THE story of Judy Garland’s life continues to fascinate film-makers – the latest movie about the Hollywood star who shot to fame after playing Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, is currently lighting up cinemas and winning awards around the world.

Glasgow was captivated by Judy too, when she visited the city to perform at the Empire Theatre in May 1951.

“Before she had sung a note,” said the Evening Times reviewer, “a wild reception greeted Hollywood film star Judy Garland to the Empire last evening.”

Glasgow Times:

It continued: “The ovation was perhaps untimely, but was in no way undeserved, for Miss Garland sang a medley of old favourites with wholehearted sincerity, while more recent numbers had the real Garland stamp of vitality behind them. And, of course, one would expect to hear Over the Rainbow – in fact, it was inevitable after such a barrage of requests from the audience. The star obliged and sang the popular melody as her finale.”

The Herald, sister newspaper of The Evening Times, was a little stiffer in its review, describing Judy as ‘strenuously engaging’ after a nervous start.

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The reporter said: “Judy Garland, still clinging to the recollections of a successful childhood into which a multitude of fans are only too willing to join her, began her performance at the Empire last night a little nervously.

“But after two songs she said, ‘My feet hurt’, and kicking off her shoes became strenuously engaging, when, as the rather mature shadow of the star of the Wizard of Oz, she sang at least some of the songs the audience demanded of her.

“It was a retrospective performance, skilfully casual, discreetly hoydenish. She thumped around the stage in her stocking-soles and kept time to her singing with her big toe, and appeared herself to grow quite emotional about Over the Rainbow.

“She mopped her brow, and she wiped the tip of her nose with the back of her hand – in the hollow of which she by that time had her audience. And she sang with a strength that sometimes came near to stridency, particularly in her high and final notes.”

Glasgow Times:

Judy Garland was born Frances Ethel Gumm in June 1922 in Minnesota, the youngest daughter of vaudevillians Ethel Marion (Milne) and Francis Avent Gumm.

Her mother, an ambitious woman gifted in playing various musical instruments, spotted her potential from a young age and together they toured America’s nightclubs and cabarets. Judy’s big break, however, came in September 1939 when she played the little girl from Kansas who ends up Over the Rainbow in Oz.

Judy had a troubled life and suffered from mental health problems and depression. She was married five times and had three children - Liza Minnelli, Lorna Luft and Joey Luft.

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The current BAFTA awardwinning movie tells the story of the last year of her life, when she relocated to London.

After some initial success for a run of sell-out concerts at the Talk of the Town in London, things start to fall apart.

Directed by Rupert Goold, it is an adaptation of the Olivier- and Tony-nominated West End and Broadway play End of the Rainbow by Peter Quilter and it stars Renée Zellweger in the title role.

Judy died in June, 1969, following a drugs overdose. She was 47.

Did you see Judy in Glasgow?

Which other famous faces have you seen in the city?

Send your pictures and memories to Ann Fotheringham, Glasgow Times, 200 Renfield Street, Glasgow G2 3QB or email