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Judy Garland: The Golden Years

Piro, Rita E.

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ISBN 10: 0970626177 / ISBN 13: 9780970626172
Published by Great Feats Press
Condition: Very Good Soft cover
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0970626177 Great FEATS Press, 2001. Trade paperback in VG condition; has a bit of minor wear to the edges. Bookseller Inventory # SKU1046611

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Judy Garland: The Golden Years

Publisher: Great Feats Press


Book Condition:Very Good

About this title


Note: Also available in HARDCOVER from

“I’ve had a very happy life...really, I have!” - Judy Garland

Unfortunately, from the many projects produced about Judy, you would never know it.

While a number of biographies have been published detailing Judy’s life, most all have concentrated on her later years and have provided an inaccurate and distorted image of the star, her life and her career. In fact, previous Judy Garland biographies are far more interesting for the information that they leave out, rather than for that which they put in! No one can deny the very real sadness and struggle that Judy faced at distinct points in her life, yet that same life was also full of much joy and happiness. Judy Garland, The Golden Years captures that joy and happiness and stands in sharp contrast to both past and present Garland works in a variety of ways:

· Provides an honest, factual account of Judy’s early life and MGM career that is loving, sensitive, respectful and appropriate for all readers.

· Features a foreword and a chapter written by Margaret O’Brien, beloved child star who starred with Judy in Meet Me in St. Louis. This is the one and only Judy book to which she has ever personally contributed.

·Includes family photos, documents, letters and diaries dating from 1727, as well as a detailed family history and family tree. There are also first time contributions from family members who have never contributed to any Judy project before.

· Includes a complete MGM filmography, a DECCA discography, a film music history, a detailed recap of Judy’s radio appearances through this period, an early publicity photo section, a headlines section, as well as separate chapters on The Wizard of Oz and Meet Me in St. Louis.

· Is illustrated with over 600 new, original, most previously unpublished, photos from Judy’s life that show the light in her eyes, the dazzle in her smile and the joy in her being. · Contains unique, original collectibles including personal documents and letters as well as vintage posters, novelties, advertising and other memorabilia.

Whether you first met Judy Garland as Andy Hardy's sidekick while sitting through a Saturday matinee, fell in love with her at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair or traveled down the yellow brick road with her while sitting in front of your family's television set, Judy Garland, The Golden Years will provide you with the story of the real Judy Garland, a woman who was good and kind, honest and sincere, who was a devoted daughter, sister, wife, friend and mother, who did the best she could in all situations, who, time and time again, would not allow herself to be defeated, who picked herself up and started over, who loved her children more than anything else and always tried to do the best by and for them and who, most of all, will always be remembered for bringing joy to millions of people the world over.

What more could anyone ask from a life - and a definite happy one at that

From the Publisher:

For decades Judy Garland has been known as one of Hollywood’s most tragic figures. That all may change, however, with the publication of Judy Garland: The Golden Years, the latest entry in a long line of Garland biographies. Says author Rita E. Piro, “Were there heartaches, emotional struggles and physical challenges in Judy Garland’s life? Absolutely. Did they define the life of Judy Garland? Absolutely not.

There are more than 600 images in this photobiography and more than 90% of them have never been used in an y other Garland book.

Judy Garland: The Golden Years is the first photobiography of the great entertainer to present Garland’s life as an overwhelmingly happy and positive experience. “Nearly all Judy Garland biographies begin the same way,” says Piro, “The author will first pay homage to Judy as a never equaled talent, a beloved American treasure, then proceed to submerge her in a murky pool of conjecture, speculation, innuendo and hearsay. Everyone knows how talented Judy was, but few realize how funny and loving, good and kind, smart and witty she was, too! The same sad images and tragic characterizations have been continually repeated with little attention being paid to the very real happiness and joy in her life.

Legendary child star Margaret O’Brien contributes both a foreword as well as a separate chapter of memories to the book. A number one box office attraction as well as Hollywood’s most sought after child star for most of the 1940’s, O’Brien starred with Garland in the 1944 MGM classic, Meet Me in St. Louis. Like Judy for The Wizard of Oz, Margaret received a special miniature Oscar at the 1945 Academy Awards.

Included are original sources never before heard from in previous Garland works.

Piro includes family diaries, a huge family tree, documents, letters, photos and other material dating from 1727, interviews with Judy’s maternal relatives who lived with the star and her family, as well as former family friends.

An epilogue chapter offers an overview of Judy’s later life and career.

Judy Garland, The Golden Years is as entertaining for younger readers as well as their parents and grandparents. Explains the author, “Judy Garland is the one star from the 1930’s and ‘40’s who is as popular and well-known with younger generations as with older ones. Each year, thousands of young girls fall in love with Judy as “Dorothy” and want to learn as much as they can about her. When they start to do the research, however, they find almost nothing but distorted information. Judy Garland - the real Judy Garland - remains a wonderful example for them, and not just as "Dorothy," but as a delightful young girl who matured into a well-respected woman who accomplished many great things, not the least of which was being a much loved mother to her children.

Calling many of the long held beliefs about Garland, “fairy tales, myths and half-truths,” Piro details another side to the Garland story. “The public always talks about the great woman Judy was, but then how do they choose to remember her? With salacious and sensationalized and, in many cases, purely fictional, stories usually attributed to anonymous sources,” says Piro. “So much of what the public knows about Judy Garland has its foundation in the half-truths, myths, conjecture, speculation, gossip and innuendo that were quickly passed around after her sudden death in 1969, then eagerly embraced as fact.”

During the last year, much attention has been paid to audio recordings that Judy made which supposedly depict her as bitter, enraged and unstable. Says Piro, “There are several different tape recordings that have circulated for more than thirty years. Judy did indeed record a very small amount for the possibility of inclusion (after review and editing which she never did)in an autobiography. Most of these recordings, however, were made to meet her own personal needs at the time. Judy recorded a little more than four hours of thoughts, most of which are devoted to many warm and loving memories of her childhood, her family, her children. Predictably it has been only those isolated and distorted expressions of inner and outer conflict that have ever been made public. Judy also attempted a print autobiography, but only 68 pages were ever written and all of them were the product of at least one ghostwriter and editor. Judy quickly dismissed these initial autobiographical efforts an! d never took to such an endeavor again.”

Piro is well aware that her claim of a happy life for Judy Garland will not fare well with some fans. “I do not at all deny that Judy faced some incredibly difficult times, but they did not define her life. Judy herself never dwelled on her problems, she never gave in, never gave up. There are many people who find solace and comfort in the idea that Judy was some tortured soul. But Judy herself was the first and most steadfast defender of the fact that she did indeed have, ‘a very happy life.’ She discovered early on that the whole ‘tragic Judy’ notion was very important to some of her fans and she readily complied with that idea. But there were far too many good times and good things in Judy’s life that have been overlooked for far too long. That’s essentially what this book is about.”

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