Ford Has A Judy Idea

26 Mar

The 1950s was truly the Golden Age of anthology television. In 1955, the Ford Motor group entered the fray, teaming with CBS to produce the Ford Star Jubilee. The timing of September 1955 was an ideal time to promote the new line of 1956 Fords.

The Tiffany Network and Family Of Fine Cars produced top drawer monthly entertainment. Running 90 minutes in length, each program was presented in color and boasted a constellation of stars that included: Bing Crosby, Orson Welles, Betty Grable, Julie Andrews, Noel Coward, Lauren Bacall, Claudette Colbert and Jack Lemmon. Over the course of it’s run, it was nominated for 8 Emmy Awards and won 3.

For it’s inauguration, the show cooked up The Judy Garland Show. This was a sure-win tie in with Capitol records, who, the day after the broadcast was releasing the album “Miss Show Business”.

For her part, Garland had never appeared on television to this point and was, understandably a nervous wreck, even developing laryngitis the day before the show. I’m pretty certain that her nervous condition was partially assuaged by the $100,000 (826k in today’s money) she was receiving for the show. The salary figure was a closely kept statistic as all the networks were afraid that other top performers would start demanding the same. Another safeguard was that husband Sid Luft was producing a concert formatted show that was basically a condensed rehash of her record breaking Palace engagement. And let’s face it, our girl could always put over a number while darning socks!

[via: Felix In Hollywood]


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