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May 11, 1958: Judy Garland fills U stadium with song

Posted by: Ben Welter under Minnesota History, Minnesota newsmakers Updated: June 4, 2011 - 6:33 PM

 

Accompanied by 32 “hand-picked” members of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, Judy Garland fought through a case of laryngitis to help her home state celebrate its centennial. More than 20,000 gathered at the U’s old Memorial Stadium on that steamy Sunday afternoon to hear Garland belt out such hits as “The Trolley Song,” “Rock-a-bye Your Baby (With a Dixie Melody)” and “For Me and My Gal.” Midway through one song, she stopped and said: “Can I start again? I missed the lyric. Isn’t this terrible? I was trying to be so good.”

Garland, born 89 years ago this week in Grand Rapids, Minn., finished the show with – what else? – “Over the Rainbow.” The incomparable Barbara Flanagan covered the performance for the Minneapolis Star. Her story, posted previously in Yesterday’s News, describes Garland as a little jittery at the start. Maybe she was dehydrated. A timely glass of orange juice, offered by a nearby congressman, fueled her successful finale.

 

The original caption for this photo by Jack Gillis of the Minneapolis Star:

Here’s Judy in a black knit chemise as she sang to the crowd. She was accompanied by 32 members of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra. In addition to special material, the Grand Rapids-born actress sang such hits as “Rockabye Your Baby With a Dixie Melody,” “The Trolley Song” and “For Me and My Gal.”

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