Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Jumpin' on the Band Wagon with a book review ....

I notice lots of you lovely people give book reviews now and again, so I thought I'd jump on the band wagon and give my two pennorth !

I love books, but not just any old books, my favourites are crafting, cookery, gardening, smallholding type books, followed closely by biographies and auto-biographies 'cos I'm nosey interested in peoples lives.

This is the one I've just finished :

The Great Ethel Gumm.  Yes that was her name, born to a pushy mother and homosexual father, although it was brushed under the carpet in those days, and not talked about.

The Gumm sisters (3 of them) of which Ethel (Judy) was the youngest did a song and dance act for many years touring small time clubs and bars.

Long story short, Ethel was 'noticed' by MGM and taken under their wing, one of a multitude of child starlets who were to be 'groomed' to make loads'a'money for MGM.  One of her 'classmates' was Mickey Rooney, who remained a close friend all his life, there was no romance though, some say MGM wouldn't allow it !  he memorably threw himself on her coffin at her funeral and had to be restrained because he was beside himself with grief.

Judy went on to do 'shorts' just what it says on the tin, short films that filled in the main features at the cinemas before her big break in 'Wizard' which, although she went on to make lots more blockbuster films, is the one she went down in history for.

Drugs supplied by the powers that be at MGM were the beginning of the end for her, drugs to wake her up, drugs to put her to sleep etc. etc., plus a liberal supply of alcohol were her undoing.

Bad relationships, broken marriages and a 'diva' temperament then haunted the rest of her life.  She had a reputation of 'earning $5 and spending $10' so subsequently was always chasing the next show to pay her debts.

She had two daughters, Liza, Lorna and a son Joey.  Liza Minelli went on to become a very big musical star in her own right, a fact that Judy couldn't handle, jealous was not the word for it.

I hope these two clips load OK for you - my computer is playing up at the moment, please let me know if you can see and 'hear' these - thank you peeps.

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