Did You Know?
This first Judy Garland Show episode broadcast was not the first episode taped. CBS executives, emboldened by negative comments written by studio audience members, decided to show this later-taped program featuring Donald O'Connor, a friend of Judy's since early childhood when both were vaudeville performers, after making substantial changes to the series' staff and threadbare format. In the long view of hindsight, it is often written that the series premiere got good reviews. This is partially true. Judy herself got good reviews but the show itself did not. Judy's broadcast premiere episode beat NBC's rival, the extremely popular western Bonanza, but by her second time around the following week, Bonanza re-took its lead, permanently. What will never be known is how the critics and viewers would have reacted had the taped premiere episode had been the first one broadcast. That one featured Judy's old friend Mickey Rooney. The team of Rooney and Garland had been the first and most successful teenage movie team. The taping was a smashing success with a studio audience filled with CBS stars. It was also filled with CBS executives who, before long, began pestering Garland with ostensibly helpful suggestions. The result would be disastrous; Garland, since her triumphal 1961 comeback, was accustomed to lavish praise. Now, she was the target of incessant critique. The result would be disastrous. CBS and Judy jointly announced that she had decided to quit the grind of weekly television after 26 episodes, but in reality, she was canceled. Several programs would fill Judy's time slot afterward, all of them quickly-canceled ratings flops, until two of Judy's guest performers during her series took over: the Smothers Brothers. See more
Stout Hearted Men
Music by Sigmund Romberg
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Performed by Donald O'Connor See more