Judy Garland would have been 100

“Forget your troubles, c’mon get happy”

Since Judy Garland was about to turn 100, I decided to see The Wizard Of Oz at Albany’s Spectrum Theatre in early April, and my wife accompanied me. We had never seen the film in a cinema before. There were only the two Tuesday showings, at 4 and 7 pm, so I figured it would be packed; there were less than ten of us there at the latter.

My wife said more than once afterward, “She could really act,” and I concurred. Her performance was vivid on the big screen. Of course, I had seen the movie on CBS-TV annually for several years in the 1960s, though only the last two times on a color TV. I had missed the “horse of a different color” joke.

My, those ruby slippers really sparkled when she ran. I did not know that one of the iconic dresses was missing until 2021. Nor was I aware that there was a black and white dress for the Kansas scenes and a blue and white dress for Oz. Movie magic. 

It was strange, though. In the same timeframe that I’m watching the teenage Judy, I’d also see her on her eponymous show (1963-1964) or guesting on Ed Sullivan or another program. Also, I’m sure I watched the television special Judy and Liza at the Palladium (1964). Liza, of course, was her daughter Liza Minelli, about 18 at the time. (Liza’s 1972 movie Cabaret was shown at the Spectrum the week after The Wizard of Oz.)

Only two score and seven

I never paid much attention to the tabloids at the time, so I was very surprised when Judy Garland died in 1969 at the age of 47. I’ve viewed documentaries about her life since, though I never saw Judy, the 2019 biopic with Renée Zellweger.

One last thought. When I was in the play Boys In The Band in 1975, there was a specific cue for the lead character Michael to be playing the Judy Garland track Get Happy. So that song has had a soft spot in my heart ever since.

Here’s a clip of early films from when Frances Gumm was seven until Judy Garland turned 17.
Waltz With A Swing/ Americana -Every Sunday, 1936
Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart  -Listen, Darling,  1938

Somewhere Over the Rainbow – The Wizard of Oz,  1939; plus a discussion of the isolated vocal 
Our Love Affair,  with Mickey Rooney
The Trolley Song – Meet Me In St. Louis, 1944
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Meet Me In St. Louis, 1944

Get Happy – Summer Stock,  1950
Happy Days Are Here Again/Get Happy , with Barbra Streisand, 1963?
The Judy Garland Show with Peggy Lee and Jack Carter (November 1963)
By Myself, 1964

She was accidentally slapped at the 1954 Oscars

Judy Garland would have been 100 today.

January Rambling #1: Of Oz The Wizard

This is what happens when you reply to spam email.


Gordon Parks’ Jim Crow photos still resonate, alas.

David Brooks of the NY Times: The Brutalism of Ted Cruz.

The father of a boy killed at Sandy Hook gets death threats from people who say the shooting was a hoax.

Amy Biancolli: Not alone at being alone.

Affluenza and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

What militants and the pungent salad radish have in common.

Mark Evanier’s scarlet fever.

The New Yorker: My Last Day as a Surgeon. “In May of 2013, the Stanford University neurosurgical resident Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic lung cancer. He was thirty-six years old.”

Google got it wrong. The open-office trend is destroying the workplace. “Workplaces need more walls, not fewer,” something I’m painfully aware of.

‘Lost’ Jerry Lewis Holocaust film sees the light.

Your favorite movies, re-edited, including Of Oz The Wizard, the movie arranged in alphabetical order, from Aah to Zipper. Don’t watch “of”, if you value your sanity.

Periodic table’s seventh row finally filled as four new elements are added, and the song to go with it.

British actor Alan Rickman, star of stage and ‘Harry Potter,’ dies at 69. Here are his Top 20 movie quotes.

2015: SamuraiFrog’s 50 favorite pop culture artifacts and the year in 4 minutes.

2016 in the Capital District: Salaries, food and taxes, have yourself a nice hot cup of coffee while you still can.

Metroland, RIP, and Albany’s alternative weekly Metroland nostalgic, bittersweet final issue.

TEDx: James Veitch: This is what happens when you reply to spam email.


Natalie Cole, R.I.P.

The Drifters: A Legacy of Harmony

The Beatles’ 50 Biggest Billboard Hits.

SCIENCE WARS – A capella Parody

“Cortez the Killer” – Anders Osbourne Band with Warren Haynes and Danny Louis, Island Exodus 1/18/2013

Hula Medley – Robert Crumb.

Muppets: Kodachrome and Pure Imagination.


abridged classics
How Mickey Mouse Evades the Public Domain.

Morrie Turner dies at 90; broke barriers in comics.


Coming Out as Gay Superheroes.

A Nigerian comics startup is creating African superheroes.

Google alert (me)

Is Arthur a blog cheat? (I don’t think so). And he credited/blamed me for him getting out 365 blog posts in 2015. You’re welcome.

Chuck Miller’s five most prolific blog commenters of 2015.

Get out the vote/off my lawn.

By virtue of our highly superior brains

We’re just too darn smart.

brain.r4_lightHere’s a link that I was going to use for my July Rambling except I forgot. OK, I didn’t forget, but it got buried in my e-mails: I knew it, I knew it, I knew it! Seniors’ moments vindicated.

Ever walk into a room, stop halfway in, and wonder why you were there..in that room?

Sure you have.

Or forgotten a word for a few minutes? Even a whole phrase?!

These times are laughingly called “seniors moments” or “brain farts” and they happen to most older people. They are, however, damned annoying and embarrassing when they happen…

You begin to worry about dementia.. how long do you have left before one of your loving relatives calls your doctor and tries to have you committed to a “old folks home” or the funny farm? How long before you can’t remember what your name is?

Well, worry no more.

The story is based on a post in the New Old Age Blog in the New York Times, citing an article in Topics in Cognitive Science, titled… I just read it and I still don’t remember it. Oh, yeah: The Myth of Cognitive Decline: Non-Linear Dynamics of Lifelong Learning.

The bottom line is that we of a “certain age” know so much, generally, more than younger people, “simply by virtue of having been around longer,” an older brain has to go through more stuff – suddenly, Black is Black by Los Bravos pops into my head from a K-Tel Records ad! – to retrieve information. Factor that in and “the aging ‘deficits’ largely disappeared.”

In other words, we’re just too darn smart!

Next time you get some snark from some (relative) youngster, let him or her know, “Hey, it’s just a curse of my superior wisdom!” Or whatever sentence you can memorize easily without blocking other data.
Emoticons are changing how our brains function. (But maybe in good ways.)

LISTEN to The Police – Too Much Information

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