Judy Garland and Jack on Elgin

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Judy Garland and Jack on Elgin

Postby John Walther » Sat Dec 25, 2010 10:26 am


I just sent this query off to the president of your club and now I wanted to ask you nice Jack Benny people if you also might be able to answer a question I have.

My name is John Walther and I am writing to you from Hamburg, Germany. I'm trying to unravel a mystery involving Judy Garland and Jack and I was hoping you might be able to give me some information. I hope I'm not imposing on you by writing. Perhaps this might be of interest to some of you people, too.

I am a big fan of Judy Garland's work, especially her radio work from the 30's through the early 50's. Through my collecting of her radio work I, of course, have become aware of Mr. Benny's radio work, too. They appeared on three or four occasions together on shows. And this is what I'm writing to you about.

We have a tape of the Mail Call performance, #72, dated Jan. 5, 1944. On this show, Judy and Jack do a sketch. He calls her at the studio to say that they are going to be appearing on Mail Call and he would like to rehearse their sketch together. He would like to do a love scene as she had done with Gene Kelly in her 1942 movie, For Me and My Gal. Judy tries to point out to Jack that Gene is a younger man, etc. I'm sure this is known to all of you Benny people.

The mystery that we're trying to clear up here centers around the same sketch that we have of Judy and Jack, and which the reel-to-reel tape that a friend of mine has, lists as Elgin, 1946. There's no other information. In the sketch, which runs 11.14 minutes, Jack phones Judy again and says he wants to rehearse for their sketch, but this time he says it's for the upcoming Elgin show that they are doing together. At the end of both sketches, Garland comments that they can't use this material, first for Mail Call show and on the Elgin tape she says they can't do this on the Elgin show.

This is our mystery. I just did some googling on Jack and found several listings for Elgin specials he had taken part in, but I couldn't locate any that he and Garland had done together. At our end in the Garland world we don't have anything on this either.

There seem quite clearly to be two different versions of the sketch, both using the same script, but one substituting "rehearsing for Mail Call", with "rehearsing for Elgin".

Might you be able to give me any information on this?

If it would help you, I would be very happy to send you a file of the mystery Elgin 46 sketch. I would be happy to send Mail Call #72, too, but I imagine you have that. (You may very well have the "Elgin 46" mystery sketch, too. Excuse me if you do.)

Our reigning Garland historian, John Fricke, has a possible idea for the identity of the material. He doesn't think that they would have referred back to For Me and My Gal in 1946, it being four years old already. He believes that one possible answer might be that the Dec. 1942 Elgin Christmas special, in which we know Garland took part in for sure, may have included Jack as well, who may have stepped in at the last moment for someone who was ill. We know that kiond of thing happened in radio.

I would be so grateful for any information you might be able to give me on this mystery. I hope I have explained my query in a way that you could follow me!

Looking forward to hearing from any of you, I thank you for any help you can give me here.


John Walther
John Walther
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2010 10:15 am

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