compassionate, intelligent,
caring human being who wanted to do her best and do her best for those
closest to her as well as to her audience. In terms of those people
I knew from repeated interviews about her tv series, she remains the most
profound professional experience of their lives -- and their personal affection,
their love, remains strong and unshaken by the passing years or by the
demands she might put upon them at times -- primarily based on insecurity,
trusting the wrong people, bad advice, loneliness and wanting to please.
All in all, perhaps it's best to sum up by saying what George Schlatter
told me, "She took a lot from you -- but she gave a lot more than she took."
I can also say that when I wrote a book on Lucille Ball ("Desilu"), I came
away profoundly disappointed at the woman I uncovered -- difficult, angry,
bitter, controlling and distant from her children, husband and co-workers;
on the other hand, when I concluded my book on Judy, I came away with only
more respect, gratitude, appreciation and sense of her awareness,
compassion, caring and deep commitment to her work at to those close to
her. No matter what new information may come may way, Judy, the human
being, has never disappointed me; instead, her courage, humor, intelligence
and determination to go on -- despite addiction, personal and professional
betrayal, the loss of health, voice and professional stature -- only affirms
my admiration and respect for an extraordinary human being, talent and
friend to those who truly had her best interests at heart. I hope
it doesn't betray a confidence to say that Sid Luft still deeply loves
Judy and is still in love with the woman he met and married. As he
has oft said, "She was, and is, the most extraordinary woman that God ever