Origins: A Star Is Born

They remade A Star Is Born. Again. The current version stars Lady Gaga (credited as her real name, Stefani Germanotta) portraying rising star Ally, while Bradley Cooper plays Jackson Maine, mega country star who helps Ally get her start, even as his own career is hitting the skids. If the story arcs the way its predecessors … Continue reading Origins: A Star Is Born

Advertisements

Judy’s Voice

Right off the bat, I want to let it be known that I'm not an expert on the voice. I have played piano for many years, although I'm a little rusty now, and I did study voice for about fourteen years. So, while I'm not going to go all Sarah Brightman on anyone, I do … Continue reading Judy’s Voice

Marrying In Haste

World War Two was a heady time, and on-the-fly decisions weren't uncommon. Like getting married, for instance. 1942 has one of the highest marriage numbers on record in the United States. Some of these couples had been together for a while, but whirlwind courtships weren't unheard of. Sometimes called "gangplank marriage" or "shoving-off marriages," they … Continue reading Marrying In Haste

No Business Like Show Business

Miss Showbiz has made yet another comeback, people. We in the twenty-first century have no firsthand knowledge of vaudeville in its heyday. The family show of a century ago, vaudeville featured song-and-dance people, skits, comedy, magic acts, animal acts, and basically anything respectable that could be done before an audience. Perfomers would travel circuits according … Continue reading No Business Like Show Business

End of an Era

Long before MGM put his story on the screen, Florenz Ziegfeld was dipping his toe into Hollywood. The first film he produced was 1917's The Land of Promise. Starring Billie Burke, the film is a straightforward story of farmers and romance. It's also, unfortunately, lost. Other films were takeoffs of his stage shows, such as Rio Rita or Whoopee.  Only … Continue reading End of an Era

Three Ziegfeld Girls

While The Great Ziegfeld is a terrific movie, only a small percentage of it focused on the actual making of the Follies. We barely even got to see those famed stairs. Like Broadway, the Follies are a big subject, and in 1941, MGM revisited them in Ziegfeld Girl. Starring James Stewart, Judy Garland, Lana Turner, and Hedy Lamarr, … Continue reading Three Ziegfeld Girls

Judy Garland Lived Here

Judy's life was an odyssey and like most of us, her place of residence changed frequently. I thought it would be interesting to post current-day photos of as many of her former homes as possible, preferably using Google Maps. There was only one slight hitch (and being a Californian I should have remembered this): Mansions … Continue reading Judy Garland Lived Here

Mick and Jootes

One of Old Hollywood's sweetest stories is the long-enduring relationship between Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney. They knew each other almost all their lives, and while romance never entered the picture, there was always more than friendship there. Both started in vaudeville at very young ages (Mickey was eighteen months old, while Judy was two-and-a-half), … Continue reading Mick and Jootes

Accentuate the Positive

Here we go--time to talk about Miss Show Business! I've said it before and I'll say it again: When people think of Judy Garland, they most often go right to the sordid parts of her life. This is a huge shame, because to the people who knew her, Judy had such a gift for bringing … Continue reading Accentuate the Positive

On One Hand: My Five Favorite Classic Stars

It's National Classic Movie Day again, and Rick has another question for us bloggers: Which five stars are your favorite? Eeeep. That's even tougher than last year's challenge. Anyone who's an old film lover knows there's so much to like about the Golden Age. Me, I always enjoy watching the repartee between Katharine Hepburn and … Continue reading On One Hand: My Five Favorite Classic Stars