Barbra Streisand sang the title of this article in her legendary guest performance on The Judy Garland Show in 1963 — fifty years ago!
The special lady whose birthday fans are celebrating today is none other than Judy Garland. Singer and actress extraordinaire, Garland bound her fans throughout the decades and generations with her emotional fervour. Young, old, male, female, tall, short, coffee-drinker, or tea-drinker, the appeal of Garland’s emotional communication unites all sorts of audiences.
When I first discovered Judy Garland at the age of 14, I never imagined the intense dramatic impact she would have over my life. The website, the community of The Scarlett Olive, the podcasts, the friends I have made over the years, none of these would exist if Judy Garland was not introduced to me. This post, these words I am typing, are all due to Judy. The majors I picked in university, my insatiable hunger for Hollywood history, and whatever path I end up journeying down can be pointed back to her. You’re to blame, Judy, for what I do.
The feelings of immense appreciation, awe, and love are beyond the capacity of adjectives or beautifully knit sentences. My feelings transcend feelings! All I can say is, “Thank you. Thank you very much. I can’t express it any other way. For with this awful trembling in my heart, I just can’t find another thing to say” (A Star is Born, 1954).
Oh, and Happy Birthday, dear Judy. :)
When Katie told me she was making (yet another) post about Judy Garland on The Scarlett Olive, I had to add my two cents.
This past semester I had the opportunity to analyze the impact Judy Garland has on her fans in an essay. I scoured the Judy Garland Message Board, thumbed through articles, and I came to one final conclusion about her that sums up the essence of the Judy Garland Effect.
Judy Garland is the connector of every walk of life, as Katie mentioned above. Amidst stereotypes and assumptions about social classes, race, sexuality, and gender… there is one commonality among all Garland fans: the presence of a heart. Somehow this tiny woman reaches through our senses, grabs ahold of our heartstrings, and never lets go.
The intensity of my love for Judy has changed with the experiences of my life. I’ve loved, left the nostalgia of my childhood, felt immense happiness alongside unbearable sadness. I know in those moments, Judy, the nurturer of emotion, harmonized with every up and every down. Her ability to belong and appeal to something as broad and vulnerable as human emotion is the crux of her legacy.
Thank you, Judy. Happy Birthday.