Friday, February 20, 2009


Looking back, it appears that multi-talented, Judy Garland lived her life on the dark side of the rainbow.

The highs were intoxicating and the lows debilitating.

She was inspired and insecure, fabulous and flawed, talented and tormented.

Born ,Frances Gumm, into a family of vaudevillians in 1922, her manifold vocal, comic and dramatic gifts made a her an adolescent star on stage, screen and radio.

Her emotional venerability and volatile relationships took a serious toll throughout her adult years. Even a spotlight couldn't lift the darkness that consumed her psyche and shrouded her soul.Still, when the incomparable Garland summoned the strength and the courage to perform , she earned critical raves, the loyalty of her fans and two Oscar nominations.

In 1963, the former child star was looking for a new career challenge and CBS television offered the opportunity. The Tiffany network had, since 1961, tried in vain to blow away NBC - TV's hit Western drama, Bonanza. To the CBS programmers, there was no higher caliber performer to take aim on the Cartwright's than Judy Garland.

With jazz icon, Mel Torme set to conduct the orchestra, comedian Jerry Van Dyke cast as her sidekick and a glittering cadre of guest stars, that ranged from Tony Bennett to Barbra Streisand, booked to appear, The Judy Garland Show was placed on the 1963, CBS-TV, Fall schedule.

Clearly she was given the series at the hand of CBS patriarch William Paley, since the network's president, James Aubrey, made it clear, publicly, that he was no fan of the little woman with the huge voice.

The series debuted On Sunday September 29, 1963 @ 9PM, Eastern time, with the versatile Donald O'Connor as Garlands's special guest.

Below is a clip from the series Holiday episode that aired on December 22, 1963 and which featured two of her children, Lorna and Joey Luft.Enjoy!!!!!

In the clip ,posted below, Garland and her daughter,Liza Minelli,perform a singing and dancing duet of Bye Bye Baby from the Broadway and Hollywood, musical hit, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, followed by some ad-lib riddled, comic cross-talk.The episode was recorded in Black and White, on July 16, 1963 at CBS Television City and aired on Sunday, November 17, 1963 at 9pm Eastern. Enjoy!!!!

By the end of the season, with the NBC's Bonanza firmly entrenched in first place, and the pressures of weekly, television production exacting a heavy price on the fragile star, The Judy Garland Show was cancelled. Garland returned to nightclubs and performed until her death.Her exemplary, show business legacy lives on.

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