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Always for Judy


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Excellent organizational, communication, research and analytical skills. Worked as office manager at Kodak Limited, General Electric, NASA, Varian, etc. While completing a BA degree in Anthropology she work on archaeology digs and participated in the National Research Project created by primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall, called Chimpanzoo.


By DEWEY M. "MOVIE & MUSICAL THEATRE MAN" After so many years, and after so many biographers have dissected nearly every aspect of Judy Garland's roller-coaster life, Joan Beck Coulson offers a refreshing perspective. It's a first-hand perspective that Judy's fans will certainly appreciate. Joan met Judy on several occasions and was actually at the scene of some of her greatest professional triumphs. Most biographers have an "agenda"; and that, in Garland's case, is usually to present her as some drugged-up, drunk, unprofessional, tragic mess. This is not the woman that Coulson saw and encountered several times. Coulson does not gloss over Garland's problems or troubled times. She does, however, approach them with rare empathy and compassion. By now, it's no shock to learn that Garland was "abused," not physically, but certainly psychologically and emotionally; first by her driven, ambitious, and frustrated stage mother Ethel Gumm and later by MGM. Coulson comes back several times to the theory that what happens to us in our childhood sets up our patterns of behavior in adult life. This certainly seems true in Garland's case. "Always For Judy" really comes alive when Judy breaks free from MGM and begins to chart her own artistic course. Encouraged by manager/husband Sid Luft, Judy embarks on her now legendary Concert career. The concerts begin in England. And this is when Coulson experiences the joy and genius of Judy for the first time! This is also when Judy begins to receive critical praise as a first-rate, first-class "artist" for the first time in her career. Joan would see Judy again at the Dominion in 1957. As a member of Judy's fan club, Joan writes of being invited to an after concert party. Their paths would cross more times. Joan was at the recording sessions Judy made in London in August, 1960. These thrilling "London Sessions" found Judy re-vitalized; happy, healthy and in incredible voice. Joan also writes about the filming (in England) of Judy's last film "The Lonely Stage"; re-titled "I Could Go On Singing" in America. Judy, now separated from and fighting a custody battle with Sid Luft, miraculously still manages to rise above and beyond her troubles and the movie itself. As fate would have it, just a few years later, Joan and Judy were working for the CBS Television Network at the same time. Joan was a secretary. Interestingly, she writes that she soon ended her employment at CBS; in part, due to the network's horrible, unconscionable treatment of Judy during the ill-fated "Judy Garland Show" in 1963-1964. Coulson provides some much needed clarity to Judy's desperate and heartbreaking final years. Coulson quite correctly defines these last years (1964-1969) as a period when Judy was "clutching at straws."

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