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Judy Garland: The Day-By-Day Chronicle of a Legend

Schechter, Scott
Cooper Square Press, New York

It's hard to imagine that there could ever be a more obsessive detailing of Garland's life than this day-by-day listing that brings new meaning to the word minutiae. There seems to be no detail too small or insignificant to escape Schechter's forensic-like attention to all things Judy (1922 1969). A $15.97 receipt from Lord & Taylor for a new hat (December 12, 1968) merits the same amount of space as the night (March 30, 1955) a camera crew was set up in her hospital room (the day after giving birth to her son) to record her Best Actress Oscar acceptance speech for A Star Is Born (she wound up losing to Grace Kelly). Given that this is a quotidian chronology, some entries are banal (numerous dates just note checks Garland wrote that day), but as anyone who has ever read a Garland bio knows, she didn't lead a dull life. There is a strange fascination to being able to chart the progress of the shooting of The Wizard of Oz, Meet Me in St. Louis and other MGM musicals (and hour-by-hour notations for Annie Get Your Gun before she was fired). Schechter (publisher and editor of the fanzine Garlands for Judy The Legend's Legacy) includes a generous sampling of reviews for films, albums and live appearances and dutifully notes current availability for fans. Although few enthusiasts will read this cover-to-cover, it is sure to have enormous appeal as a reference tome and have multiple uses for trivia buffs. 80 b&w photos.

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